Review: The Stars Never Rise

0375991530_01_LZZZZZZZThe Stars Never Rise has non-stop action, romance (but not too much), and a dystopian setting that truly seems like an awful place to live. The world’s population has been decimated by demons and the realization that the well of available human souls has been running out which results in the Unified Church stepping up and becoming the governing body of the remaining cities around the world. The Church has ruled that all births must be approved to ensure that there is an available soul (or else the child has the risk of being still-born), and they outlaw many of the books, tv shows, and daily life that we all know today. In addition to the this strict ruling government, there are also demons roaming the world trying to devour the remaining human souls.

Vincent does an excellent job of pulling the reader in immediately by showing our protagonist, Nina Kane, out at 3 am illegally swapping clothes with a housekeeper in a rich neighborhood. As Nina heads back the poorer part of town where she lives with her drug addicted mother, and her little sister, Melanie, she is attacked by a demon. She is rescued by a mysterious man who exorcises the demon with an ability that powers holy light through his hands. Nina is amazed by his ability but terrified by the demon attack and the possibility of having to give a statement to a Church representative because she has just been out committing an illegal act. She runs before she can get any sort of explanation from the man and tries to act normal around her sister as she arrives home and must attend school later that morning. When Nina and Melanie arrive at school, Nina learns that her sister has been keeping a terrible secret that the Church must not find out about and she will risk everything to ensure that her sister is safe.

Later that day Nina discovers that she has her own natural exorcism abilities and is rescued again by the mysterious man, Finn. All of this action happens in the first 100 pages or so and it just continues from there. Nina’s relationship with her sister is heartwarming and to stop at nothing to protect her from the punishment that the Church will give her. Vincent does an excellent job of mixing this strong relationship between two sisters, with a little romance (that doesn’t overpower the story) between Nina and Finn, and the elements of the dystopian setting with demons, and the paranormal abilities of being an exorcist all leads to this non-stop action and will have readers scrambling for the second book.

The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent.  9780385744171. June 9th, 2015. Gr 9-12.

 

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