Curse of Stars by Donna Compositor is currently on a two week blog tour with Xpresso Book Tours and I’m so pleased to be one of today’s stops for this book. A dark fantasy set in another world the book follows teenager Sabi Perez. Check out my review below and be sure to check out the international tour-wide giveaway aswell which has some great prizes!
Sabi Perez is the last Diamond Crier, only she doesn’t know it. Not until a crazed ruler from another world comes to collect her priceless tears and won’t take no for an answer.
Living in New York, Sabi’s seen some nasty things, but the lengths to which her captor will go to keep his crown are things found only in the darkest nightmares. Afraid and alone, Sabi finds solace in her cellmate, Anya, and Cabal, a fellow Crier who also has powers, a rare combination that buys his favor from the ruler. Only it’s a favor he doesn’t want.
In a fit of rage, power erupts out of Sabi, the same power Cabal has, and a spark of hope ignites. Together they may have a chance at escape, something no other Crier has done. Except a ruler hellbent on draining them of every last diamond tear isn’t their only hurdle. If they escape they’ll be hunted to the ends of the earth, if they survive the trek to safety. If they stay the ruler will leech them dry. Sabi would rather die trying than lie down and die, even if that means running away into even more danger.
“. . . vividly imagined and deftly plotted dark fantasy . . .” BookLife Prize in Fiction
Curse of Stars has quite the high-octane beginning, with a chase through New York, when a strange man turns up vowing to take Sabi. Once he achieves his goal the speed of the story slows but Sabi is on a different planet, the planet she was born on. Not that she has any clue any planets but earth even existed. She is a Diamond Crier, quite literally one who cries diamonds, and more than that she is the last of her kind.
Sabi is trapped in a cell with Anya, someone who doesn’t trust easily, and they only see guards and a boy who brings them food Cabal. The three of them hatch a plan to escape but they are living in hell defined so it may take more than luck to carry it out.
Curse of Stars is marked as a young adult novel, yes Sabi our protagonist is a teenager, but beyond that this didn’t have the feel of a young adult novel to me, Many of the themes in this novel as quite adult, the way the book is written is deep and dark and Sabi could easily be middle aged and pulling off the same actions throughout the book.
This really is a dark fantasy, not much goes anybody’s way and a lot of really bad stuff happens. Much of the book, especially the earlier parts, make for uncomfortable reading and there is a lack of hope that goes with reading this novel, even when you feel the hope glimmer something often snuffs it out.
The thing I was disappointed with was towards the end of the book there didn’t seem to be the same commitment to the dark fantasy theme, the level of description and depth of character building seemed to be less intense. I felt like I had read this extremely intense book then about two thirds of the way in it just flaked off a little. I still enjoyed it but it just wasn’t fully committed to the genre as it had been in the beginning and I missed that.
I actually didn’t like any of the characters in this book, which was odd as I did enjoy reading it. But I had a major dislike for Sabi who I know I was supposed to feel empathy for but I just didn’t, I really disliked her and I had times where I hoped she was going to get killed off in a rare plot twist, I found Anya tiresome, and I found Cabal devious.
Donna Compositor has strong writing, her level of understanding of her world translates well in her world building, her characters are three-dimensional, with you left unsure about what will happen next as it is rarely the outcome you would expect, especially within a young adult novel.
Given the way this ended I’m expecting this to be the start of a series so will be interested to see what happens next in this world.
Thank you very much to Donna Compositor for the eARC so that I could review this book honestly.
About Donna Compositor
Donna has been writing since she was in the single digits when she first realized she needed to do something about all the thoughts in her head. After a stint with bad poetry she finally found her way to novels, mainly of the young adult fantasy variety. When she’s not cranking out more stories she works a regular 9 to 5, reads anywhere from 2 to 3 books a week, drinks copious amounts of tea, eats way too much, and makes her own beauty products because her skin turns into a sentient hive if she uses anything else. This is mostly because she lives in the desert where the air siphons water clean out of her. She lives with a man named Steve and several quadrupeds: three cats named Renfield, Sam, and Dean; and a MinPin named Malfoy.
This is a great international giveaway, check out the prizes below. Head to Rafflecopter to enter! Good Luck!
- 1st place: $20 gift card to the eBook retailer of their choice, a glow bookmark, and swag pack
- 2nd-4th places: $10 gift card to the eBook retailer of their choice and a swag pack
- 5th place: a swag pack
Book & Buy Links
Title: Curse of Stars
Series: Diamond Crier #1
Author: Donna Compositor
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Publication Date: 19 February 2017
Review Format: eBook
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US