Title: The Sound of the Stars
Author: Alechia Dow
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Release Date: February 25, 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Can a girl who risks her life for books and an alien who loves forbidden pop music work together to save humanity?
Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.
Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. Deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, humanity’s emotional transgressions are now grounds for execution. All art, books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.
Born in a lab, M0Rr1S (Morris) was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does.
Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while making a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.
Alechia Dow is a former pastry chef, food critic, culinary teacher, and Youth Services librarian. When not writing about determined black girls (like herself), you can find her chasing her wild child, baking, or taking teeny adventures around Europe.
“Humanity’s better in stories. That’s why I saved as many books as I could, basically saving the humanity worth saving.”
The Sound of Stars beautifully weaves different genres together to create a character-driven story with shocking plot twists. It’s a science fiction story that surpassed my expectations and captured my attention from the very first sentence. I was enamored with the characters and the world, and I cannot wait for the sequel.
Ellie is a girl after my own heart. The world she lives in, now Ilori-controlled, demands that all art, music, and books are illegal and grounds for execution if found in a human’s possession. But Ellie keeps a secret library, which I know is what I would probably do, even if it meant certain death. But books hold truth and emotion, which is a reason why Ellie keeps them. She’s a strong-minded character who wants to remember humanity for it’s creativity, not it’s captivity. She’s a character that I believe many people could relate to, including myself.
Ellie’s relationship with M0Rr1S is interesting, but also heartfelt. He may have been created in a lab and born to be emotionless, but he discovers that he possesses the same emotions and feelings that a human does. He loves music and starts to grow a bond with Ellie. This bond has the potential to save the world. Their relationship is the key to uniting two species and bringing back creativity into the world. But most of all, their relationship has the power to save each other.
“I’m alive, and I’m strong. My heart isn’t broken, and I hold my dreams close to me. And I’ve already lived in a cage for years; I won’t stay in one anymore. Not when I can save and change the world.”
Even though I loved the characterization of Ellie and M0Rr1S, I have to say that I loved the plot twists even more. There were some plot twists I saw coming and some I didn’t and the ones I couldn’t figure out beforehand were surprising. I love a book with a good plot twist, but one that has multiple makes for a fun and shocking ride. And none of the plot twists were disappointing.
Most people who read my reviews are familiar with how much I love world building. Great books have great world building. And the world building in this book did not disappoint. I felt like I had a front-row seat in this world; I could easily picture this world and its inhabitants. The world building is overall my favorite thing about this book. Everything is so intricate and magnificently designed that it’s hard not to love this world and the author’s writing. This book, overall, is pleasantly surprising and exquisitely written.
The Sound of Stars is a strong debut that I find would be perfect for many science fiction readers. It’s a book that can easily resonate with readers for different reasons. This book, this story, felt real with real and personal characters, and that alone makes me excited for the sequel.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Prize: 1 copy of THE SOUND OF STARS by Alechia Dow
Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club, for having us on this wonderful blog tour!