There’s always been a mystery to Vika Hale’s life. Ever since she was a child, she’s had an unknown benefactor providing for her and her family, making sure that Vika and her sister received the best education they could. Now, Vika longs for a bigger life than one as a poor barmaid on a struggling planet, but those dreams feel out of reach. Until one day Vika learns that her benefactor was a billionaire magnate who recently died under suspicious circumstances, and Vika has shockingly been included in his will. Invited to live on a glittering neighboring planet, Vika steps into a world she can hardly believe is real.
The only blight on Vika’s lavish new life is the constant presence of Sky Foster, a mysterious young man from Vika’s past who works for her benefactors. She doesn’t like or trust Sky, but when she narrowly escapes an explosion and realizes someone is targeting the will’s heirs, Vika knows Sky is the only one who can help her discover the identity of the bomber before she becomes their next victim. As Vika and Sky delve into the truth of the attacks, they uncover a web of secrets, murder, and an underground rebellion who may hold the answers they’ve been looking for. But Sky isn’t who he seems to be, and Vika may not escape this new life unscathed.
Title: The Stars Between Us
Author: Cristin Terrill
Publication Date: August 2, 2022
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: Young Adult/New Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
While this wasn’t my favorite book of Terrill’s, it was still an enjoyable right with incredible and unique worldbuilding.
I have to start with the worldbuilding because it is just so good! If everything else in this book stunk (which it didn’t), I’d still recommend this book just because the imagery and uniqueness of the settings are so wonderful. Terrill has created this world with multiple planets, unique foods, animals, and even vocabulary. I was so impressed by how different and intriguing it all was. Even still, it was easy to grasp and understand as the story progressed. I didn’t find myself getting negatively lost in the new world and its vocabulary.
There was a common theme of being and feeling used. Many of the characters were either being used, feeling used, or were using. I thought this was interesting, especially considering so much of this book talked about money and the lows and highs that come with it.
This book is told in a dual pov (sorta) and Terrill really makes use of it. She even pulls a sleight of hand with them similar to The Kiss of Deception. I won’t say too much on that since it’s important to the story.
Now onto the characters. Vika, one of our main characters, is interesting because she’s almost a morally gray character. She’s not quite all good, but definitely not quite bad. She’s a little selfish and rude, but also mindful and strong. There are a lot of facets to her that are so intriguing. Just when you think you have her figured out, she does something to surprise you. She kept me on my toes throughout the book even if the plot didn’t.
Sky, our other main character, was just the sweetest creature alive. At first, I wasn’t sure what to think of him, especially with all of Vika’s negative thoughts about him floating around, but I ended up loving him so much. He’s thoughtful, a bit reserved, and cares so much for those around him. He deserves all the planets in this world!
Hal, a major side character, was also quite interesting to me. We watch him change gradually throughout the book into a completely different guy than who he started as. And, of course, he has his own secrets which make him a little more interesting. I didn’t expect to become so invested in him.
Mira and Ariel are also just the best. Mira is so sweet. And Ariel is the best matchmaker around. Plus, she has a cool name wink wink
The romance…I feel like we don’t really get into the romance of this book until the second half? Sky is adorable and has all these adorable feelings for Vika, but we really don’t see anything romantic happen until the second half of the book. While I wish something more would have happened towards the beginning, I loved what we got at the end. As I said before, Sky deserves all the planets and stars and suns in the world.
Unfortunately, the big mystery of the book was really quite obvious. I wouldn’t have minded so much if it hadn’t been such an important revelation for the plot. There were a couple of small plot twists that I really enjoyed which almost made up of the obvious reveal, but not quite.
Another big negative for me is that this book had little to no action. It was very strange and unexpected for Terrill. I usually expect sci-fi books, especially ones that have rebel groups and murder plots, to have an action-filled plot, but this one didn’t. There were a couple of fast-paced moments, but they would barely last a chapter if that. Instead, the book tried to take on a more Gossip-Girl/Bridgerton feel that didn’t quite come through. Many parts were still dull or seemed to be filler chapters for the ‘real’ plot of the book.
Overall, this was a good book. I will admit I was disappointed as this is not what I’ve come to expect from Terrill, however, this was still an enjoyable book.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed a gifted and advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.