Published: December 8th, 2015 by Running Press Kids
*I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected the opinions stated below.
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?
Inherit the Stars tells the story of Asa, the daughter of a man who kind of runs a dying planet. The sister she’s closest to is in a coma. The other sister is about to be married to a stranger from a different planet in a political deal to get food to their own planet. Through a series of events, Asa ends up impersonating her sister and marrying Eagle, betraying the original deal. Inter-planetary conflicts! Sounds awesome, right?
Unfortunately, for me, it was not. The synopsis throws out a whole lot of awesome, but the book itself doesn’t deliver a lot of it. The bit about her mom barely felt significant—it led to a big thing, definitely, but so much more could have been done with it so that it had a bigger impact. That was a big problem for me—nothing had an impact on me. We’re supposed to care about these characters, to feel with them and for them, and I personally didn’t. The emotions just didn’t come across to me as they were written. I've been having that problem a lot lately; I'm probably just not very sympathetic because of my ice cold heart.
I did expect more from the sci-fi aspect, though. There were little futuristic tidbits thrown in, sure. But nothing astoundingly new. It was focused a lot more on the trouble Asa has caused and how to ensure their planets survive through rather simple politics. (And, okay. Yeah. I may have hoped somewhere in the back of my head that there would be aliens and been subconsciously disappointed that there were no aliens. Subconsciously, of course.)
What I'm really saying is that I was expecting a more explosive plot line, a story and a world that would really wow me. And I didn't personally feel like I got that. I think this is a good light sci-fi if it's not something you're normally into, but sci-fi and fantasy are basically all I read except when I'm feeling really sad or cutesy and want a nice contemp, so....
What really got me was the writing. Most of the time, it flowed really well and I enjoyed it. But sometimes Asa's thinking got a little abstract and it didn't really work for me. I'm quite vocal about my love for Maggie Stiefvater's writing in The Raven Cycle, and I would definitely call that some abstract writing. But it works for her. She makes it beautiful, and I'm sure I miss out on a few metaphors because I'm not paying close enough attention, but it's there. That's not really what happened in Inherit the Stars for me when I got to those parts. I just kind of sat around like "huh?" for a few too many seconds before I finally understood. (Or moved on and pretended it never happened because I just didn't care. Sleep deprivation? Just genuine apathy for the book? Who really knows.)
"I am a screech beetle. I panic through the digislate's speakers."
It wasn't as negative as I'm probably making it sound. I think Asa was quite unique. She dd an incredible thing for her sister, and though I wasn't always certain of her motives, she's clearly very loving and dedicated to saving Wren and living with her mistakes. She's so sweet and resilient.
"A weird gumminess sinks deep in my chest and spreads."
The chemistry between Asa and Eagle wasn't always there for me, but I would probably use the word sweet to describe them too, even though it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. There isn't any instant love between the two - they're both just trying to get through this mess and end up on the other side of the finish line. Their relationship develops slowly, which is nice, but it was a little hard for me because I didn't get a whole lot from Eagle. He's certainly not a robot, but once again, the emotions just didn't come across for me.
tl;dr: More of a light sci-fi, if you ask me. It was a quick read and I really enjoyed the main character and all the family dynamics, both between the Fanes and Eagle's family. I had trouble connecting to the story and the emotions, but even as negative as I probably sounded, I did enjoy Inherit the Stars. 3 stars.
*Quotes subject to change