The Sound of Stars
Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.
Today, seventeen-year-old Ellie Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. With humans deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, emotional expression can be grounds for execution. Music, art and books are illegal, but Ellie still keeps a secret library.
When young Ilori commander M0Rr1S finds Ellie’s library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more.
Humanity’s fate rests in the hands of an alien Ellie should fear, but M0Rr1S has a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous journey with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while creating a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.
Morris finds her books but instead of turning her in, which would result in her execution, he makes a bargain. He will keep her and her family safe in exchange for all the music she can get him. As a labmade, Morris shouldn't be able to feel and certainly should not want to prevent the deaths of the humans. He hides his true nature from the other labmades, as his feelings could result in his termination.
When things come to a head, Morris and Ellie are on the run- and the fate of the world may hang in the balance.
What I loved: There are some really interesting themes in this book about the value of art, the importance of speaking out against injustice, and the need for hope. The end of this book really blew me away, it got much more complex and fleshed out and had some cool surprises. It was also interesting to have a main character who was on the ace spectrum (identifying as demi). I also adored all the love of books and music that make life so special. There are also some interesting undertones about colonization (through the Ilori) and social responsibility.
What left me wanting more: Much of the book is a road trip together, which does have some value and shows the imperfections of human nature. However, this feels a bit dragged out in places, where the pace slows a lot. This does give our main couple time to get to know each other (not an instalove situation) and introduce the universe to the readers.
Final verdict: Overall, THE SOUND OF STARS is an engaging YA sci-fi romance with an intriguing premise and thought-provoking themes. This will definitely be a series worth following. Great for fans of ALIENATED and the LUX series.