Thursday, May 30, 2013

REVIEW: And All the Stars by Andrea K. Höst

And All the Stars And All the Stars by Andrea K. Höst
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The plot was interesting, the protagonist was decent, and that’s virtually all the compliments I can give because I didn’t care much for the book. For a book that took place during an apocalypse, the mood was oddly sedated. I blamed the writing.

+ the writing

Superfluous details made the story dull. For example, the book began with Madeleine trying to free herself from a disaster which readers later learned was due to an alien attack, and these attacks were happening all around the world. Sounds like an exciting start, right? But it wasn’t when I read it. I didn’t even blink when Madeleine found herself literally turning Blue and manifesting powers, narrowly avoiding death because very few survived the mutation upon which readers also learn those attacks were biological. I should have felt EMOTIONS, but I didn’t. The first few chapters were dull.

The writing did become more streamlined when characters arrived on the scene and Madeleine was no longer by her lonesome self, but it was never enough to my liking. Throughout my reading, I picked through dialogue and action, trying to filter out extraneous details. I was at least blessed by the fact that the characters were not a frustration and had common sense.

+ the characters

I liked Madeleine. She could have been stronger and less aloof, but she strived whenever there was an obstacle and she never stupidly refused help. I liked how towards the end when the going got tough, the tough got going, Madeleine was tough. I only wish it didn’t took till the end for her to assert herself.

I can’t say I liked the other characters because I never connected with any of them. Everyone read like a blur to the extent that I didn’t even know if character so-and-so was a girl or boy, and honestly couldn’t care less. I didn’t know how many were in the group. The only character I ever got a good grasp on was Emily only because she was the youngest of the group, a fact frequently pointed out, and Fisher only because he was Madeleine’s love interest.

In addition to the writing, the characterization left a lot to be desired.

+ the plot

I didn’t like the way the plot dished its answers. Several questions were raised in the beginning of the book but very little answers were given, and in the times they were given it was by piecemeal. For example, it took a couple pages before readers learn the attack was because of aliens, and a couple chapters more to learn, yup, it was for certain, the world was being invaded by aliens. When the climax hit, the plot dumped its entire load of answers. The plot development was clumsy to say the least but finally I was no longer in the dark and allowed to see the big picture the plot stubbornly kept secret. However, one thing that continued to bemuse me through the ending was the lack of government presence, that is its trivial almost nonexistent role, because civilization in Australia hadn’t collapsed completely to the extend of anarchy and everyone was on their own.

I didn’t like how the ending was when the book finally started to shine. The plot took much time to build up the suspense and couldn’t seem to sustain suspense beyond a few scenes. It didn’t feel like much of an apocalyptic fiction. The twists reminded me of The Host by Stephenie Meyer. Go figure that it was the romance that grabbed most of my attention.

In Conclusion

I rate And All the Stars 2-stars for it was okay. Honestly, I think the book would have been better off if the twists were revealed in the beginning and accept the fact that the book was like the indie version of The Host. In other words, it would have been more interesting as a YA science fiction romance than a YA apocalyptic fiction.

Goodreads | Amazon

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