A couple months ago I received an ARC of When Stars Die for review. It was one of my top books for 2013 and so I eagerly joined this book blast. When Stars Die is unlike any YA book I’ve read to date. Set in a convent? Go figure. But truly, it’s a wonderfully creative and beautifully written book that sparks many serious internal questions. The interplay between faith and magic presents a conflicted, raw, and incredibly real protagonist that will have you cheering her on even through her darkest trials.
I gave this book 5 STARS. If you’re interested in reading my review, I’ll be reblogging it tomorrow so check back!
“Being able to power through one’s own weakness is a sign that one had the strength to endure this type of life. You weren’t ready, Amelia. You weren’t ready to accept that weakness is an inevitable part of life, and that true strength lies in not giving in to that weakness, but accepting that weakness as a part of yourself and using it to find strength.”
Summary: “Yet, even when stars die, they leave a lasting impact through their light, their diamond brilliance as they scatter their material to form new stars. When people die, they leave the same impact with the footprints they leave on people’s hearts. Even the ones who feel insignificant go out, leaving behind dust that can nourish the world anew.”
Amelia Gareth wants nothing more than to save her brother Nathaniel from eternal damnation in the fiery pits of hell. Nathaniel is a witch. This alone is enough to condemn him. Born of a Seven Deadly Sin, witches are not only a product of sin but their families are destined to be destroyed by it. In a heroic, desperate effort to escape this fate, Amelia and Nathaniel flee to Cathedral Reims where she hopes to become a professed nun. This is no small sacrifice. The steps to become a nun are a grueling system of devotion to Deus and blind supplication. Girls go through years of training before reaching the trial stage. These trials are a tortuous test of endurance, mixing flagellation, blood-letting, isolation, and fear. Many do not pass with approval from the head nun but Amelia is determined to prevail despite the pain.
Everything is going according to plan, and with the trials looming, the end is finally in sight after 3 hard years. That is, until Amelia starts seeing things. Shadowmen; dark, sinister , blistering cold beings roam the halls of Cathedral Reims searching like madmen for those who can see them. Amelia thinks that she’s going crazy, her hallucinations spiraling out of control like one of the girls who couldn’t handle the pressure of sisterhood and committed suicide. As the Shadowmen draw ever closer, Amelia can no longer doubt their existence. After a horrible accident involving her best friend, who has terrible burns that no one but Amelia can see, she is faced with two life-altering realities: first, that she, like her brother, is a witch and second, that the Shadowmen are very real and have their sights set on witches within the Cathedral.
Amelia, more confused than ever, and in serious danger, doesn’t know where to turn, whether she should continue down her path to professing as a nun-even though she’s a witch and there’s no chance at heavenly paradise-or to flee from the Shadowmen that threaten to take not only her life but to destroy those she loves.
Meet the Author: Amber Skye Forbes is a dancing writer who prefers pointe shoes over street shoes, leotards over skirts, and ballet buns over hairstyles. She loves striped tights and bows and will edit your face with a Sharpie if she doesn’t like your attitude. She lives in Augusta, Georgia where she writes dark fiction that will one day put her in a psychiatric ward…again. But she doesn’t care because her cat is a superhero who will break her out.
Happy reading everyone and really, this is a great book, if you’re a Girl of Fire and Thorns fan looking for a new read this is for you.