ARC Review: “Ignite the Stars” by Maura Milan

Guys! This book! 😍 The synopsis immediately grabbed my attention; the cover reveal (Asian model!) made me yearn for this book! So when I saw it on NetGalley, I ignored my looming (physical) TBR and requested the book! It was such a pleasant surprise to know I’d been approved.

Thank you, Albert Whitman & Company, for giving me a free, digital copy in exchange for an honest review!

Ignite the StarsTitle: Ignite the Stars (Ignite the Stars #1)
Author: Maura Milan
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Release date: September 4, 2018
Genre: Young adult, sci-fi
Length: 400 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “Everyone in the universe knows his name. Everyone in the universe fears him. But no one realizes that notorious outlaw Ia Cocha is a seventeen-year-old girl.

A criminal mastermind and unrivaled pilot, Ia has spent her life terrorizing the Olympus Commonwealth, the imperialist nation that destroyed her home. When the Commonwealth captures her and her true identity is exposed, they see Ia’s age and talent as an opportunity: by forcing her to serve them, they will prove that no one is beyond their control.

Soon, Ia is trapped at the Commonwealth’s military academy, desperately plotting her escape. But new acquaintances—including Brinn, a seemingly average student with a closely-held secret, and their charming Flight Master, Knives—cause Ia to question her own alliances. Can she find a way to escape the Commonwealth’s clutches before these bonds deepen?”

four starsMy Thoughts

I’ve been looking for a book to appease by craving for more sci-fi adventure after I finished Obsidio, and let me tell you that Ignite the Stars did the trick! You’re dropped right into the action, and it doesn’t stop until the very end. I fell absolutely in love with our cast of characters and adored how each had their own unique story that eventually intertwined.

One of my favorites parts of the story evolved around Brinn, one of the three main characters in Ignite the Stars. She’s biracial, which immediately drew my attention to her, and it’s something she struggles with through the course of the book. She even goes to some lengths to hide the parts of her that the people of the Olympus Commonwealth look down upon, especially with increasing tensions between the commonwealth and other planets. Yet the part Brinn tries to hide is the very part that becomes essential to the plot of the story, and it’s amazing to watch her transformation and acceptance of that fierce, strong part of her.

I also enjoyed the deep family ties both Ia and Knives had, Ia with her brother and Knives with his sister. In a sense, these two things brought the characters together in ways they didn’t imagine. And truthfully, I think Ia has depended so long on her brother, Einn, that when things take a dramatic and twisted turn, she has to be quick on her feet even more than usual. I also really liked the premise of Ia being one of the Commonwealth’s most sought after criminal and then everyone’s surprise that she’s a teenager. While I would have liked to see more of Ia’s antics, I definitely enjoyed her wit and strong personality while she’s at the military academy.

As for Knives… Looking for another smol book boyfriend? Just add Knives to your list. What’s not to love about him? He puts on a strong front, but he’s a total softie. I loved his interactions with Ia, and how the author chose to bring these two characters together. However, I did find some of the romantic bits between certain pairs of characters a little slow, and think perhaps it happened too quickly, especially for Brinn. Maybe because I just wasn’t expecting it?

In terms of the writing style, I found myself drawn to it and completely immersed in this galaxy. I know this book just released a few weeks ago, but I’m eagerly awaiting the next one just so I can return!

You can purchase this book from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound, or other major booksellers.

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