Aug 23, 2016

There Once Were Stars by Melanie McFarlane || Blog Tour Review with Giveaway

There Once Were Stars by Melanie McFarlane book cover

I HAVE THE pleasure of hosting Melanie McFarlane, author of There Once Were Stars. Please join me in celebrating the release of her book available as of April 26, 2016. Read on for details about the book, my review, and author information. Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post for a chance to win a copy of the book!




Peace. Love. Order. Dome. That’s the motto that the Order has given the residents of Dome 1618 to live by. Natalia Greyes is a resident of Dome 1618, a covered city protected from the deadly radiation that has poisoned the world outside for four generations. Nat never questioned the Order, until one day she sees a stranger on the outside of the dome. Now Nat wants answers. Is there life outside the dome and if so, what has the Order been hiding from everyone?

Publication Date is April 26th 2016: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Published by: Month9Books
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

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book review rating 3 out of 5

IN A FIELD saturated with conventional dystopian novels, There Once Were Stars, by Melanie McFarlane, is a story with a distinctively haunting quality that not only pulled me in, it also left a memorable impression.

In the aftermath of the Cleansing War, the Order has established covered cities to protect survivors from the poisonous radiation left after the war. Natalia Greyes is a resident of Dome 1618. She’s lost both her scientist parents on an expedition outside of the Dome. This solidifies the Order’s propaganda that life beyond the Dome is impossible until she sees Evan—The Outsider. His appearance has Natalia questioning the Order and everything she’s been taught to believe.

When I discovered that Natalie was 18 years old, I was thrilled. Yes! Then I discovered she was child-like. Eek! I really thought that I would be able to relate to a slightly older heroine. I was sadly disappointed. Natalia’s personality was unexpectedly immature with insecurities, self-pity (she cries a lot), and defiance—a combination that just didn't work very well for me. However, as the story unfolded, I did warm up to her. For all her faults, Natalia is admirable in her compassion for others.

The enigma that is Evan draws a curious Natalia to him and an instant attraction begins. However, Natalia’s childhood friend, Jak Manning, is also vying for a place in her heart. I found the flirting between Evan and Natalia fun to read. Though, I always felt that those moments were juxtaposed with more severe scenes in the story, and thus the romantic interludes were a bit awkward. Compound that with an insecure Natalia who seems to doubt Evan’s honest intentions, and it becomes more like an angst teenage affair than a riveting love story.

Despite the uncompelling love triangle and a few other lowlights that have punctuated this otherwise fairly engaging dystopian fiction, Ms. McFarlane delivers one of the most exciting endings I've had the pleasure of reading. The exhilarating conclusion had me racing with Evan and Natalia as they try to save the people in the Dome, even as their progress is thwarted at every turn by an insular government poised to protect itself.  Fervent fans of science fiction dystopian will be highly rewarded with this rip-roaring conclusion.

{ I received this title in exchange for my honest opinion. Thank you, especially to the author and publisher, for kindly giving me an opportunity to review this title. }



Melanie McFarlane

Melanie McFarlane is a passionate writer of other-wordly adventures, a little excitable, and a little quirky. Whether it’s uncovering the corruption of the future, or traveling to other worlds to save the universe, she jumps in with both hands on her keyboard. Though she can be found obsessing over zombies and orcs from time to time, Melanie focuses her powers on writing young adult stories to keep the rest of the world up reading all night.

She lives with her husband and two daughters in the Land of Living Skies.

Find Melanie McFarlane: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Wattpad | Instagram



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