Sunday, August 07, 2011

Review: Under the Stars by Rebecca Rogers



Book Description via Goodreads:

ARC, 332 pages
August 1, 2011, Rebecca Rogers

After seventeen-year-old Andrina’s home is demolished by meteors, she encourages her family to relocate to Legora, one of the few remaining cities that promise a new life to weary travelers. But Legora’s food and supplies are in shortage—too many refugees have sought protection behind its gates—and the only option is to appeal to the King of the New World for provisions. When the town assembles a lottery to choose who will plea to the king, Andrina holds the ill-fated ticket.

Her arrival in Valyad, the royal territory, sparks intrigue from King Zarek. Andrina can’t imagine herself acting like the other girls, who flounce after Zarek’s affection and money, but she considers giving in to her flirty side if it’ll guarantee that her family is fed. So when Zarek leaves Andrina with a bitter decision—marry him or he’ll strip Legora of its supplies—she has no choice but to accept being Queen of the New World.

Soon, though, Andrina uncovers that Valyad is smothered in deceit. Days after their wedding, Zarek is found stabbed to death and all fingers point to Andrina. Betrayed by Valyad’s governor, who wants the crown for himself, Andrina learns that it’s the people who will cast a vote on her fate; people who don’t want a commoner operating their kingdom. Andrina must not only convince Valyad that their king didn’t die by her hand, but also outsmart the sly politicians of the realm with a surprise they can’t outrun.

Source: Rebecca Rogers (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

For Andrina, family comes first. That’s what I liked most about her. She would do absolutely anything for Mama and her little brother, Mattie. Nothing compares to her dedication to them. She’s loyal, protective and brave. Above all, she’s a survivor.

The setting of Under the Stars was fascinating and terrifying at the same time. Majority of the world was desert. The sun scorched the people’s skin and the moon brought biting cold with it. Insects and animals have mutated. At night in the desert, certain things were said to eat humans. The only refuges left were the few standing cities. Legora was the closest one to Andrina’s ruined city. Her family braved the scorching heat, the hunger and the thirst in the hopes of starting a new life in Legora. But too many travelers have sought refuge in Legora and with every wave of people its stocks become more and more scarce. 

Valyad was so different from Legora. I loved it. It was magnificent and I soaked up its beauty. Everyone moved lazily. There were feasts and luxuries that Andrina has never seen before. King Zarek, the king of the New World, encourages her to enjoy her stay in Valyad but at the same time draws away from conversations that leads to Legora’s need for supplies and food. But she was strong and persistent, willing to do anything to make sure her family was fed. In her stay in Valyad, she found comfort in Malik, one of the son of the gypsies her family traveled with. Although they have never talked about their relationship, the two were close. The things they went through have established a connection between them. I like Malik. He was charming, mysterious and thoughtful, always popping up at the right moment.

Although King Zarek and Andrina’s relationship was loveless, I loved reading about the events that took place after their wedding. It was full of surprises. There was more to King Zarek. Dangerous people lurk in the halls of Valyad and doubt and insecurity marched into the palace. Then things went out of control. Although the latter part of the book showed suffering, I loved the determination that Andrina possessed. The ending was the most surprising and strongest ending I’ve encountered this year. It was done perfectly.

Under the Stars is strong, realistic and thrilling. This tale of struggles and survival will appeal to readers of adventure and dystopian. The violence, cruelty and hierarchy of the New World will make readers sit on the edges of their seat. It is one of the most unique stories I’ve ever read. I just wished that some of the transitions from one scene to another were smoother. I recommend this to anyone up for reading something adventurous and bittersweet.

Rating:




2 comments:

  1. Yaaaay! So glad you enjoyed it. :D
    Thanks for reading!

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  2. Wow, sounds incredible! I especially love you describe the setting. I'm totally captivated already. And one of the surprising and strong endings you've read all year? Geez, girl, way to excite a reader ;) Love your review, Under The Stars sounds like such a uniquelly compelling read, so glad you enjoyed!

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