Friday, 25 October 2013

When Stars Die by Amber Forbes

When Stars Die
Blurb (from Goodreads):

Amelia Gareth's brother is a witch and the only way to save her family from the taint in his blood is to become a professed nun at Cathedral Reims. However, in order to become professed, she must endure trials that all nuns must face.

Surviving these trials is not easy, especially for Amelia, who is being stalked by shadowy beings only she can see. They're searching for people they can physically touch, because only those they can touch can see them. Amelia soon learns why she is being stalked when she accidentally harms her best friend with fire during the third trial. Fire is a witch's signature. The shadows are after witches.

Now Amelia must decide what to do: should she continue on her path to profession knowing there is no redemption, or should she give up on her dream and turn away from Cathedral Reims in order to stop the shadows who plan to destroy everything she loves?

When Stars Die by Amber Forbes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Stars Die(Source: I won a digital eARC of this book. Thanks to author Amber Forbes.)
18-year-old Amelia lives in a world where witches are born of their parent’s sins – if the parent has committed one of the seven deadly sins, then their child will be born a witch, and once discovered will be killed.

Amelia ran away with her 5-year-old brother Nat 3 years ago to the Covent where they now live, in the belief that becoming servants of God would absolve them of the taint they were born with. But when Amelia watches her best friend Collette spontaneously combust, and only she can see the flames, she and her brother are sent away from the Convent and back to their parent’s house. Amelia is escorted home by Oliver – a trainee priest who has feelings for her, and they struggle with their feelings for one another.

Amelia soon learns that the strange shadows that she sees are called ‘Shadowmen’, and may have something to do with Collette’s death, and also want something from herself and her brother.
What are the ‘Shadowmen’? Why are they after Amelia and her brother? And how long can Amelia keep herself and her brother hidden and safe from those who would burn them as witches?

This was an enjoyable story with plenty of tension and excitement.

Amelia was a strong character who would do anything for the people she loved. She sacrificed a lot to be able to keep her brother safe, and it was obvious that she had feelings for Oliver. She did seem to change as the story went on, but she tried hard to hold on to her morals for most of the story!

I liked the storyline in this, and I liked the tension that was woven into the story. It wasn’t easy to guess what would happen next, and I just had to keep reading to find out what would happen to Amelia next! I did get a little confused at points over the ‘shadowmen’ stuff, but this didn’t really spoil the story, and I had to laugh when Amelia was told that Collette’s spontaneous combustion was caused by an epileptic seizure!

This book read a bit like a historical fiction novel, but also had the paranormal element of witches and ‘shadowmen’ and stuff which was done well. It reminded me a little bit of ‘Witchstruck’ by Victoria Lamb, so if you liked that you will like this.

The romance in the story was nice, and I thought that Amelia and Oliver were pretty sweet together, even though there were hidden secrets waiting to be revealed. There were a couple of tasteful ‘love’ scenes, although there were also some non-consensual scenes too, but these weren’t in-depth.

The ending was a little unexpected, and pretty brutal, and Amelia did seem greatly changed by what happened. I did lose interest a little bit towards the end, as I kept getting confused as to what was going on, but all was eventually revealed. The very end was then pretty unexpected, and the epilogue was a little strange, and Amelia seemed to have totally changed in all possible ways which was a shame as she was such a good character throughout the rest of the book.
It will certainly be interesting to see what happens in the next book!
Overall; an enjoyable historical/fantasy novel, with plenty of excitement.
7.5 out of 10.

1 comment:

  1. Hmm wouldn't have given this one a second thought but you have me interested.