Hello everyone! Today I am here with a review for this amazing ARC that I was lucky enough to get from Samantha Heuwagen over on Instagram! She was one of the first people I found back when we started our bookstagram account, and she is such a sweetheart. I feel honoured to be one of the first people to read her first ever book release!
Make sure to give her a follow over on instagram, and show some love to The Starless Series.
Dawn Among the Stars follows Kayin, Henry and Melissa as they are all faced with the reality of an alien attack on planet earth. It tackles mental health issues and trauma in a way that forces the reader to face the incredible discomfort of such illnesses head on, and, I thought, really got into the way in which society handles crises situations and how we validate other peoples feelings, and the importance of doing so.
Split into three parts, we are reliving the same timeline thrice over, always learning something new and never feeling like the story is being retold. I was worried when I first realised this choice, and curious as to why the author chose to tell the story in this way, instead of skipping between POV, but having finished I’m really glad she did. Too much back and forth between POVs tends to take me out of my focus, and I get easily distracted while reading. Instead, she has managed to tell what is essentially the same experiences three times, but rarely feeling repetitive or unnecessary.
As I first got into and started reading Dawn Among the Stars, I was worried. It took a long time for me to become fond of the characters, some plot points seemed rushed to me, and I struggled to keep going. All traits that I often find in debut books. However, as I kept going, it occurred to me that my struggles were mostly because Kayins part of the story is also having to set up the entire world the author is building, and giving us backstory. This makes it hard to connect to the character, as there is also so much other information being given. Additionally, introducing all the other characters and still building a relationship with Kayin became difficult. I’m looking forward to reading more about her and her journey in the next book, now being more acquainted with the story.
Getting into the next two parts of the story proved much more easy. Henry is a likeable character, who like many of us, has made some mistakes. His unwavering resolve and courage is inspiring, but I did have some problems with his shifting loyalties, and every now and then I felt simply exasperated with him.
Men, right? Ha!
Finally, I have to admit, I simply devoured the last third of the book. Melissa as a character really got through to me, she felt relatable and, she was so easy to read. And it didn’t hurt that her part definitely hit the jackpot in terms of romance. I was sold by the 3rd chapter. Her struggles and victories felt familiar in ways I had missed while reading the other characters, and I felt like I finally really connected with what Samantha wanted to do with this book.
The true variety of characters and diversity in the book both in terms of characters, point of views, experiences and problems, is sure to built appeal to an equal variety of audiences. In my opinion, Samantha has written a book that is intriguing and exciting, and takes the reader on a journey. For me, it really had me thinking about my own reactions, how I would handle myself in any of these situations, and how human kind is truly special.
I think fans of The Lunar Chronicles, soft Sci-Fi and the likes will love The Starless Series. You can get it here.
I’d like to once again thank Samantha for sending me a copy of the book, and for always responding to any questions or outbursts while I was reading. My love for Clairfic knows no bounds… I’m not sorry about it.