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Tarnished Are the Stars

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The Lunar Chronicles meets Rook in this queer #OwnVoices science-fantasy novel, perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer and Sharon Cameron. A secret beats inside Anna Thatcher's chest: an illegal clockwork heart. Anna works cog by cog -- donning the moniker Technician -- to supply black market medical technology to the sick and injured, against the Commissioner's tyrannical laws. The Lunar Chronicles meets Rook in this queer #OwnVoices science-fantasy novel, perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer and Sharon Cameron. A secret beats inside Anna Thatcher's chest: an illegal clockwork heart. Anna works cog by cog -- donning the moniker Technician -- to supply black market medical technology to the sick and injured, against the Commissioner's tyrannical laws. Nathaniel Fremont, the Commissioner's son, has never had to fear the law. Determined to earn his father's respect, Nathaniel sets out to capture the Technician. But the more he learns about the outlaw, the more he questions whether his father's elusive affection is worth chasing at all. Their game of cat and mouse takes an abrupt turn when Eliza, a skilled assassin and spy, arrives. Her mission is to learn the Commissioner's secrets at any cost -- even if it means betraying her own heart. When these uneasy allies discover the most dangerous secret of all, they must work together despite their differences and put an end to a deadly epidemic -- before the Commissioner ends them first.


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The Lunar Chronicles meets Rook in this queer #OwnVoices science-fantasy novel, perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer and Sharon Cameron. A secret beats inside Anna Thatcher's chest: an illegal clockwork heart. Anna works cog by cog -- donning the moniker Technician -- to supply black market medical technology to the sick and injured, against the Commissioner's tyrannical laws. The Lunar Chronicles meets Rook in this queer #OwnVoices science-fantasy novel, perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer and Sharon Cameron. A secret beats inside Anna Thatcher's chest: an illegal clockwork heart. Anna works cog by cog -- donning the moniker Technician -- to supply black market medical technology to the sick and injured, against the Commissioner's tyrannical laws. Nathaniel Fremont, the Commissioner's son, has never had to fear the law. Determined to earn his father's respect, Nathaniel sets out to capture the Technician. But the more he learns about the outlaw, the more he questions whether his father's elusive affection is worth chasing at all. Their game of cat and mouse takes an abrupt turn when Eliza, a skilled assassin and spy, arrives. Her mission is to learn the Commissioner's secrets at any cost -- even if it means betraying her own heart. When these uneasy allies discover the most dangerous secret of all, they must work together despite their differences and put an end to a deadly epidemic -- before the Commissioner ends them first.

30 review for Tarnished Are the Stars

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)

    An incredible YA sci-fi book absolutely brimming with heart, understanding, and the power of coming together to defeat injustice. Not to mention it’s queer as hell and I absolutely loved that this book set in the future unapologetically embraces queer identity and the lasting influence of finding a word that helps to explain who you are. Nathaniel is asexual and aromantic, and whether or not he wants to continue using those words is up to him. What matters is the power he gains by having a word An incredible YA sci-fi book absolutely brimming with heart, understanding, and the power of coming together to defeat injustice. Not to mention it’s queer as hell and I absolutely loved that this book set in the future unapologetically embraces queer identity and the lasting influence of finding a word that helps to explain who you are. Nathaniel is asexual and aromantic, and whether or not he wants to continue using those words is up to him. What matters is the power he gains by having a word to explain what he has always felt. I want to hug this book for that, and for an absolutely killer f/f romance to top it all off. Longer review to come! For now, just please pre-order and support this awesome book. **early copy gifted to me by a friend, but all opinions are still entirely my own**

  2. 5 out of 5

    K. Wolf

    So I read an early version of this book and it was GREAT, and basically, everyone should be adding this to their to-read lists because it's a great ride full of lesbians and aces in space with cool world-building. Why are you still reading this, go add this book to your lists!!!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Claudie Arseneault

    DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC in exchange for a honest review. I'm also friends with the author. cw: abuse, parental death (on and off screen), surgery Finishing books past midnight always messes up with my ability to write proper reviews, but also... it tells you how incapable of going to bed I was! TARNISHED ARE THE STARS is a beautiful and incredibly queer book at the heart of which lies the power of trust and friendship, especially in breaking out of abusive relationships. It's fast paced but DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC in exchange for a honest review. I'm also friends with the author. cw: abuse, parental death (on and off screen), surgery Finishing books past midnight always messes up with my ability to write proper reviews, but also... it tells you how incapable of going to bed I was! TARNISHED ARE THE STARS is a beautiful and incredibly queer book at the heart of which lies the power of trust and friendship, especially in breaking out of abusive relationships. It's fast paced but gives plenty of time to self-reflection, its characters breathe and live fully, especially when interacting with one another, it layers its plot little by little, complexifying as it goes... Honestly, it's a solid book in just about every aspect. I DO think the end felt a little rushed, like revelations and final confrontations had been pushed too tightly together for us to absorb, but that might also have to do with me blasting through it while tired. Probably a bit of both. The other thing I deeply want to talk about is the absolutely lovely aro and ace rep in this. I love Nathaniel's relationship to his queerness throughout the story. He doesn't have the words for it at first, and he struggles with the expectations placed on him, but he is very confident that he -doesn't- and -won't- experience attraction; the way he simultaneous knows himself but feels left out by the world is so well done, and not something I've often encountered, especially in YA. It was amazing to read, and I'm looking forward to re-reading so I can see how it's done. I also really appreciate the way Rosiee Thor compares and contrasts some elements of queerness with Eliza (who is a lesbian), how their entire discussion about it and labels is warm, fuzzy, and flows naturally. I have the whole thing highlighted, I swear. All in all, keep an eye out for this book. It's a great read, it's good queer rep, and it makes my aroace heart sing.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Candace Robinson

    Lovely writing but I just couldn’t connect with the story. It could also be that I’m hard to please with any sci-fi book! However, there is good diversity and I think a lot of people will like it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    AdriAnne

    Sharply characterized and beautifully written, Tarished Are the Stars was a look at a too-close-for-comfort earth-like planet and the way the best of intentions in trying to create a better future can go awry. I loved the complexity of the interactions, motivations, and the machinations--nothing was black or white. The characters were my favorite part of all, and they especially shined in the form of Anna, Nathaniel, and Eliza and their entanglements with each other. I love how they came up Sharply characterized and beautifully written, Tarished Are the Stars was a look at a too-close-for-comfort earth-like planet and the way the best of intentions in trying to create a better future can go awry. I loved the complexity of the interactions, motivations, and the machinations--nothing was black or white. The characters were my favorite part of all, and they especially shined in the form of Anna, Nathaniel, and Eliza and their entanglements with each other. I love how they came up against incredibly difficult choices and made mistakes with weighty consequences--Rosiee Thor did not go easy on them. And yet they were entirely sympathetic, and all so distinct in the way they handled their respective journeys. So much character growth! As a cherry on top, the f/f romance was incredibly swoon-worthy, and yet the ace friendships carried just as much emotional weight as those with sexual tension. Highly recommended for fans of the Lunar Chronicles, "morally complex" YA, and anyone needing more queerness in their SFF. A strong debut!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nafiza

    So excellent on so many levels.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Speckels (Metaphors and Miscellanea)

    Okay, hear me out. I was so excited for this release, and when I saw the audiobook came out a full two weeks before the physical book, I decided to listen right away. BIG MISTAKE. The narrator just didn't work for me. The voices she chose for the characters felt like caricatures, which made the dialogue feel inorganic (which is too bad because it seemed like there was some good sarcastic banter written...it just didn't come across in the performance) and made a lot of the characters seem more Okay, hear me out. I was so excited for this release, and when I saw the audiobook came out a full two weeks before the physical book, I decided to listen right away. BIG MISTAKE. The narrator just didn't work for me. The voices she chose for the characters felt like caricatures, which made the dialogue feel inorganic (which is too bad because it seemed like there was some good sarcastic banter written...it just didn't come across in the performance) and made a lot of the characters seem more like stereotypes than like real people. Her American accent that she used for Anna was just plain bad (and sounded like she always had a cold?), and she made Nathaniel sound like a wimpy, hesitant child at all times. Don't get me wrong, I loved the concept. I loved the asexual representation. I loved the growth of the characters. But the story did have some minor plot holes, the ending was a little abrupt, and some things--like the moment where a certain character finally realizes they're asexual--felt way too heavy-handed. I think, if I had read this one rather than listened, it would have been an easy 4 stars. As an audio, though...do yourself a favor, and just don't make the same mistake I did, because it ruined a book I could have loved :(

  8. 5 out of 5

    Fanna

    Tarnished Are The Stars is a story that revolves around characters who are bearing weights of expectations, who are discussing the good and bad of technology, who are exploring, discovering, or creating their identities, rebelling against the wrong, and building a strong friendship; and are doing all of this on a planet that is not Earth (since it was destroyed by the technology doom) but is filled with something that is toxic to the ones born on there, aka the Tarnished. The Settlement and Tarnished Are The Stars is a story that revolves around characters who are bearing weights of expectations, who are discussing the good and bad of technology, who are exploring, discovering, or creating their identities, rebelling against the wrong, and building a strong friendship; and are doing all of this on a planet that is not Earth (since it was destroyed by the technology doom) but is filled with something that is toxic to the ones born on there, aka the Tarnished. The Settlement and the Tower adorn themselves with pieces of culture and history like they're accessories. They pick and choose the ones they like and cast away the rest without a care for why or how they came to be. ✔Set on a new planet ✔An all queer main cast ✔Sapphic romance with a kiss or kill attitude ✔Asexual & aromantic representation ✔Young adult trio with friendship goals ✔Medical mystery with political intrigue ✔Personal goals meet superior's expectations ✔Saving lives is the only motive ✔Unexpected revelations ✔Science-fiction lined with some fantasy Whatever her nature, she was definitely dangerous. The danger came not from her fists, but her words. I had been eyeing this book since the end of last year because it did sound right up my alley, so when I had a chance to be a part of the blog tour and read an early copy of it, I jumped on the chance. Tarnished Are The Stars certainly impressed me in a lot of aspects and made for a good read, but there are some trigger warnings you might want to look through before jumping into the book. ⇾ Physical descriptions of surgery ⇾ Discussions of medical procedures ⇾ Blood test anxiety ⇾ Blood spill and contact ⇾ Child death and discussion about it ⇾ Pregnant woman and minimal description of childbirth ⇾ Grief following the death of closed ones ⇾ Holding on to grief of a lover's death ⇾ Conversations surrounding passed away mother ⇾ Being held by ropes; taken away by force ⇾ Offensive dialogue to a disabled child (soon confronted and corrected by another character) ⇾ Being betrothed under pressure while under-age ⇾ Excessive parental expectations ⇾ Physical and mental abuse by father ⇾ Thoughts about killing someone ⇾ Ableism, especially in the context of physical health ⇾ Classism "Don't be nervous." "Right, because I can just turn that on and off." The plot is worth mentioning first because it's different—the futuristic setting of a new plant lined with fantasy elements—but still uses some tropes like the young adult trio rebelling against the law and working together to find the truth in a refreshing manner. While the three main characters are tied together to work for the same result, each of them is motivated for their own personal reasons which give some depth to the story. The growing number of Tarnished people—those who are born with disorders that can be fatal—need the help of technology to survive but technology was exactly what doomed the Earth so it's no longer legal to use, especially not for medical purposes. However, one surgeon and his granddaughter are set on helping those they can even if it means risking their lives. There's a medical mystery involved with political aspirations and clever manipulations for power. Even if she couldn't mend everything and everyone, each bolt and cog she tightened against the skin of her clients brought her closer to redemption, closer to forgiving herself [redacted]. The world-building is vivid. The new planet called Earth Adjacent is home for The Settlement while the nobles are living high away in the orbits called The Tower, waiting for the day when their data and tests speak to mark the planet safe for everyone, safe as a new Earth. However, some are Tarnished, especially babies born on this new planet. The setting created is dystopian but filled with hope so it isn't too dark but the themes of ablesim and classism are explored through the characters and that brings some complexity to the table. There are no mistakes, only choices and what you do with them. The writing flows smoothly and works well to transition the POVs for a story-telling from multiple POVs. The voice of each character is distinct enough and sits perfectly with their personalities to bring them to life. The story is written in a third-person limited narration and creates scenes that are easily imaginable. "We do not have to share the same words or share the same definitions to be similar, to understand one another." The representation in Tarnished Are The Stars must be greatly appreciated. Though, I don't belong to the community of those being represented so my opinion should be considered secondary to an ownvoices reviewer. It brings sexual diversity to the pages with such ease and without any offense, it's pleasantly surprising. The sapphic characters are slowly getting romantically involved with each other and that's a journey worth witnessing, particularly because the dialogues are gold with the right amount of sass and innocence. The trope of two lovers wanting to kiss each other in a moment and wanting to kill each other in the next is perfectly explored. ...but when she had imagined it—the future, a marriage, a romance—it had never been a man at her side. Moving on to the asexual and aromantic rep: the male character explores his sexual identity through the story itself and his thoughts are shown to be valid which is exactly what they are. The idea of no identity can be defined by a fixed set of words is learned by him and that helps him live his orientation with pride. I won't say much about it since I'm not the person to do so, but I would say that as a reader, I grew more toward these characters because of the great manner in which they were being represented. But Nathaniel was older, and age had not brought with it the sweeping desire to fall in love or kiss or sit shoulder to shoulder with someone he'd just met. Lastly, the characters who are amazing with their distinct personas and ultimate goals: ✹ Anna : queer, mechanic + surgeon, robinhood-like work ethic, STEM female character, emotionally driven, rebellious, stands up for the truth. ✹ Eliza : sapphic, spy of the highest authority, wants to climb the political ladder, loves fashion, immense stabbing energy, will kill you first and ask you later. ✹ Nathaniel : aro/ace gentleman, weighed down by father's expectations, quiet but strong, will stand by you if you're right. ✹ Thatcher : Anna's grandfather, surgeon, creator of TICCER (artificial heart), loves his town, will save lives even if it's risky. ✹ Fermont : Commissioner of the Setllement, wants to take all the power in his hands, banned technology, has secrets you will be shocked to know. ✹ Queen : veils herself, brilliant at sparring, has political motivations, Eliza looks up to her, has dialogues that will fail motivational speakers. "Power is not the same as strength." Overall, this YA sci-fi fantasy will surprise you with the revelations and emotionally affect you with the themes explored while you fall in love with the characters and support them through their mission. Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this via my participation in a blog tour but that, in no way, affects my rating and/or review. Thank you, FFBC tours, Scholastic Press, and Rosiee Thor. December 13, 2018 I haven't read any of the books or the authors mentioned in the pitch but LOL as if that makes me any less excited for T H I S

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kal ★ Reader Voracious

    Tarnished Are the Stars is one of the Reader Voracious Novel19 Books ! You can read my interview with Rosiee here! This science-fiction debut is so incredibly special, friends. I didn't expect to adore these characters, but here I am, utterly attached and wishing it wasn't a standalone novel so I could go on more adventures with them. "There was nothing quite like the first tick of a new heart." The book instantly sucked me in with its opening chapter, situating the reader within the world Tarnished Are the Stars is one of the Reader Voracious Novel19 Books ! You can read my interview with Rosiee here! This science-fiction debut is so incredibly special, friends. I didn't expect to adore these characters, but here I am, utterly attached and wishing it wasn't a standalone novel so I could go on more adventures with them. "There was nothing quite like the first tick of a new heart." The book instantly sucked me in with its opening chapter, situating the reader within the world and providing so much backstory in an easily digestible way. It starts at the operating table; a young boy named Roman needs a mechanical heart to stay alive. Lucky for him, they are outside the walls of the Settlement and the life-saving technology is available to him. "In Mechan - their hidden village of outcasts - tragedy hung in the air like fog. It was their maker, their neighbor, their constant companion." You see, Earth was destroyed by the technology created by humans. The government vows to not repeat the mistakes of the past and bans all forms of technology. But some of the people who live in Earth-Adjacent are sick with heart disease called Tarnish. The only way to survive is with the very technology that is forbidden. I love the way the world-building is unfurled for the reader: it's engaging and easy to follow. "'Tech is dangerous! We destroyed Former Earth with technology. [...] Tech is dangerous - it's potential is dangerous.'" There are three points of view, and each of their perspectives feels distinct from one another. 💖 Anna, also known as the Technician, is a mechanic who defies the Commissioner's ban on technology by providing aid to those in need via a clandestine black market system. Anna is queer (potentially bisexual or demisexual, but the representation is not explicit). 💖 Nathaniel is the Commissioner's son, and all he wants is his father's approval. But his father is as rough with his son as he is with his laws. Nathaniel is aro/ace. 💖 Eliza is the Eyes of the Queen, a spy and assassin betrothed to Nathaniel. But marrying him is the last thing she wants to do because she is a lesbian, but is a means to an end for her.I love books with uneasy allies and conflicting goals, and Tarnished Are the Stars does this well. I love and will die for these characters. Thor did an amazing job developing three-dimensional characters who each have their own goals and development arcs. But not only that, they act like the teenagers they are, impulsive in their pursuit of achieving their goals only to have to suffer the consequences. I like how the characters have clear wants and needs, their decisions not always being the best but clearly in line with achieving their goals. Even when its at odds with conscience. And consequence. There are real stakes. "Once made, a mistake cannot be unmade." I like it when characters are confronted with their privilege and their eyes are opened to the reality of the world outside of their understanding. I found Nathaniel's character development to be particularly compelling for me as he struggles to reconcile what he has grown up to believe with what he learns in the course of the book. As much as this book is about technology and finding the cause for Tarnish, at its heart it is a book about identity. All three of our characters are in the process of finding themselves, figuring out who they are. There's a particularly touching scene between Eliza and Nathaniel about sexual identity that will resonate with anyone questioning or trying to find out where they fit. The three of them are so accepting of one another's identities and supportive of their own journeys in that regard, which is truly special. "'Maybe it's silly, but having the vocabulary to describe what I felt made me feel less alone, made me feel like I'm not the only one.'" In addition to the aro/ace representation in the book, this book also shines with its disability rep. Thatcher is in a wheelchair and Roman lost one of his arms in a surgery accident when he was younger. Neither are depicted as weak or less than. In fact, when Anna shows Roman a mechanical arm that she's making for him, he is confused as to what he would even do it and asks if he is broken in some way. It is a touching and nuanced discussion on how sometimes the best of intentions can send a rather harmful message, and I appreciated Anna's internal dialog when she is confronted with this reality. "'He calls us Tarnished, as if we're somehow less than - as if it's an insult, not an illness.'" I appreciated the theme of the cyclical nature of history and humanity not being trusted to not make the same mistakes. This should come as a surprise to literally no one given my obsession with Battlestar Galactica, one of my notes in my book is all of this has happened before and will happen again.  The book shines with its characters and tight pacing, but I was left wanting a bit more in the worldbuilding department. Thor did a fantastic job describing the Tower, tech, and Earth Adjacent, but I would have liked more of the history to sell me on why tech was banned to begin with and how TICCERs are installed. There was a description that sounded almost like a metal door in the chest with wires? IDK, that sounds kind of difficult to hide. Tarnished Are the Stars is a beautiful science fiction debut with the characters at the heart of its tale. In the various kinds of love we experience as well as the different kinds of strength we all possess. I loved the world that Thor crafted and the steampunk elements, as well as the discussion of the positives and negatives of technology in a world destroyed by it. The question explored in this book is "are we as a species capable of learning from our mistakes, or are we doomed to repeat them?" and I loved Thor's take on this central question in the genre. Representation: aro/ace rep, (potential) bisexual/demisexual rep, f/f relationship, lesbian rep Content warnings: parental abuse (verbal and physical), death of a child, murder eARC provided by Scholastic via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review. I have since purchased a final copy. Quotations are taken from an uncorrected proof and may not match final publication. Pre-release thoughts: (view spoiler)[11/6/19: Excited to finally be diving into this science fiction debut~ 1/24/19: THAT COVER REVEAL THO 😍😍😍 Excuse me, was this book written with my interests in mind?! Science fiction, outlaws, infections spreading, and queer? Sign me the heck up! (hide spoiler)] Blog | Twitter | Pinterest!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rosiee

    Hello lovely readers! I don't spend much time over on goodreads anymore, so if you have any questions, please reach out over on twitter or on my website! Since advance copies are out in the world now, I wanted to share a list of content warnings for anyone who would like to review them before reading: http://www.rosieethor.com/tarnished-a... I hope you enjoy! Happy reading :)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    “Just because someone is not who you expect doesn’t mean they are the opposite.” A secret beats in Anna Thatcher’s chest: an illegal clockwork heart. Anna supplies black market medical tech to the sick and injured, against the Commissioner’s tyrannical laws. Nathaniel Fremont, the Commissioner’s son, determined to earn his father’s respect, sets out to capture the criminal Anna. Eliza, assassin and spy to the Queen, has a new mission: uncover the Commissioner’s secrets… but at what cost? Gosh. “Just because someone is not who you expect doesn’t mean they are the opposite.” A secret beats in Anna Thatcher’s chest: an illegal clockwork heart. Anna supplies black market medical tech to the sick and injured, against the Commissioner’s tyrannical laws. Nathaniel Fremont, the Commissioner’s son, determined to earn his father’s respect, sets out to capture the criminal Anna. Eliza, assassin and spy to the Queen, has a new mission: uncover the Commissioner’s secrets… but at what cost? Gosh. This book! While I did enjoy it, I’m conflicted on some things. But first, I loved the characters! They were so well developed and unpredictable. I think my favorite was Nathaniel: he was so real. I felt his pain, fear, and confusion and I rooted for him the whole way through. I thought this book would have some space stuff, but I think I just got the wrong impression. Which was totally fine once I realized it and moved on. It’s very steampunk and dystopian, and you can’t go wrong with that combo! This is a settlement that is ruled by the Queen and the Commissioner, on a planet they are working to terraform and inhabit for the future generations. But with all the tech, it gives off a very strong sci-fi vibe and it was wonderfully atmospheric! But now we get to my issues with the book… I felt like it was a 5-star read up until about halfway. And coincidentally that was when the romance started. I thought so far that it would be minimally romantic, which had me excited as I’m not a huge fan of romance in books. Don’t come at me, it’s just a personal preference. I wasn’t too upset when the romance started, my issue was that it was borderline “insta-love” and felt rushed and forced. This comes to my second issue: the second half of the book generally just felt rushed. I think this book would’ve gotten a 5-star from me had it been a duology instead. I would’ve liked seeing certain relationships, plots, secrecies, and the final climax developed more. It felt so compacted at the end and I just wanted more. I also would’ve liked to have a bit more world-building, something that could’ve been well fleshed out had this been a duology.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Frank-Intergalactic Bookdragon

    "Forgetting was a privilege for boys without clockwork hearts." A fun little sci-fi romp. I feel the cover and title are false advertising because none of this takes place in space, it's more a mix of dystopian, steampunk (I think though I am not familiar enough with the genre to be sure), and fantasy. The writing style is easy to digest and the plot moves at a fast pace. The concept is really interesting with a futuristic planet that has banned technology because tech destroyed Earth, yet most "Forgetting was a privilege for boys without clockwork hearts." A fun little sci-fi romp. I feel the cover and title are false advertising because none of this takes place in space, it's more a mix of dystopian, steampunk (I think though I am not familiar enough with the genre to be sure), and fantasy. The writing style is easy to digest and the plot moves at a fast pace. The concept is really interesting with a futuristic planet that has banned technology because tech destroyed Earth, yet most people need illegal clockwork hearts to survive. I do wish they'd defined technology better though so we knew what was banned and what wasn't. Also the fantasy element of alchemy felt shoehorned in. I found the characters likable, but I didn't find them very lovable. They were kind of bland and the romance instalove-y. I also wish we got a little more discussion with the asexual and aromantic rep sooner than 250ish pages in. But they did use the words 'asexual' and 'aromantic' which is already more than a lot of books do and the scene where Nathaniel figures it out was excellent.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Shalini

    I am a reader who analyzes the story more than the romance between characters. The story caught my imagination and the doctor in me loved it. A science fiction, a futuristic kind of a novel where the people of former earth now stayed in terra formed new planet. The main city was the Settlement where technology was forbidden by the ruling Commissioner. Mechan was the secret hidden village where technology was used to help people in medical injuries. Something was infecting the people of Mechan I am a reader who analyzes the story more than the romance between characters. The story caught my imagination and the doctor in me loved it. A science fiction, a futuristic kind of a novel where the people of former earth now stayed in terra formed new planet. The main city was the Settlement where technology was forbidden by the ruling Commissioner. Mechan was the secret hidden village where technology was used to help people in medical injuries. Something was infecting the people of Mechan where most suffered from cardiomyopathy and needed a mechanical heart called the TICCER, helped by Thatcher and Anna. Nathaniel was the Commissioner's son, abused by him, not knowing his purpose in life. Eliza was the high Queen's spy sent as a betrothed to Nate, to find the Commissioner's secrets. The lives of the 3 main characters intersected at the death of a child, and they decided to work together. Secrets and history were revealed, soon they had to take action. A fabulous book by Rosiee Thor, the story gripped me when it started revealing its secrets. The characters were complex, Anna was the passionate inflammable technician, Eliza was the cool-headed fighter, Nathaniel was just lost, till all 3 found their objective in life. The worldbuilding was confusing in the beginning, I was completely lost. Slowly the book settled down to tell me its story, giving me the emotions that were needed to pull me into their lives. The author was quite bold enough to chop off a character as that scene worked brilliantly to bring out pathos, anger, determination. I was so angry. The characters grew over the pages, I liked how their thinking matured. The ending clarified most of the doubts, though I felt some parts could have been written in greater detail, giving me a more immersive backstory. Overall, it was a fun read, keeping me hooked to my kindle in spite of being in bed with flu and headache.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Iris

    this was amazing go read it what a masterpiece omg

  15. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    I don't think I can describe how excited I was when I was given a chance to read Tarnished Are the Stars. I mean, it's LGBTQ+ steampunk sci-fi with a mechanic as the main character. I was in love the moment I saw the cover and read the blurb (found out the MC is a mechanic and hella gay. I'm a simple gal, people.) And when I read it's a romance between a spy and a mechanic and that it's kinda similar to my rarepair that's literally nicknamed "spy mechanic"? And that Eliza might resemble my I don't think I can describe how excited I was when I was given a chance to read Tarnished Are the Stars. I mean, it's LGBTQ+ steampunk sci-fi with a mechanic as the main character. I was in love the moment I saw the cover and read the blurb (found out the MC is a mechanic and hella gay. I'm a simple gal, people.) And when I read it's a romance between a spy and a mechanic and that it's kinda similar to my rarepair that's literally nicknamed "spy mechanic"? And that Eliza might resemble my favorite space panda slash assassin slash spy? And that Tarnished Are the Stars is set both on Earth and in space? I was over the moon. Unfortunately, the book didn't quite meet my expectations. Don't get me wrong, it's still a fun read with an interesting concept and likable characters, but it lacks the buildup of both the plot and the three core relationships. I also didn't enjoy the wlw romance since betrayal is a huge squeak for me. (Not being a fan of insta-love and infatuation doesn't help, either.) It's just one these books you mildly enjoy and even remember for some time, but don't really plan on rereading. It's still a nice addition to the genre and queer YA books, though! *Thank you to Scholastic Press for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

  16. 4 out of 5

    N (they/them)

    im: in love

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rec-It Rachel

    but like...can i have another one?

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cassi

    There needs to be more standalone science fiction novels and I was really excited to read this one. It seemed like it was totally up my alley so I was glad to be a part of the blog tour for it. It was an engaging story with great characters and an interesting world. My favorite thing about this book was the characters and character development. This is one of those books which alternates perspectives. Those can be incredibly tricky because often I like one character more than others, and feel There needs to be more standalone science fiction novels and I was really excited to read this one. It seemed like it was totally up my alley so I was glad to be a part of the blog tour for it. It was an engaging story with great characters and an interesting world. My favorite thing about this book was the characters and character development. This is one of those books which alternates perspectives. Those can be incredibly tricky because often I like one character more than others, and feel like the multiple narrators make things complex. But that was not the case with Tarnished Are The Stars. Each character added to the story and offered a unique perspective. I never felt like a section was unnecessary or that I wanted to go back to someone else. However, I did have a favorite character. While I liked Anna and Nathaniel, it was Eliza who I loved. She was a kickass female who is trying and often succeeding at being the smartest person in the room. I found myself rooting for her and loved her development throughout the book as she discovered who she wanted to be and then became that person. But that was the case for each of the characters. They were all easy to root for and had great development. One of the other things I liked about these characters was the LGBTQIA representation. Because seriously, this book is super queer. Not only is there a good f/f relationship that develops throughout the book but we also had asexual and aromantic representation. I firmly believe there needs to be more ark and ace rep in books. I’m constantly feeling like a romance is unnecessary and having a character who states on the page that they are not only not interested in a relationship but not even attracted to anyone was so amazing. Having Nathaniel come to terms with his own identity was part of what I liked about him and the book. I also liked the world of this book. It is one of those books that reminds you that dystopia is a subgenre of science fiction. It had subtle sci-if vibes with the use of technology to impact the lives of the people, but it also had dystopia feels with a new planet being colonized because of the fact that earth was negatively affected years ago. There was also that ever present shady government adding to the drama and a disease impacting the you people like our main characters. However, as interesting as the world was, I did feel like we weren’t given a lot of information about it. I felt like some of the big reveals were not as impactful as they could have been because there was so much going on and the pacing was so fast. If it had scaled back a little bit and given more information I think I would have liked the world even more. But my biggest frustration with this book was with the fact that it was so fast paced. I usually like a quick read that moves quickly from element to elements but here it was just jarring. I had no sense of how much time had passed and things just moved on with or without me. Instead of what I assumed was the desired effect of keeping me connected to the story, it actually pulled me out. I kept wondering to myself how much time had passed and whether they had actually spent time making this plan or if they were just winging it. And it even affected the character development at times because I was asking myself how they had gone from enemies to friends so quickly. This is about average length for a YA novel but I honestly wish it had been a little bit longer and was fleshed out a bit more. It was a very engaging story with tons of twists and turns but that was negatively impacted by the breakneck speed. On the whole, Tarnished Are the Stars was an interesting read and a good debut novel. It had great characters, an interesting world, a fat-paced plot. But I wish the story had been fleshed out a little more. If you are looking for a standalone dystopia with queer characters and a fast-paced plot then I would suggest checking this one out.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa ♛Queen Alchemy ϟ Novel Nerd Faction♛

    Disclaimer: I received an Advance Reader Copy at no cost from the publisher/author. All opinions in my review are my own. I was so delighted with this book! I am always totally on board for a YA Science Fiction novel. This one had the added bonuses of excellent queer representations. I adored the f/f romance and I loved the representation of an asexual character in the story. So much love for that. The character development in this book was outstanding. It was so easy to fall into the lives of Disclaimer: I received an Advance Reader Copy at no cost from the publisher/author. All opinions in my review are my own. I was so delighted with this book! I am always totally on board for a YA Science Fiction novel. This one had the added bonuses of excellent queer representations. I adored the f/f romance and I loved the representation of an asexual character in the story. So much love for that. The character development in this book was outstanding. It was so easy to fall into the lives of these characters and live through them as their stories unfolded. While I liked the world that the author created, I felt that it could have used more detail. Part of me felt like this book could have been split into two books to accomodate more world-building and to slow the pace of the story a bit. I liked the dystopian aspects of the story. I know that dystopia is a pretty dead genre at the moment, but I enjoyed the pieces of it that we saw in this story. Overall, this was a book that will capture your heart. It is engaging, entertaining, and all-consuming. The author has a lovely writing style that I immediately fell in love with. This is a book that I definitely recommend. More reviews on my blog: Novel Nerd Faction

  20. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    DNF'ed at pahe 257 I loved how it began, the strenght the book showed at the beginning, but it got dilluted as the book progressed. When the 3 players are brought together is like all the difficulties kinda got erased: the one who kept secrets suddenly spills them all, the one who cried for a death kinda forgets about ut, and the one who wanted to please his father just stops. I mean, I would have believed it if there had been some progression, but it felt rushed and just because they had to be DNF'ed at pahe 257 I loved how it began, the strenght the book showed at the beginning, but it got dilluted as the book progressed. When the 3 players are brought together is like all the difficulties kinda got erased: the one who kept secrets suddenly spills them all, the one who cried for a death kinda forgets about ut, and the one who wanted to please his father just stops. I mean, I would have believed it if there had been some progression, but it felt rushed and just because they had to be brought together. Suddenly the Comissioner's home is easy to infiltrate, and their previous lives kinda get suspended so they can fulfill theit new plans... And then there is the instalove...

  21. 4 out of 5

    USOM

    Tarnished Are the Stars is a lyrical book that discusses right and wrong, the ethics of technology, and loyalty. Told in a multiple POV style, it's electric when they finally come together. They represent a possibility at redemption, a potential escape, and a chance to become something more. As their lives and destinies interact, we are asked what is the price of community? Of family? Secrets are being kept and a dangerous game is being played in the clouds. Featuring queer character (lesbian and Tarnished Are the Stars is a lyrical book that discusses right and wrong, the ethics of technology, and loyalty. Told in a multiple POV style, it's electric when they finally come together. They represent a possibility at redemption, a potential escape, and a chance to become something more. As their lives and destinies interact, we are asked what is the price of community? Of family? Secrets are being kept and a dangerous game is being played in the clouds. Featuring queer character (lesbian and aro/ace) Tarnished Are the Stars is ultimately a story about choices. About whether we will keep giving up pieces of ourselves for the people we love. Whether we can ever gain the acceptance and love we deserve. There are lines that will make your heart flutter and sentences that demand to be spoken aloud. Discussions about power, ethics, and technology circulate in Tarnished Are the Stars. Technology can be dangerous in the wrong hands, but so can power, the law, and words themselves. full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sasha Nanua

    I read an early draft of this and I can say, truthfully, that it's such an engaging, quick page-turning read, and I loved the multiple POVs and they way they wove together so well! Rosiee is gifted in her talent for words (especially the sci-fi kind!) and I can't wait to read the finished version to see how much farther this book has been taken! Releasing 2019, read late 2016/early 2017. Rating: 5 stars

  23. 5 out of 5

    Clephiro (The Book Coven)

    The concept of the book is interesting enough. I love the diversity and the rep in this book. The problem I had was that the dialogue and writing were a little too unpolished for me. I think the author has a lot of potential and I did (mostly) enjoy the book, but the writing was a little too over the top in places and there were a few awkward turns of phrase. I did find the characterizations of Anna and Eliza to be inconsistent. It felt like near the time they met their personalities just did a The concept of the book is interesting enough. I love the diversity and the rep in this book. The problem I had was that the dialogue and writing were a little too unpolished for me. I think the author has a lot of potential and I did (mostly) enjoy the book, but the writing was a little too over the top in places and there were a few awkward turns of phrase. I did find the characterizations of Anna and Eliza to be inconsistent. It felt like near the time they met their personalities just did a complete 180 without any kind of real character development to support it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mari Johnston

    This review and many others can also be found at Musings of a (Book) Girl. Content Warnings: physical descriptions of surgery and medical procedures, pregnancy, childbirth, child death, grief, physical violence, child abuse, physical abuse, ableism, classism Tarnished Are the Stars is an absolute gem of a book. It’s in a genre I typically wouldn’t pick up, science fiction, but when Taylor from Stay on the Page tells me to read something I’m going to do it. And if a book has fantastic queer rep This review and many others can also be found at Musings of a (Book) Girl. Content Warnings: physical descriptions of surgery and medical procedures, pregnancy, childbirth, child death, grief, physical violence, child abuse, physical abuse, ableism, classism Tarnished Are the Stars is an absolute gem of a book. It’s in a genre I typically wouldn’t pick up, science fiction, but when Taylor from Stay on the Page tells me to read something I’m going to do it. And if a book has fantastic queer rep like this one does you can bet I’ll find a way to get my hands on it no matter what the genre is. The themes in this novel are difficult to read but are things we absolutely need to be discussing. Thor touched on topics such as healthcare and how those in higher classes always have the best access to it without any repercussions. There were also so many themes revolving around families and how that word can mean different things depending on what your life is like and who the people are in it. Thor did a really great job with the plot. It was exciting, the stakes felt high the entire time, and things made sense. Something that did bother me was the pacing. The beginning was good when we were being introduced to the characters and the three different points of view but then it began to stall out a bit. Each character started out having their own things to accomplish and it seemed to take too long before they all came together and their interests aligned. Once this happened though it started moving quickly and the rest of the book was exciting and the timing of everything felt natural. All of the characters were incredible and unique. Thor gave us enough backstory on everybody so we were able to understand their motives without going into so much detail that it bogged down the story. It was also clear to see each person learning throughout the story and the events that happened shaped them into different people. Their goals from the beginning of the book weren’t necessarily what they wanted at the end – but only because they developed as individuals and started to understand more about the world and what was going on. We also got some incredible queer rep! One of the characters very explicitly struggles with what label they best identify with and seeing them work through it and figure out who they were was fantastic. I also loved how romantic relationships were present in the book but it wasn’t so in your face that it overshadowed the main story line. Everything felt natural instead of forced and it was such a breath of fresh air. To see queer people simply being queer was what I needed in that moment. This was a difficult book for me to read because of what Elliott has gone through with his heart conditions but I’m so thankful I stuck with it. Tarnished Are the Stars was a great reminder of why content warnings are so important and I’m thankful I had a couple of friends reach out to me to make sure I was aware and help me through it. I highly recommend reading this important story – just make sure you have a few hours to dedicate to it because once you start it you won’t want to put it down. A physical ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Artemis

    2.5 stars, rounding up to 3 because some of the things I didn't like were just kinda personal-opinions-on-how-to-handle-the-Ace-Rep-question issues that are clearly meaningful to a lot of people, including the author. I dunno. I wanted to like this a lot. The opening character-introductory parts were a lot of fun. The ideas were great, the concepts of the characters were great, the concepts of the world were great, the concept of the plot I liked, and the concept of the relationship between Anna 2.5 stars, rounding up to 3 because some of the things I didn't like were just kinda personal-opinions-on-how-to-handle-the-Ace-Rep-question issues that are clearly meaningful to a lot of people, including the author. I dunno. I wanted to like this a lot. The opening character-introductory parts were a lot of fun. The ideas were great, the concepts of the characters were great, the concepts of the world were great, the concept of the plot I liked, and the concept of the relationship between Anna and Nathaniel I really liked... but the execution of all of those just felt all over the place. Characters' emotions were so inconsistent from passage to passage I ended up not really being able to tell what anyone's actual character was; Eliza was pretty good and consistent but Anna varied a lot and Nathaniel was all over the place to the point where I finished the book but am still not positive I can describe what his personality is. I wanted to like his dynamic with Anna but it was rushed and I found it hard to believe he'd give up everything he was taught to believe for some outlaw so quickly. Similarly, the romance between Anna and Eliza could have been good if it took place over the course of, say, four months, instead of four days. The pacing was pretty good at first but fell apart towards the end; the ending felt rushed and scattered, the revelations great in concept but haphazard in reveal, and, uh, were there... just straight up no consequences for anyone for (view spoiler)[murdering the queen? Like okay they could say "The Queen murdered the Commissioner!" which is true she did but Eliza very much did murder the Queen right there in Nathaniel's house and uhhhh no one has a problem with this, and Eliza and Nathaniel are still just able to live their lives like normal? Eliza STABBED the QUEEN in the FACE! (hide spoiler)] And I, personally, wasn't really a fan of the awkward and didactic "grinding the plot to a halt to have Eliza give Nathaniel tumblr-style Aro and Ace 101" method of Representation but that's a thing I've complained about as a trend plenty already. One thing I really did like though was how chill Anna and eventually all the protags were with technological prostheses and building replacement organs for failing biological ones. Two of the protags have mechanical hearts. Even now, even in sci-fi works I love, you still so often get "evil character's body is weak and failing so they build themselves tech replacements/life support, and it's supposed to come off as creepy and unnerving and inhuman" and I did like how Tarnished Are The Stars rejected that mentality completely. Overall it felt to me like an early draft, full of great ideas that needed to be wrangled into coherency better.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I was really interested in this book from the moment I learned there’s a sapphic central romance AND an aro-ace character. And this for sure did not disappoint. I’m not typically drawn to sci-fi, but while this is set in space it feels way more steampunk than sci-fi. There’s a lot of focus on technology, and the way it both can help and cause harm. Set in the distant future, people have colonized and terraformed a new planet, Earth Adjacent, after former Earth was destroyed by technology. Not a I was really interested in this book from the moment I learned there’s a sapphic central romance AND an aro-ace character. And this for sure did not disappoint. I’m not typically drawn to sci-fi, but while this is set in space it feels way more steampunk than sci-fi. There’s a lot of focus on technology, and the way it both can help and cause harm. Set in the distant future, people have colonized and terraformed a new planet, Earth Adjacent, after former Earth was destroyed by technology. Not a lot of detail is gone into about what caused the destruction of earth, but on earth adjacent three eighteen-year-old protagonists are trying to save themselves and do what they believe and have been taught is best for the future. Eliza is honestly probably my favorite character. She is so strong and driven, always doing what is necessary out of loyalty to the Queen. I also like that while she’s super prim and fond of pretty clothes, she also has no compunctions about slitting someone’s throat if the occasion calls for her. I also really enjoyed seeing her softer side when it came to Anna. Anna is a rough-and-tumble mechanic who refuses to see herself as a surgeon after she messed up once, resulting in the patient losing his arm. She’s got to learn to rely on others and listen over the course of the story, but her passion and act-first-think-later attitude helps the story progress in many ways. Nathanial has to learn to find his own strength over the course of the book. His father is abusive and Nathanial has illegal tech keeping him alive, so for most of his life his father has kept his separate and isolated. I really enjoyed this book and found it hard to put it down at times. My biggest qualms is timeline felt really fast (majority of the book takes place over a couple days) and I have minor qualms with fact Nathaniel learns words for asexuality and aromanticism from Eliza. I will say it definitely worked for the story and the way access to information was set up, but I also wish it was more common for folks to be told words that relate to their identity from those who share their identity. This definitely still has strong queer found family vibes and I loved all the ways Eliza, Anna, and Nathaniel help each other grow stronger and more secure in their own identities. Rep: white lesbian MC, white sapphic MC, white aro-ace MC, white disabled side chars

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jessica | Booked J

    Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Review can be found here at Booked J. As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way. Where do I begin with Tarnished Are the Stars? Hm. Let's start simple: AM I OBSESSED? Ah, yep! Completely. Rosiee Thor, you have my full attention and admiration. Tarnished Are the Stars is one of the best YA science-fiction releases of 2019. End review. Part of me has been Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Review can be found here at Booked J. As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way. Where do I begin with Tarnished Are the Stars? Hm. Let's start simple: AM I OBSESSED? Ah, yep! Completely. Rosiee Thor, you have my full attention and admiration. Tarnished Are the Stars is one of the best YA science-fiction releases of 2019. End review. Part of me has been wondering how I could possibly review Tarnished Are the Stars in a cohesive way because my thoughts are all over the place in excitement. (!!!!!!!) Tarnished Are the Stars is an enthralling and vibrant read that will keep its audience on the edge of their seats. I can't speak for every release in the genre, however, it was unlike anything I've read before--which was deeply engrossing and satisfying. It goes without saying that Tarnished Are the Stars is tied with The Last Hope as my favourite YA sci-fi of the year. Phew. Just... phew. This book was a wild ride from start to finish. I can still feel my heart beating in all its excitement. I loved the characters and all that follows them. The way the story unfolds and embraces its sexual diversity is of pure brilliance. These are the types of characters I love knowing. The ones that nearly jump off the page and attach themselves to you. The ones you keenly return to and love like they were your dearest friends. This is how YA should always look. Seriously--I adored these characters, the plotlines, the unique world and the engaging manner in which Rosiee Thor writes. Nothing is ever perfect, but Tarnished Are the Stars certainly comes close to such a title. All you could want from a stellar YA novel is within the depths of Tarnished Are the Stars. Full of unapologetic snark, stunningly developed characters (with flaws and strengths and SO full of life) this novel is adventurous and beautifully queer. Forget all comparisons to any other YA title out there, Tarnished Are the Stars is uniquely its own and, at the end of the day, in a league of its own. If you haven't caught on to my point already: Rosiee Thor's crafted something special, breath-taking and it cannot be missed. Tarnished Are the Stars should be at the top of everyone's list.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Misago

    A very enjoyable book overall. I became interested in it for the wlw romance, and it was enjoyable. The plot was intriguing and well realized, and the pacing was good. There was some missed potential with some of the characters, especially Eliza could have done with some more fleshing out, and having her play her role a bit longer. As it stands, even though she justified it in her head earlier, she dropped her facade around the other two a bit too early. I would have loved if she had shown her A very enjoyable book overall. I became interested in it for the wlw romance, and it was enjoyable. The plot was intriguing and well realized, and the pacing was good. There was some missed potential with some of the characters, especially Eliza could have done with some more fleshing out, and having her play her role a bit longer. As it stands, even though she justified it in her head earlier, she dropped her facade around the other two a bit too early. I would have loved if she had shown her people manipulation skills a bit longer, played the part of the harmless pretty girl. Overall, the three main characters felt a bit too... fated to become friends? They opened up to each other too quickly, as if they knew that they all were destined to work together eventually. The romance between Anna and Eliza could have used a bit of stretching as well, showing them come to terms with each other and having to get around each other's sharp edges. Likewise, the novel missed a few opportunities to show off the characters, demonstrating Anna's supposedly-legendary mechanical skills, and Eliza's assassin abilities through the eyes of other characters. Also, while I was incredibly happy to see Asexual representation in a romance novel, the way it was presented felt a bit off to me. It happened close before the final climax, when they were planing the revolution, and spending quite a long scene on talking about what nathaniel's sexuality could be and how it would be defined just brought me out of the tension. Might have been better to not bother with terminology and just show his reluctance to engange in any romance or sexuality, or have him offhandedly mention it didnt interest him, and have someone else acknowledge it as such, rather than base a whole scene during the point of high tension around it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    I’m… really disappointed… I was excited for a queer story featuring badass female characters inside, filled with secrets waiting to be uncovered. And I was actually enjoying the first half of the story...up until the insta-lust f/f romance was introduced… Like hell yea for wlw rep but not if it’s like THAT I mean, bonus points for wlw and ace/aro representation, but apart from that I don’t really have anything positive to say about this book. Criticisms Insta-lust f/f relationship – the romantic I’m… really disappointed… I was excited for a queer story featuring badass female characters inside, filled with secrets waiting to be uncovered. And I was actually enjoying the first half of the story...up until the insta-lust f/f romance was introduced… Like hell yea for wlw rep but not if it’s like THAT I mean, bonus points for wlw and ace/aro representation, but apart from that I don’t really have anything positive to say about this book. ⛈️Criticisms⛈️ ⛈️Insta-lust f/f relationship – the romantic and sexual tension felt unnatural and forced, based on nothing more than feelings of lust. Like if the romance is going to be that way I’d rather have no romance at all. ⛈️Telling and not showing. Nathaniel’s fears aren’t hinted at before they’re told. We keep getting reminded of Anna and Eliza’s attraction but we don’t see that romantic/sexual tension at all. ⛈️Wasn’t emotionally invested in the story or the characters. In fact, I felt actively disconnected while reading. There were so many moments that were clearly meant to be emotional, but because of poor character/relationship development and awkward pacing, I didn’t get into those scenes at all. ⛈️Ace/aro representation felt like an unnatural tangent, like it was forced into the book just so the author could share this mini diversity lesson. It’s not really hinted at beforehand and once it’s introduced, it never comes up again which makes its inclusion even more awkward. ⛈️The climax felt so gimmicky. It was so sudden, without any tension leading up to it. It was just a bunch of really shocking moments happening at once which made it feel overdramatic and straight out of a telenovela. ⛈️Plot holes. That ending felt like just a convenient way to not have to deal with plot lines that needed closure. We never get to understand some of the characters’ motivations, or the full picture behind why and how the people of Mechan were harmed. ⛈️It felt like the author was so concerned with inserting important representation and messages that she forgot to the write characters that would adequately deliver those messages or make the representation meaningful. I appreciate the intention behind these messages, but they were poorly executed. ⛈️(Not exactly a criticism but…) I personally hated Nathaniel. He was peak misguided sad/soft boy, i.e. he let his insecurities turn into toxic masculinity and literally harm the people around him. Like I get that a lot of that is a product of how his dad treated him but ohmigod. And I didn’t feel like any of that was resolved? Like there wasn’t much of a character arc, and what little there was felt disingenuous.

  30. 5 out of 5

    FloeticFlo

    I thoroughly enjoyed the journey with this book. Sci-Fi is not a genre I usually read, but every once in awhile I get hooked by an interesting premise and expand my reading universe. (See what I did there?! Lol). When I read the synopsis for Tarnished, it gripped me and I wanted it. This book didn't disappoint and I'm so glad it didn't! The pacing was incredible. I had a deadline for getting this review done, so I'd given in to the fact that I'd need to spend the majority of the day reading to I thoroughly enjoyed the journey with this book. Sci-Fi is not a genre I usually read, but every once in awhile I get hooked by an interesting premise and expand my reading universe. (See what I did there?! Lol). When I read the synopsis for Tarnished, it gripped me and I wanted it. This book didn't disappoint and I'm so glad it didn't! The pacing was incredible. I had a deadline for getting this review done, so I'd given in to the fact that I'd need to spend the majority of the day reading to meet this goal. But it ended up being a chore by no means. Even if I didn't have to get the review done today, I would have still kept reading. I would think that I needed to put the book down and take a break, then I would just keep turning the pages. I would think that I was taking a break at the end of a chapter, but guess what? I wasn't! I kept going. Tarnished had three narrators, and I really liked all three of their voices. Thor did a good job of making them distinct. Often with books that are written by the same person that have multiple POVs, the characters sound the same, because the writer is the same. That wasn't the case here. Nathaniel, Anna, and Eliza remained true to their own voices throughout... Read the full review on Book Nerds Across America:http://www.booknerdsacrossamerica.com....

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