And All the Stars

Monday, February 4, 2013


And All the Stars
Andrea K. Host, 2012

Premise: Maddie wasn’t where she’d told her parents she was going, instead she was on her way to meet her cousin, to work on the painting that she hoped would win her an important scholarship. Then there was an explosion, and afterward, everything would change.

Another winner from Andrea Host! This was a great read, full of interesting characters and fabulous plot twists.

The premise is strong: aliens invade, but in a different way than I’ve ever seen, affecting people in various ways and quickly threatening to take over. Maddie and a growing collection of new friends first have to survive and then figure out whether they can fight back.

I really liked Maddie’s perspective throughout. She’s a little shy and awkward, and she has a particular way of looking at things which is filtered through her artistic abilities. This can make her seem cold and distant, and she’s surprised how quickly things change for her after the initial catastrophe, in terms of connecting with others.

There were a few plot twists that I really didn’t see coming, and they were basically amazing. The exploration of the post-disaster groups and the mechanics of the aliens were fascinating as well. I loved the presence of the internet, and how people used it to spread knowledge and rumor worldwide as the situation changed.

There’s a romance, and it’s important, but very well handled, with realism and depth. I would stick this book more firmly in YA than some of this author’s other work, but I’d stick it on the top of any list of “recommended YA Science Fiction”.

My only real quibble is that I didn’t like the epilogue. I found it tedious and unnecessary, personally.

Spoiler-y comment regarding both this and the Touchstone series: I actually really enjoyed Gratuitous Epilogue, on the other hand. I had spent so long with those characters already that the description of growth and happiness felt earned. With this story, I didn’t need that, and the pat happily-ever-after wasn’t satisfying for me, but rather undermined the uncertainty and hope of the closing chapter which preceded it. Other reviewers have said that they liked it, though, so it’s a personal opinion.

A strong plot with a varied cast from a great storyteller. What’s not to like?

4 Stars - A Very Good Book

2 comments:

Andrea K Höst said...

You have Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad figures! How cool!

(I'll just sigh mournfully for LoSHs of ret-cons past. I loved the post-Crisis Brainiac plotline, but gave up on the series after all these reboots...)

Lindsay said...

Ha, thanks! (I also have Cosmic Boy and Brainiac 5) I paid too much for them, but I love the expanded Justice League Unlimited figures, so I couldn't resist. I haven't read too much Legion of Super-Heroes, although I like the characters in what I've read and their various animated incarnations.

I sympathize on reboot fatigue: I'm reading almost nothing that's being put out by DC now, rather picking up older stuff in trade.

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