5 ★ – Beautiful and Unforgettable
Published by Snowy Wings Publishing August 29, 2017
Genre(s): Young Adult, Romance, Sci-Fi
Pages: Hardcover 376
Some melodies reach across the stars.
In 2157, the Adryil—an advanced race of telepathic humanoids—contacted Earth. A century later, 15-year-old violist Iris Lei considers herself lucky to attend Papilio, a prestigious performing arts school powered by their technology. Born penniless, Iris’s one shot at a better life is to attract an Adryil patron. But only the best get hired, and competition is fierce.
A sudden encounter with an Adryil boy upends her world. Iris longs to learn about him and his faraway realm, but after the authorities arrest him for trespassing, the only evidence she has of his existence is the mysterious alien device he slipped to her.
When she starts hearing his voice in her head, she wonders if her world of backstabbing artists and pressure for perfection is driving her insane. Then, she discovers that her visions of him are real—by way of telepathy—and soon finds herself lost in the kind of impossible love she depicts in her music.
But even as their bond deepens, Iris realizes that he’s hiding something from her—and it’s dangerous. Her quest for answers leads her past her sheltered world to a strange planet lightyears away, where she uncovers secrets about Earth’s alien allies that shatter everything she knows.
Starswept is absolutely beautiful through and through. I mean the book itself is ridiculously gorgeous! The cover, the design, and the interior chapter spreads… I seriously don’t think I’ve ever seen such a pretty book. And you know the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” well you can just throw that out the window right now because Starswept is stunning and undeniably mesmerizing.
I’m a bit of a sci-fi nerd and have always been fascinated with the concept of aliens. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I read the synopsis for this book, but I was very much intrigued. The first few chapters were a little slow for me, but definitely not boring. To be honest, I actually didn’t mind it all that much because Mary Fan’s writing is astounding and once the story picked up pace, I was a goner.
The world building is just fabulous – a bit complex, terrifying at times, colorful in every way, and definitely creative. I enjoyed the plot and loved how dark it got towards the end. There’s plenty of drama, conflict, action, mystery, and some really awesome twists that gave me the chills. There was something unearthly and somewhat disturbing about the story, but I was so enthralled with everything that I didn’t want to stop reading.
I love Iris so much. She’s curious, sincere, genuine, and passionate. She truly loves playing her viola and I admired her determination. No matter how fierce and competitive it was at Papilio, she never took the easy way out. Dámiul is so mysterious and I was as fascinated with him as Iris was. I enjoyed figuring him out and by the end, he more than won me over. Not only is he dreamy and charming, but he has such a big heart.
I absolutely adored Iris and Dámiul together. Their romance was slow and steady, but incredibly swoony. I definitely got that star-crossed lovers vibe so that made their love story more interesting. It was so endearing to watch their relationship progress to something more.
While I may have fallen in love with this book before I even started reading it, Mary Fan’s elegant, captivating and fantastic writing completely swept me off my feet and stole such a big piece of my heart. Starswept is ethereal, enigmatic, thrilling and such a wonderful story. If you love YA, and romance, and sci-fi, and beautiful writing, then I highly recommend you grab yourself a copy.
Huge thanks to the author for sending me signed hardcover copy. I’m so grateful to have my own copy to hold and keep forever.
Sincerely Karen Jo