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Young Adult Fiction 509
intriguing YA sci-fi
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MADE OF STARS is an intriguing YA sci-fi space adventure. The story begins when Ava is helping to break Shane out of prison on a moon, where he is suffering from the poor treatment. Once free, they head to their home planet and find that conditions have worsened. Their planet is a mining planet where lives are short and work is hard. Their resources have been thinning due to decreased cooperation with other planets, who view them only for their value as miners.

Cyrus is graduating as valedictorian of a military school, and he is given his assignment as capitol security. He travels with a commanding officer to the mining planet and flubs his first mission as it collides with the job Ava and Shane are planning. Soon, the military and Cyrus are after Shane and Ava, who have new purpose after what they learned while conducting their heist. However, nothing is as simple as it seemed and corruption runs deep.

What I loved: This is an intriguing sci-fi read with thought-provoking themes around political ethics, human rights, military training, standing up for what you believe in, family, and friendship. The central plot of the story is what they learn is happening to their home world and the power dynamics that trap populations in unfavorable conditions, including poverty and unavailable/unequal access to resources. Ultimately, the power and importance of standing up for what you believe in/what is right becomes a powerful message through both of the storylines.

This is a really fast-paced and action-packed book with plenty of heist-type storylines that keep the reader on their toes. The heists definitely transform over time, as they take on a darker and more critical purpose, with a hacking expert and a ship jacking expert to keep them seemingly unstoppable.

The setting was unique in that there is an interplanetary system with space travel, but the infrastructure felt familiar as it is reflected in modern global politics throughout history. These connections raise some important questions and themes that add to the interest.

What left me wanting more: Time jumps around a bit in the story, which makes it a bit hard to follow in places, as there are flashbacks interwoven and then sections leap into the future. There is a lot that happens off page, and this takes the reader out of the story a bit as they try to piece together what happened when and how it connects. The number of characters also made it a bit tougher to get immersed in each of their lives and made them feel less three-dimensional. While it was advertised as Bonnie and Clyde, it did not get quite that feel, in my opinion, while I could see some of the connections, but on the other hand, this was something of its own, for which there is also something to be said.

Final verdict: MADE OF STARS is an intriguing YA sci-fi with a lot of action and thought-provoking themes. Recommend for readers who enjoy a fast pace and heisty reads!
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