“The Stars Never Rise” by Rachel Vincent (2015)
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal
Page Length: 368 pages (hardcover edition)
Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she’s too busy trying to actually survive. Her town’s population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.
When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she’ll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie’s sin has put her in serious trouble.
To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?
Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can’t survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her. (description from Goodreads)
The paranormal story trope of demons and exorcists in YA has been done many times before but Vincent makes her story novel innovative and fully action packed. Though I enjoyed the story I still felt like something was missing and I wanted a little bit more from the novel. I would have like to seen more character depth from all of the main characters and for them to be a little more dimensional than flat. Maybe it’s because the “runways with superpowers” story line has been done plenty of times before?
I was also a little annoyed that Nina (main protagonist) and Finn instantly fell for each other at first sight. They just met each other in a short period of time, Nina is still somewhat trying to grasp her new status as an exorcist as well as and Finn’s “condition” and suddenly we’re almost dropping the l-word?
Though those two things bothered me I thought the paranormal aspects and action scenes were exciting. It was cool how the story was set up as the church being the one with all the power to make every decision. The whole city had this “big brother is watching” vibe and citizens felt like constantly had to be good or face the consequences. I would say more, but I don’t want to give a lot away.
Devi is by far the worst of the exorcists/demon fighting runaway group. Readers are supposed to dislike her nasty attitude, but all I could think about whenever she spoke was putting duct tape on her mouth to get her to shut up. Her comments were unnecessary and uncalled for, but on the positive side she does have awesome fighting skills.
A story full of suspense and a town where everything is not what it seems. Though the story is innovative, I felt a bit let down because it fell into a lot of the same YA paranormal story lines I’ve seen before.