Originally posted here on April 30, 2016
I'm happy to have read this. Especially seeing as how I'm a virgin (again) when it comes to all things in the review world. This is a really great novel. The book description is already great, but trust me, the novel is astoundingly better. I'm happy to have gotten the chance to read Edgewood by Karen McQuestion (even her name is catchy hehe).
The main characters grow on you from the very beginning: Russ Becker, the protagonist; to his love interest, Mallory; the rude-boy, Jameson; and the shy (for a reason) Nadia. The story unfolds as Russ learns his unique ability after the strange "astronomical" event happens to him, and how he gels with the rest of the teens as he plays catch-up to learning how to use his newfound powers. As the plot develops, an organisation called the Associates (who apparently want world domination) and another called the Praetorian Guard (who apparently want to stop the Associates) comes into the picture. I liked the fact that you, as the reader, doesn't really know whom exactly the evil ones are (kinda), which adds an element of mystery and intrigue in the book. The dialogue and actions of the main characters were believable for their ages, and the action scenes appropriate for the targeted age range.
An issue for me however was how Russ treated his nephew, Frank, at times. Though at the end he became a better uncle at least. Frank's mum (Russ' sister, Carly) was also a pain until she stormed into a room like a banshee to what she thought was saving the day. I can't remember the last time I went from disliking a character to loving them in just a few pages (zero to one-hundred real fast!). Finally, to what I thought was a mild plot error, Nadia could track Russ when he was in an unknown location but couldn't seem to do the same when he took a walk outside his house in the nigh?!. Perhaps this means that Russ is getting more powerful? A reader can only hope!
Overall, this was a fun and exciting read, which took less time for me to finish than you could say, "I want the next in the series!" Not only that, but I believe more mature readers would enjoy this book. I sure did!
Would I recommend it? Most definitely!
Would I read it again? Absolutely!
When my daughter Leia reaches an appropriate age would I let her read it? Without a doubt!
That's why I give this book a 4/5 in my ratings. Now, go out there and grab yourselves a copy!
My Favourite Lines
The field beyond glowed with fragments of something, like someone had tipped over a charcoal grill the size of a water tower. The embers glowed blue and gold, beautiful like jewels. I got closer and noticed the glowing chunks were different sizes but that overall they formed a swirling pattern that covered the entire field. ----> I liked the imagery described here. A lot.
As if not hearing me, she continued the discussion, going in a different direction entirely. I've noticed that girls do this a lot. ----> This statement just shows how funny some of the characters are. Karen McQuestion catches this really well.
I held my hands firmly against him and focused all my thoughts and energy on the connection between us. We were two separate people linked now by skin and bone and blood and energy. ----> Another wonderful description.
"We create the reality we want to believe. One child thinks he has the meanest parents in the world. His brother thinks they're strict but fair. Which one is right? Is the second one downplaying it or is the first one a whiner? So much of life depends on your perspective." ----> I found this philosophical enough for a young adult to mull over. Great!
I feel like this is one of those books that I would have LOVED a few years ago, but doesn’t work out for me anymore.
The book follows the story of two teenagers in love: Emma and Lucas. Unfortunately, Lucas is dying of cancer and of course Emma would do anything to save him. So, she pays a visit to the local witch to find a cure, which she gets. Lucas starts feeling better, but something is off. He is not himself anymore..
To me, the characters didn't feel very real. They were all a bit 2D and stereotyped in my opinion. For example, Emma is the YA heroine with an ego the size of Pluto, Scott is the cool alien that can do anything (like healing a girl’s cancer) by just being there and Eric is the 14-year-old brother that acts like he is 18. I did not feel a connection to any of them.
From a Distant Star is a cute YA sci-fi story. Nothing more and nothing less. Like I said, 15-year-old me would have loved this, because a cute YA sci-fi story was exactly what I was looking for in books back then. Nowadays I like my books to have some more depth, or at least to be a bit more exciting. This book didn't contain any plot twists, which I kind of missed and some bits were actually quite annoying, like Emma’s possessiveness.
I would recommend this book to girls (and boys) age 14-16 who love sci-fi and a cute love story.
I received a free copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I had high hopes for From A Distant Star, tempered by a 3 star review and a bad experience with a better known YA alien possession novel. I was a bit disappointed, but will still rate it 3 stars as the story was interesting and I did find some positive points.
Emma is a girl from the “wrong side” and her boyfriend Lucas is the popular, blond football star of their high school. As Emma narrates the story, we learn that she is devoted to him and will go to any lengths to combat the cancer that has left him comatose. When he wakes she is, of course, one of the only people to notice that he is not himself. An alien, Scout, is using his body as a host. And then the men/women in black show up, so the adventure really begins.
What I liked was the consistent characterizations and POV choices. I also like that this was not a typical YA romance. There weren't really any new romantic developments, just the memories of Emma's relationship with Lucas and Scout's with a female from his planet.
What I did not like? Emma and Lucas, whose relationship is probably not a healthy one. I never like the inclusion of a witch and potions and there were also just a few too many lucky coincidences.
So, not a book I would recommend or reread, but if you enjoy YA sci-fi/fantasy and the premise interests you, then don’t listen to me. Go and get a copy and judge for yourself. 3/5 stars.
I read an ebook review copy courtesy of the publisher through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. The full review can be read on my Wordpress blog at http://wp.me/p5Tcfi-3m
From A Distant Star by Karen McQuestion | Skyscape, May 19, 2015 | review copy