There Once Were Stars
Published by: Month9Books
Publication date: April 26th 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Peace. Love. Order. Dome. That’s the motto that the Order has given the residents of Dome 1618 to live by. Natalia Greyes is a resident of Dome 1618, a covered city protected from the deadly radiation that has poisoned the world outside for four generations. Nat never questioned the Order, until one day she sees a stranger on the outside of the dome. Now Nat wants answers. Is there life outside the dome and if so, what has the Order been hiding from everyone?
My Rants and Raves of There Once Were Stars
There Once Were Stars is a dystopian novel told in first person, in which we get the feelings, actions, and natural reactions from the main character, Natalia Greyes. From the very beginning, Nat is positioned in situations too heavy for any 18-year-old to handle. But even though Nat can be naive in these situations, she does overcome many trials and matures throughout the book.
I am a sucker for any dystopian read, and There Once Were Stars does not falter from themes of government paranoia, secrets, mystery, empowered rebels, and in this case, a heroine that wants to make a difference. I enjoyed the setting, in which we have societies placed in domes in order to protect citizens from radiation and outside predators. But it is the unknown, the things that lurk outside the dome, that intrigued me the most in this book. As the scientists continue to help humankind survive, Nat is trying to understand her role in her own dome, and where did Evan, a stranger found outside the dome, come from.
There Once Were Stars is a quick read, and action packed. As I was reading the book, I noticed that Natalia is positioned in both adolescent and adult situations one after the other, and she has very little time to think and react; she wants to be independent, but oftentimes she comes off angsty and experiences communication barriers that usually put her in dire situations. Even though Nat can be a bit dramatic at times, she also has a good heart; she naturally wants to help out her friends, family, and those in her dome.
Because we are so focused in Nat’s thoughts, we get limited world-building. But the world-building we do get is encompassed with incredible scenery of a dystopian society that definitely had me wanting more exploration and explanations. I think the sci-fi elements and the mystery behind Nat’s parents’ deaths, intrigued me to focus on the story. I enjoyed the swoony moments that were added to Nat’s fate, but most of all I loved that the story was littered with mystery and twists.
Melanie McFarlane is a passionate writer of other-wordly adventures, a little excitable, and a little quirky. Whether it’s uncovering the corruption of the future, or traveling to other worlds to save the universe, she jumps in with both hands on her keyboard. Though she can be found obsessing over zombies and orcs from time to time, Melanie focuses her powers on writing young adult stories to keep the rest of the world up reading all night.
She lives with her husband and two daughters in the Land of Living Skies.