Friday, July 24, 2015

Inherit the Stars by Tessa Elwood Book Review

Three royal houses ruling three interplanetary systems are on the brink of collapse, and they must either ally together or tear each other apart in order for their people to survive.

Asa is the youngest daughter of the house of Fane, which has been fighting a devastating food and energy crisis for far too long. She thinks she can save her family’s livelihood by posing as her oldest sister in an arranged marriage with Eagle, the heir to the throne of the house of Westlet. The appearance of her mother, a traitor who defected to the house of Galton, adds fuel to the fire, while Asa also tries to save her sister Wren's life . . . possibly from the hands of their own father.

But as Asa and Eagle forge a genuine bond, will secrets from the past and the urgent needs of their people in the present keep them divided?

Author Tessa Elwood's debut series is an epic romance at heart, set against a mine field of political machinations, space adventure, and deep-seeded family loyalties.

My rating: 4/5

The premise of Inherit the Stars sounded a lot like Jupiter Ascending to me, a movie that I absolutely loved in concept but that I felt fell a bit flat in the story and characters (Especially, I’m pained to say this but Jupiter, why did she always needed rescuing?). I had secretly hoped someone would make a sort of book adaptation to dwell a bit more into this wonderful world of interplanetary houses and their industries. Perhaps this was not the author’s intentions and a completely different idea all together, but whether it was inspired in Jupiter Ascending or not, the plot seemed amazing nonetheless!

Asa is struggling to keep her sister Wren alive after an attack caused by their own, starving people left her with a severe head injury from which she hasn’t recovered. Every day since then Asa has been at her side reading stories hoping one day she’ll wake up. It seems nothing has changed until, during one of her visits, the brain activity in her sister spikes.

She is not awake or conscious, but it’s a start. However, as she arrives home to share the good news she over hears a conversation between her father and her elder sister, Emmie, who were planning on disconnecting her sister from life support so that Emmie can become the heir and enter an arranged marriage with another house so that they can save their planets from the energy and food crisis they have been suffering for years.

Horrified and desperate, she tries to reason with them but her father won’t listen, and he’ll carry on with the wedding and the plans for his daughter either way.

On the wedding day Asa makes a fast decision and drugs Emmie so that she can take her place in the wedding. The ceremony is more than just any wedding, it’s a blood bond, an unbreakable oath and, despite the disappointment when her sham is discovered, the pact cannot be undone.

But there are darker forces at stake that could threaten not only her sister’s life but that of her people as well.

The story did not disappoint, I was honestly surprised to discover that this was a debut novel, Tessa Elwood’s style is wonderful, it flows with ease and demonstrates the ability of a writer long into the career. I found the main characters incredibly relatable, Asa with her desire to save her sister while fighting against the family that has never really let her have a say in anything, and Eagle with his past and his scars, unwilling to let anybody in.

If I had to say any demerits that would be the world building, I really wished we could have known more about it. How did these three houses came to be? What about the planets and the people? We know that there are several planets, some produced food before the contamination, others had been used to drill for the fuel, but the story could have been expanded to explore this wonderful universe a bit more.

In the end, this was a wonderful debut novel from Tessa Elwood and I will be looking forward to see what new works she has planned.

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