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Everyone in the universe knows his name. Everyone in the universe fears him. But no one realizes that notorious outlaw Ia Cocha is a seventeen-year-old girl. A criminal mastermind and unrivaled pilot, Ia has spent her life terrorizing the Olympus Commonwealth, the imperialist nation that destroyed her home. When the Commonwealth captures her and her true identity is exposed Everyone in the universe knows his name. Everyone in the universe fears him. But no one realizes that notorious outlaw Ia Cocha is a seventeen-year-old girl. A criminal mastermind and unrivaled pilot, Ia has spent her life terrorizing the Olympus Commonwealth, the imperialist nation that destroyed her home. When the Commonwealth captures her and her true identity is exposed, they see Ia’s age and talent as an opportunity: by forcing her to serve them, they will prove that no one is beyond their control. Soon, Ia is trapped at the Commonwealth’s military academy, desperately plotting her escape. But new acquaintances—including Brinn, a seemingly average student with a closely-held secret, and their charming Flight Master, Knives—cause Ia to question her own alliances. Can she find a way to escape the Commonwealth’s clutches before these bonds deepen? In this exhilarating edge-of-your-seat sci-fi adventure—perfect for fans of The Lunar Chronicles—debut author Maura Milan introduces our world to a thrilling new heroine.


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Everyone in the universe knows his name. Everyone in the universe fears him. But no one realizes that notorious outlaw Ia Cocha is a seventeen-year-old girl. A criminal mastermind and unrivaled pilot, Ia has spent her life terrorizing the Olympus Commonwealth, the imperialist nation that destroyed her home. When the Commonwealth captures her and her true identity is exposed Everyone in the universe knows his name. Everyone in the universe fears him. But no one realizes that notorious outlaw Ia Cocha is a seventeen-year-old girl. A criminal mastermind and unrivaled pilot, Ia has spent her life terrorizing the Olympus Commonwealth, the imperialist nation that destroyed her home. When the Commonwealth captures her and her true identity is exposed, they see Ia’s age and talent as an opportunity: by forcing her to serve them, they will prove that no one is beyond their control. Soon, Ia is trapped at the Commonwealth’s military academy, desperately plotting her escape. But new acquaintances—including Brinn, a seemingly average student with a closely-held secret, and their charming Flight Master, Knives—cause Ia to question her own alliances. Can she find a way to escape the Commonwealth’s clutches before these bonds deepen? In this exhilarating edge-of-your-seat sci-fi adventure—perfect for fans of The Lunar Chronicles—debut author Maura Milan introduces our world to a thrilling new heroine.

30 review for Ignite the Stars

  1. 4 out of 5

    Geek Furioso

    "Think Throne of Glass set in space" And just like that, you lost me. Have fun guys, I'm out of here.

  2. 5 out of 5

    julianna ➹

    *sobs in asian* this was EVERYTHING I expected and more. I love the cover so much, even the vague and general space nebula background behind the model. Ignite the Stars was the manifestation of everything I’ve wanted in a sci-fi novel: → a badass Asian protagonist → a found family → a slow-burn-as-hell romance → subtle current-day political themes Seriously, Ia is amazing and she knows it. Also, why was this pitched as Throne of Glass in space? This has a similar premise, but the plot goes in a very di *sobs in asian* this was EVERYTHING I expected and more. I love the cover so much, even the vague and general space nebula background behind the model. Ignite the Stars was the manifestation of everything I’ve wanted in a sci-fi novel: → a badass Asian protagonist → a found family → a slow-burn-as-hell romance → subtle current-day political themes Seriously, Ia is amazing and she knows it. Also, why was this pitched as Throne of Glass in space? This has a similar premise, but the plot goes in a very different direction?? (If you don't like this because it's pitched as Throne of Glass, let it be known that this is a lot more diverse!) Sure, she killed people, but those people had killed hundreds before she got her hands on them. It was a bloody, bone-breaking kind of justice, but it was still justice. Ia is a teenage outlaw who’s basically ruthless and untrusting of anyone except her brother. She’s like Kaz but in female, Asian form and in space. And YOU BET she goes through an arc where she finds friends that won’t betray her. 💯👍🏼💯 Brinn is hiding the fact that she’s half-Tawny, part of a widely discriminated against group, by dying her hair brown from its natural shade of blue. She’s basically a freaking genius and I love the subtle political theme behind her patriotism vs. her identity. Knives has a weird as hell name, but I still love him nonetheless. He’s an instructor at the space academy that literally just wants to lay low and do the bare minimum until Ia is thrown in his face, aka the most relatable character ever. This story starts with Ia being captured by the Olympus Commonwealth who decide that the best idea to deal with her is to have her train as a cadet for their military. (The Olympus Commonwealth colonizes a ton, btw.) Ia decides that she'll pretend to go along with this training, but she would gather information to try and break out. She ends up being roommates with Brinn, our half-Tawny. This was really refreshing as a science-fiction because unlike a lot more common science-fictions set in space, this still has many touches of the current world; like the presence of mass media as well the heavier themes of colonization. I feel that a lot of fans of Starflight would really enjoy this book. Her eyes narrowed at him. One day, he would realize that deadly things also come in small packages. Honestly, this had a fairly shaky beginning but by the ninth chapter/around 60 pages I was completely invested in the storyline, the characters, and their relationships. The romance wasn’t a huge plot point as much as our plot was about our characters learning to accept each others/themselves but I still really enjoyed reading it! I want to talk about the growing friendship between Ia and Brinn because it’s my favorite thing on. this. earth. Ia helps Brinn get in touch with her identity as a Tawny by teaching her things she didn’t even know about herself, like their abilities. Ia encourages Brinn to love the Tawny part of herself and I just? 💕💕💖💖💞💕💓💞💓 And then Brinn helps Ia care for others and stays by Ia’s side even through Ia’s personal problems and I just? 💕💕💖💖💞💕💓💞💓💕💕💖💖💞💕💓💞💓 The character development and relationships are seriously the highlight of this entire book and make up for the less original plotline/premise!! (...I saw the plot twist coming from the first chapter.) She'd go along with being a cadet for now, until they'd all forgotten about the Blood Wolf within their ranks. Once their defenses were down, only then would she flash her teeth. I loved the political theme centering around Brinn’s identity as a Tawny. Brinn tries to deny herself being half-Tawny not just by dying her hair, but by pretending as if it doesn’t matter/doesn’t exist. I could really connect to this narrative (even though I’m not biracial), and I’m sure so many other readers will too. There’s a moment in the book where she tries to convince herself that even though she’s Tawny, she wouldn’t be discriminated and then there’s a sinking feeling in her gut that she would be; I feel like this will be a very important book to many people. This book has a lot of discussion about patriotism; Brinn feels proud for the Olympus Commonwealth and feels extremely patriotic about the military while her family doesn’t understand how she can care so much for a place that doesn’t care for her. When she meets Ia, she feels disillusioned as she discovers that the Olympus isn’t as lawful and good as it claims to be. Anyways, I just really loved Brinn’s character development as she becomes more comfortable with her Tawny identity. 💞💕💓 Brinn was technically half-Tawny, but in her eyes, she was a Commonwealth Citizen through and through. Only a Commonwealth Citizen. The couple of qualms I have about this book are mainly about its characterization of Ia. I feel like this book couldn't decide between having Ia being a vicious antiheroine vs. her being misconstrued as a villain when she's really all for justice. (Also, the curse word "mif" was used a lot and all I can say is ....interesting choice.) Overall, this book has such an amazing underlying message beneath its exterior of a space sci-fi and it’s going to be important for so many readers: both for its poc model on its cover and for its underlying political message. I highly recommend this book, for biracial people and poc especially. It's more than just a general science-fiction book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always

    Characters were okay, but the writing was wayy too choppy, and I felt like a lot fo stuff didn’t make sense? + Annoying scifi cursing 😒 Totally shipped the romance though 😍 RTC!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Vicky Who Reads

    5 STARS I've been rendered speechless from this book. Because WOW. WOW. WOW. WOW. So rarely do books that I hype up in my mind actually live up to the ridiculously high standards I make for them, but Ignite the Stars ignited an explosion and blew me all the way past the stars. Literally. The notes section of my phone for this book looks like this: WHAAAAAT AMAZING LOVE IT So I was obviously very articulate the minute after reading it. BUT IT WAS JUST SO GOOD. I mean, Ia, the Blood Wolf, the Asian (!!!) sev 5 STARS I've been rendered speechless from this book. Because WOW. WOW. WOW. WOW. So rarely do books that I hype up in my mind actually live up to the ridiculously high standards I make for them, but Ignite the Stars ignited an explosion and blew me all the way past the stars. Literally. The notes section of my phone for this book looks like this: WHAAAAAT AMAZING LOVE IT So I was obviously very articulate the minute after reading it. BUT IT WAS JUST SO GOOD. I mean, Ia, the Blood Wolf, the Asian (!!!) seventeen-year-old who's doing way more amazing things than I am right now, was such a cool character and quite the badass with a decent moral compass (y'know, for a murderer). So many people will love her and she definitely pulled some very cool (and very wily) moves throughout the story. But I really loved Brinn the most. Brinn was the real star of the novel in my mind. In the novel, the Tawnies have blue hair and are typically refugees of the Olympus Commonwealth who've been greatly discriminated against. And the way Brinn grew throughout the novel--first going to great lengths to hide her blue hair and fit in with her peers, then to finally accepting herself and her identity and most importantly, her people--was the greatest struggle and greatest triumph of this novel. So many multicultural teens these days struggle with accepting their identity, and although nobody's #OwnVoices for Brinn (blue hair, remember?) her story is something that so many people will be able to relate to. How many times have I felt ashamed of my culture and tried to hide it? More times than I should be. I really connected with Brinn and the way she accepted her heritage was really inspiring to me, and something that I found to be one of the most important storylines in this novel. Not gonna lie, I was low key shipping Brinn and Ia, but Knives is cool too. I feel like there's a lot more of his character left to explore than any of the other narrators, so I'm very excited to see what Milan does with him in book 2! Honestly, the star of the show (after Brinn, of course) was the action. The action was so smooth and engaging and never felt stuttered or just lame. The whole book was entertaining, honestly, and I found the dialogue smooth and the conflict with deliciously high stakes. Plus, the betrayals were awesome, although I feel like I expected some of the twists. But it felt okay to me because of how it exposed Ia's character flaws, which was nice to see that she's not the perfect murderess. I do have to note that the tradition begun by Battlestar Galactica continues in Ignite the Stars. Fictional curse words (think Across the Universe or LIFEL1K3, not the benign "stars" in The Lunar Chronicles) are present. (Honestly, I prefer fiction curse words in circumstances like these rather than modern curse words, because it makes no sense whatsoever why this other star system would use our modern curse words. Curse words change throughout centuries (i.e. zounds), so why would they not change across light years?) And it's not like the curse words are totally ridiculous. I believe one is "mung" which is used in the same way as "shit," and it makes sense (not only because it rhymes with dung, but also because sometimes I just dislike mung beans). Overall, I just had such a fun time reading this awesome and super entertaining novel. Plus, the gorgeous model on the cover doesn't make it hurt (and she actually looks like what I envision Ia looks like, so that's also really really great). I definitely recommend to anyone who loves science fiction or who just wants to pick up an awesome book in general? Yeah, you. Thank you so much to Albert Whitman @ BookCon and Netgalley for providing me with an advance reader's copy in exchange for an honest review! Blog | Instagram | Twitter --- OMG MAURA YOU'VE BEEN HOLDING OUT ON US THIS IS AMAZING pre review I'M SORRY WHAT THERE'S A POC ON THE COVER (of the first book!!! not just the cover redo!!!) gah this needs to come sooner please and thank you! cover reveal (look at it it's so beautiful T.T) SEPT. 4th 2018 Y'ALL (see pub date announcement tweet here @librarians). I'm so ready for outlaws in space!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    This is the space adventure I’ve been waiting for! Strong female characters, friendships, slow burn romance and a lots of high stakes missions. YES. Some of the plot threads took me to places I wished for more info on, but it’s only because I loved it and wanted more.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kate (beautifulbookland)

    Space books are difficult for me, mainly because I’m not that intelligent and so can’t really follow along with all the technical space talk, ya get me? But I’m so desperate to love that I keep trying and trying but...I just can’t. I absolutely adored The Lunar Chronicles, but most other sci-fi books fall short for me. Sadly, Ignite the Stars is no different. It was okay, it really was. I liked Ia, our criminal mastermind extraordinaire, but there was just something missing. (On a different note, Space books are difficult for me, mainly because I’m not that intelligent and so can’t really follow along with all the technical space talk, ya get me? But I’m so desperate to love that I keep trying and trying but...I just can’t. I absolutely adored The Lunar Chronicles, but most other sci-fi books fall short for me. Sadly, Ignite the Stars is no different. It was okay, it really was. I liked Ia, our criminal mastermind extraordinaire, but there was just something missing. (On a different note, the name keeps making me sing Rewrite the Stars from The Greatest Showman whenever I read it, so that’s always a plus.) Ignite the Stars is told in three different POVs - Ia, our aforementioned criminal, Brinn, who didn’t really serve much of a purpose outside of her relationship with Ia, and Knives the Flight Master at a prestigious military training school, and also the son of the General who devotes his time to hunting down Ia. When Ia is captured and sent to the academy, Knives is forced to hold her reins - in the form of a device that could stop Ia’s heart within seconds. So, obviously, I shipped it. If this book was told in Ia and Knives’s POVs, I probably would have given this 4 stars instead of 3, but Brinn just dragged this ship down. I skim read the majority of her chapters, because I just couldn’t bring myself to care about her. Ia, however, is a bit of a whirlwind. She’s reckless and brilliant and arrogant and dangerous, just how I like my heroines. Her POV was definitely the highlight of the book for me. For a debut novel, Maura’s writing was really good. The only problem I had with it was the made up curse words. Every time someone said “miff” or “miffing” instead of “fuck” or “fucking”, I cringed so hard. There are a few other made up curses that weren’t quite as bad or overused as “miff”, but I, personally, find it just a little bit silly when authors invent their own curse words. Had this book been fantasy instead of sci-fi, I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more, as I always struggle with space settings, as I said earlier. I would definitely recommend this book if you’re a fan of YA sci-fi books, though, as it definitely has a lot of potential, and I feel like I’m going to be in the minority with my rating of it. *thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for sending me an arc*

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Stoolfire

    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Everyone in the universe knows the outlaw Ia Cocha and fears him. One thing they don't know is that Ia is actually a seventeen year old girl. In reality she is a top notch pilot and a criminal mastermind who has spent her entire life terrorizing the imperalist Commonwealth that destroyed her home. When Ia gets caught by the Commonwealth, they see the truth of her identity as an opportunity. They will force her to serve them and pr I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Everyone in the universe knows the outlaw Ia Cocha and fears him. One thing they don't know is that Ia is actually a seventeen year old girl. In reality she is a top notch pilot and a criminal mastermind who has spent her entire life terrorizing the imperalist Commonwealth that destroyed her home. When Ia gets caught by the Commonwealth, they see the truth of her identity as an opportunity. They will force her to serve them and prove once and for all that no one beyond their control. Before long, Ia is stuck plotting her escape at a Commonwealth military academy. Her new acquaintances, though, Brinn and Knives, cause Ia to begin to question her own alliances. Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan is a YA sci-fi debut and promising series opener. I was really hoping to love it - I mean, the cover and the blurb definitely hooked me. While I liked it well enough, it didn't quite distinguish itself enough for me. There's a lot to like from Ia and Knives, exactly the sort of characters I like to read about, the fast pace, the action, and just how timely the story feels in terms of refugees. Overall, though, the way the story played out didn't impress me in part because it feels very familiar. I couldn't help but compare it to The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and the Starbound series by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, but it never quite reaches those heights. In part, I think that's because there's not a whole lot of world-building. I usually like being thrown into the action right away, but I don't think we ended up with enough to make up for it later on. Looking back on it, I doubt I could go into much more detail about the setting aside from coming up with space or military academy. Finally, I wanted to mention the three perspectives used to tell the story - Ia, Knives, and Brinn. I preferred the Ia and Knives sections to Brinn by far. Brinn's perspective didn't flow as well as it could have and it bogged down the storytelling a little too much. Overall, Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan is a decent YA sci-fi debut. I had really high expectations going in and it didn't quite live up to them. All things considered, though, it's a great first effort and I have a feeling the sequel could be truly great. I have a feeling you'll want to pick up Milan's new novel if you like Marissa Meyer and Amie Kaufman. Thanks again for this opportunity, NetGalley!

  8. 4 out of 5

    ALEXA

    3.5 stars! Even though initially I almost felt like this would be rated lower because the pacing and set-up felt a little clunky, I actually really ended up enjoying myself. It was a fun space adventure (that I could see as a film or tv series with more development)!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔

    More space sci-fi plus an Asian protagonist? SOLD! Not a fan of the cover though so might just get the Kindle edition.

  10. 5 out of 5

    alice (arctic books)

    Full RTC!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Natasha Ngan

    ALL THE YES. A diverse, empowering sci-fi that's at once super accessible and also full of deeper issues, Milan expertly weaving heart-pounding action scenes and swoony romance with real-world themes of imperialism and prejudice. The military-academy setting brings those perfect boarding-school vibes and every character sings off the page. Also, LOVE the realistic portrayal of female friendship, complete with all its problems and unique merits. Yay for bad-ass girls of all kinds!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    Can we please appreciate the cover first? Because not only do I really like it colour-wise, but there is a POC on the cover. All the thumbs up for that. But now, let’s get to the story. Even though I needed quite a long time to get into it, I just read 3/4 of the book in one sitting because… wow. What took me so long in the beginning was that the story is told in three POVs and that each chapter is another character. That made it hard for me to get really into that character in the beginning. But Can we please appreciate the cover first? Because not only do I really like it colour-wise, but there is a POC on the cover. All the thumbs up for that. But now, let’s get to the story. Even though I needed quite a long time to get into it, I just read 3/4 of the book in one sitting because… wow. What took me so long in the beginning was that the story is told in three POVs and that each chapter is another character. That made it hard for me to get really into that character in the beginning. But the more the plot developed, the more I got to know the characters and because they all interacted with each other, it was then easy to follow their stories. Ia certainly is one fierce character. Even though she is never described as being of Asian heritage (at least I think so?), I always imagined her that way, thanks to the cover. In the beginning we already get to know her as a killer with a good heart, even though most people only see the killer and not the good heart. When she is captured and brought to Aphelion, her enemies’ military academy, she tries everything to escape at first. But her brother convinces her to stay and get informations. So she stays but things do not go as planned: she finds friendship and also something more. What I liked about Ia’s chapters was her development and how she herself felt it and described it. How she went from not-caring to caring-very-much. But she stays herself through it all: sassy and brave, smart and quick. The second POV is from Brinn, Ia’s roommate in Aphelion. She is not exactly happy about this, but she soon finds, that it isn’t all that bad, especially when Ia discovers Brinn’s secret. Slowly trust and friendship blossom between the two girls and even though this friendship has its ups and downs, it is a wonderful one. Brinn is extremely clever and so the two make a great team: Brinn the mind, Ia the fighter. Where Ia is hotheaded and talks with fists rather than her mouth, Brinn is more calm and analytical. Brinn also gets a great character development: from being insecure, she learns and accepts who she is. The third protagonist is knives, the Flight Master of the academy and son to a powerful General. Who is also the general who captured Ia. He does not take any shit from Ia and knows just as well where to put a fist, if necessary. Even though the two of them are constantly at each other’s throats, they too, slowly grow together. I liked his character instantly because I liked the way he thinks and the motives that get him going. But not only the characters were amazing, the plot was as well. Even though I still have not completely understood why Ia has to attend Aphelion, I am glad she did. Because so many components come together to form their story around Ia and her associates. And those plot twists? Damn. They really got to me. The whole book was fast paced, but especially the last 100 pages were intense and I could not get my eyes away from the pages. So much happened. I just wish I could read how the story goes on right now. The only thing I would have liked to see more of is the general world building. The essentials were there, but I would really like to know more about how the Commonwealth works, how they treat their colonies, who and what the slaver nations are and who exactly are the criminal associates of Ia’s? And how Dark Space and normal space are interwined and work together or not? Apart from this, I just loved everything. Even though this is a debut, it did not feel like it. The writing was great and easy to read and understand. The characters were wonderful and so was the plot. What a furious debut. Just… give me more of this.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    Ignite the Stars is a fast-paced sci-fi adventure with strong female characters. If you can suspend disbelief to get past the idea that a 17-year-old girl has been the most wanted criminal/rebel in the universe for several years, then this book is a fun ride, with a side of social commentary on immigrants and refugees. It's a strong and very bingeable debut. Ia Cocha is a "criminal mastermind" and talented pilot who has been hiding both her identity and her compassionate heart. When she allows he Ignite the Stars is a fast-paced sci-fi adventure with strong female characters. If you can suspend disbelief to get past the idea that a 17-year-old girl has been the most wanted criminal/rebel in the universe for several years, then this book is a fun ride, with a side of social commentary on immigrants and refugees. It's a strong and very bingeable debut. Ia Cocha is a "criminal mastermind" and talented pilot who has been hiding both her identity and her compassionate heart. When she allows herself to be captured in order to save the lives of Tawny refugees, she ends up imprisoned at a military academy. She is thrown together with Brinn, a student with her own secret who wants nothing to do with the notoriously brutal Ia. Cue political intrigue, teen drama, and spaceships! This was a quick read and while it wasn't exactly ground-breaking, it was done pretty well for a YA sci-fi adventure. We've seen characters like this before, and Ia reminds me a little bit of Celeana Sardothian from Throne of Glass, except in space and without the royal heritage. I appreciated some of the snarky dialogue, the focus on female friendship, and the LACK of a love triangle! (And part of me wanted to see a romance develop between Ia and Brinn even though it didn't go that way. Fanfic anyone?) But probably the best part of this book is the way it handles the othering of refugees and people from minority ethnic backgrounds. It feels very relevant to the world today, and comes with a strong message of accepting who you are and being proud of your heritage, even when people around you are hateful. And that is a great reason to read this. Overall, while this isn't a perfect book, I enjoyed my time reading this and think it's worth picking up. I agreed to review an early copy of Ignite the Stars received via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer H.

    10% in and I knew I was hooked! That doesn't happen near as often as I would like. I'll be the first to say that I am not a big sci-fi YA fan. I can probably count on one hand how many YA sci-fi books I have read and actually enjoyed it. Not my favorite genre, BUT Ignite the Stars is certainly and most definitely the exception and I am so happy that I took the chance. The basic plot honestly reminded me of Divergent in the beginning - a girl is sent to a training "facility" and eventually falls 10% in and I knew I was hooked! That doesn't happen near as often as I would like. I'll be the first to say that I am not a big sci-fi YA fan. I can probably count on one hand how many YA sci-fi books I have read and actually enjoyed it. Not my favorite genre, BUT Ignite the Stars is certainly and most definitely the exception and I am so happy that I took the chance. The basic plot honestly reminded me of Divergent in the beginning - a girl is sent to a training "facility" and eventually falls for one of her instructors/teachers. Granted there are probably a lot of books that I haven't read with that same plot, but Divergent was the one to stick out for me. Having said that, the basic plot is where those similarities end and it becomes its own animal. This story had everything - a fierce heroine and a flawed/conflicted hero that were amazing characters by themselves, but when they got together: chemistry AF and delicious banter (enemies to lovers!!) that would..well..excuse the pun, but would ignite the stars. ;) And if that swoony side piece isn't enough, there's friendships, family, betrayals, loss, a twist that I SO should have saw coming (argh!!), and not 1, but 2 bad guys with very punchable faces - all wrapped into a sci-fi experience really that left me ticked that I read it so early, but also SO excited and ready for the sequel! Gah, I need it! *Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me the opportunity to read and review.* ************************************** Oh, this was good. This was really good! Review to come!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nicole N. (A Myriad of Books)

    You can also read this review on my blog! Guys! This book! 😍 The synopsis immediately grabbed my attention; the cover reveal (Asian model!) made me yearn for this book! So when I saw it on NetGalley, I ignored my looming (physical) TBR and requested the book! It was such a pleasant surprise to know I’d been approved. Thank you, Albert Whitman & Company, for giving me a free, digital copy in exchange for an honest review! I’ve been looking for a book to appease by craving for more sci-fi adventu You can also read this review on my blog! Guys! This book! 😍 The synopsis immediately grabbed my attention; the cover reveal (Asian model!) made me yearn for this book! So when I saw it on NetGalley, I ignored my looming (physical) TBR and requested the book! It was such a pleasant surprise to know I’d been approved. Thank you, Albert Whitman & Company, for giving me a free, digital copy in exchange for an honest review! I’ve been looking for a book to appease by craving for more sci-fi adventure after I finished Obsidio, and let me tell you that Ignite the Stars did the trick! You’re dropped right into the action, and it doesn’t stop until the very end. I fell absolutely in love with our cast of characters and adored how each had their own unique story that eventually intertwined. One of my favorites parts of the story evolved around Brinn, one of the three main characters in Ignite the Stars. She’s biracial, which immediately drew my attention to her, and it’s something she struggles with through the course of the book. She even goes to some lengths to hide the parts of her that the people of the Olympus Commonwealth look down upon, especially with increasing tensions between the commonwealth and other planets. Yet the part Brinn tries to hide is the very part that becomes essential to the plot of the story, and it’s amazing to watch her transformation and acceptance of that fierce, strong part of her. I also enjoyed the deep family ties both Ia and Knives had, Ia with her brother and Knives with his sister. In a sense, these two things brought the characters together in ways they didn’t imagine. And truthfully, I think Ia has depended so long on her brother, Einn, that when things take a dramatic and twisted turn, she has to be quick on her feet even more than usual. I also really liked the premise of Ia being one of the Commonwealth’s most sought after criminal and then everyone’s surprise that she’s a teenager. While I would have liked to see more of Ia’s antics, I definitely enjoyed her wit and strong personality while she’s at the military academy. As for Knives… Looking for another smol book boyfriend? Just add Knives to your list. What’s not to love about him? He puts on a strong front, but he’s a total softie. I loved his interactions with Ia, and how the author chose to bring these two characters together. However, I did find some of the romantic bits between certain pairs of characters a little slow, and think perhaps it happened too quickly, especially for Brinn. Maybe because I just wasn’t expecting it? In terms of the writing style, I found myself drawn to it and completely immersed in this galaxy. I know this book just released a few weeks ago, but I’m eagerly awaiting the next one just so I can return!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Madison Warner Fairbanks

    Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan An epic young adult science fiction adventure. Ia is known throughout the galaxies as a rebel, a fighter, an avenger. When she is eventually caught, many are surprised she is a seventeen year old. This begins her new adventure fighting for her freedom, her life and now her friends. She’s a loner finding her way. The best thing that happens is encountering Knives and Brina. Those two change her life. Epic. Touching. A wonderful story. I received a copy of this book Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan An epic young adult science fiction adventure. Ia is known throughout the galaxies as a rebel, a fighter, an avenger. When she is eventually caught, many are surprised she is a seventeen year old. This begins her new adventure fighting for her freedom, her life and now her friends. She’s a loner finding her way. The best thing that happens is encountering Knives and Brina. Those two change her life. Epic. Touching. A wonderful story. I received a copy of this book at BOA.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Megan (YABookers)

    Disclaimer: I received this free from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. Ia is a criminal mastermind and an unrivalled pilot. Known by the name Cocha, everyone fears her name – she is known as a force against the Olympus Commonwealth, the imperialist nation that destroyed her home planet. Captured, Ia is forced to work for the same Commonwealth she despises. Trapped in a prestigious military academy Ia plots her escape while also bonding with her roommate, Brinn, who has a closely h Disclaimer: I received this free from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. Ia is a criminal mastermind and an unrivalled pilot. Known by the name Cocha, everyone fears her name – she is known as a force against the Olympus Commonwealth, the imperialist nation that destroyed her home planet. Captured, Ia is forced to work for the same Commonwealth she despises. Trapped in a prestigious military academy Ia plots her escape while also bonding with her roommate, Brinn, who has a closely held secret. Her new acquaintances cause her to question her own alliances and she needs to escape the Commonwealth’s clutches before these bonds deepen. Ignite the Stars was a decent science fiction book. It had a decent plot, though it was quite choppy and messy at times and didn’t always flow well so it did sometimes lose me. It had spaceships, military bases, alien races, and ice planets. The pacing was also decent but could have been better. It wasn’t the space adventure I was hoping for because it was primarily set on this military base, but hopefully, the sequel delves more into space action territory and delves more into the ‘world-building’. I also didn’t really like the whole made up ‘miffing‘ cursing thing, it kind of got a little annoying. Ignite the Stars did feature a lot of social commentaries which I enjoyed. Primarily about refugees, war, and colonization. There were three different POVs which made it a little difficult to get into at first but the characters and dynamics between them were the most positive aspect of Ignite the Stars. Ia is a great protagonist, she is fierce, reckless, and arrogant but also kind, sarcastic, witty, and smart. There was a nice slow burn romance with another protagonist, Knives. It was nice and they did have good chemistry together. Overall, Ignite the Stars is a decent read, but it was kind of just that.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alexa

    I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. In YA, it is not uncommon to have teenage protagonists lead armies, or be the smartest, most dangerous person around by the end of the book. Ia is not one of those protagonists. She is already the most dangerous criminal in the galaxy by the time she turns seventeen, and has been building her reputation for years. I admit that this tested my suspension of disbelief, which sounds strange to say in a sci-fi book with aliens. Still I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. In YA, it is not uncommon to have teenage protagonists lead armies, or be the smartest, most dangerous person around by the end of the book. Ia is not one of those protagonists. She is already the most dangerous criminal in the galaxy by the time she turns seventeen, and has been building her reputation for years. I admit that this tested my suspension of disbelief, which sounds strange to say in a sci-fi book with aliens. Still, it was interesting to see how Ia's character arc was in a way the opposite of a standard YA character arc: instead of becoming someone strong and feared, she already starts out that way, and her character arc is instead about letting people close. I loved how this book was told from three different perspectives, how the three protagonists came from very different backgrounds, and how they all had a distinct character arc where they changed the way they view the world. Ignite the Stars also had some genuinely scary/creepy scenes where I could really feel the tension and worry about what was going to happen. I certainly didn't see the twist coming, although that might have been because I didn't want to believe it would come. If this was a standalone, then I really wouldn't be content with the villain, but the end suggests that there's going to be a sequel that puts more focus on that relationship, so I'm holding out for that. I have to say that I'm not sure I like Ia's change of affiliation, though. I can see her loyalty to her friends like Brinn or Knives, but I don't really see any basis for her to have loyalty towards the system they are part of. I'm sure she will still be critical in the future, but this made the ending strange for me. Extra kudos for an awesome female friendship.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shawn

    A Stellar Debut! Ia is the scourge of the All Black. The Sovereign of Dead Space. Rogue of the Fringe Planets. Blood Wolf of the Skies. And she's only seventeen. But he rampage all comes crashing to a halt when the Olympus Commonwealth's army finally catches up to her. They apprehend her, but instead of throwing her into prison for life, they take a gamble, thinking they can use her youth and skills to help in their fight. So instead of a prison colony, they send Ia to Aphelion, a top-secret train A Stellar Debut! Ia is the scourge of the All Black. The Sovereign of Dead Space. Rogue of the Fringe Planets. Blood Wolf of the Skies. And she's only seventeen. But he rampage all comes crashing to a halt when the Olympus Commonwealth's army finally catches up to her. They apprehend her, but instead of throwing her into prison for life, they take a gamble, thinking they can use her youth and skills to help in their fight. So instead of a prison colony, they send Ia to Aphelion, a top-secret training academy for the Commonwealth's most promising cadets. When she arrives, Ia is a reluctant student, plotting her escape every second of the day. While there, though, she meets Brinn, her roommate who's hiding a secret of her own, and Knives, the young flight master who's grown disillusioned with the army after his sister's death and who also happens to be the son of the general who captured Ia. As the weeks pass with no escape in sight, Ia begins to realize that not every cadet is evil. The army has killed many of her own, but she's also killed many of them. In war, both sides pay a price. She begins to form bonds with Brinn and Knives, but is she getting ahead of herself? If she doesn't escape soon, she fears she might become just another Bug, toiling away for a corrupt Commonwealth. Set against a galaxy in crisis, IGNITE THE STARS is rip-roaring fun. With action and adventure on every page. In her debut, Milan writes magnificently. The characters are complex and unforgettable. Each runs into their own moral dilemma and struggles to find a way forward. Fans of THE 100, ILLUMINAE, and THE DIABOLIC will surely want to pick this up.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stef (Noveltea Corner)

    (I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.) I was only a few pages into Ignite the Stars when I got the sinking feeling that I knew this story. Ignite the Starsis a very average young adult science-fiction story with a lot of familiar elements. And I mean ‘a lot.’ Do you recognise any of these tropes and traits: a prickly, mercenary female character, caught and imprisoned and given a chance to redeem herself? A school-like environment (I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.) I was only a few pages into Ignite the Stars when I got the sinking feeling that I knew this story. Ignite the Starsis a very average young adult science-fiction story with a lot of familiar elements. And I mean ‘a lot.’ Do you recognise any of these tropes and traits: a prickly, mercenary female character, caught and imprisoned and given a chance to redeem herself? A school-like environment built upon competition? An inappropriate love-interest that becomes an insta-love situation when said female character shows amazing skills that others don’t have? Roommates who can’t stand each other? They’re all in here, plus more. And they’re not bad things to include in a story - it just felt like it has all been done before and there wasn’t sufficient depth or exploration of any of them to make me feel like I was invested in the story, or the characters. If we want to get technical, there’s nothing wrong with the story or the writing style - it’s alright. It’s easy to read and I’m sure there will people out there who really enjoy this story, especially if you're fans of Throne of Glass or Zenith. It just wasn’t what I was after in a science-fiction story and so I was left disappointed.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Aila

    4.5 stars bumped up for the massive crush I have for the mc, Ia How do I even begin describing this book? Ignite the Stars was grandiose, adventurous, and triumphant. It’s a science fiction that follows the journey of Ia Cocha, a daredevil rebel who’s escaped the clutches of the Olympus Commonwealth more than once. But when she’s finally captured, at the beginning of the book, everyone is surprised to see that she’s a young girl. To increase nationalism and use her as propaganda fodder, the Commo 4.5 stars bumped up for the massive crush I have for the mc, Ia How do I even begin describing this book? Ignite the Stars was grandiose, adventurous, and triumphant. It’s a science fiction that follows the journey of Ia Cocha, a daredevil rebel who’s escaped the clutches of the Olympus Commonwealth more than once. But when she’s finally captured, at the beginning of the book, everyone is surprised to see that she’s a young girl. To increase nationalism and use her as propaganda fodder, the Commonwealth enlists them in their top military academy, the Royal Star Fleet. What they don’t know, however, is that she’s just biding her time for escape, and then she’ll wreck vengeance at all. … Except vengeance doesn’t come easily. Especially when she starts developing feelings towards many of her peers and classmates. Feelings of compassion, empathy, and respect. This makes for a very morally grey situation where Ia (pronounced eye-ah) asks herself - is all she’s doing really worth it? “If she was going down, she was going to do it one way and one way alone. Gloriously.”

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amy Leigh

    I needed a good ya sci-fi and Ignite the Stars gave it to me! This book is intense and I read it in one sitting. I loved that it was written from three point of views. I'm always wondering in other books what the other characters are thinking beyond what the narrator tells us and this author gives you exactly that. I loved Ia as the main character and the character development is well written. This is a beautiful space opera and I can't wait for more! You don't want to miss this beauty! Ia is a s I needed a good ya sci-fi and Ignite the Stars gave it to me! This book is intense and I read it in one sitting. I loved that it was written from three point of views. I'm always wondering in other books what the other characters are thinking beyond what the narrator tells us and this author gives you exactly that. I loved Ia as the main character and the character development is well written. This is a beautiful space opera and I can't wait for more! You don't want to miss this beauty! Ia is a space mercenary and is so cautious that no one knows she is a girl. Knives gets orders to capture the killer known as Ia Coche and bring her to a military training facility to reform her or lifelong imprisonment. She chooses the school of course. Her roommate Brinn is brilliant and between the two of them they are pretty much unstoppable. Ia has an escape plan and only Knives, the General's son, stands in her way. This book will be published September 4, 2018 Thank you to Edelweiss and Albert Whitman & Company for this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    E L E A N O R (bookishcourtier)

    4.25 I really love this! Review to come!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Book_Girl_22

    I read an early version of this and I LOVED it. IA was such a kickass heroine, sarcastic and spunky, while Brinn was a very relatable character I could identify with. The chemistry between the two felt organic and sincere, and I liked that the author spent a good amount of time on their friendship, which often isn't the case in YA novels. But that doesn't mean there wasn't romance! Knives was dreamy and swoon-worthy, and the scenes between him and IA were filled with sparks. The action scenes wer I read an early version of this and I LOVED it. IA was such a kickass heroine, sarcastic and spunky, while Brinn was a very relatable character I could identify with. The chemistry between the two felt organic and sincere, and I liked that the author spent a good amount of time on their friendship, which often isn't the case in YA novels. But that doesn't mean there wasn't romance! Knives was dreamy and swoon-worthy, and the scenes between him and IA were filled with sparks. The action scenes were also so amazing!! Reading it was like watching a fun, sci-fi movie! I also thought the subject matter concerning refugees was very pertinent to the times we live in. I recommend this book to anyone who likes sci-fi and YA fiction, and anyone looking for smart, action-packed writing.

  25. 5 out of 5

    McKenzie Dean

    Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed below are entirely my own. I started reading Ignite the Stars with such high hopes for these characters and their story. And, for the last third of the book, everything was perfect. It was the first two thirds that had me falling asleep and rolling my eyes. To begin, let me list the things I loved about this book. I love that there is a person of color on the c Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed below are entirely my own. I started reading Ignite the Stars with such high hopes for these characters and their story. And, for the last third of the book, everything was perfect. It was the first two thirds that had me falling asleep and rolling my eyes. To begin, let me list the things I loved about this book. I love that there is a person of color on the cover of Ignite the Stars. That alone had me so excited for this story! I also enjoyed reading from Ia’s point of view. She was the most interesting character in the story and when she was narrating, the story was absolutely amazing. She’s cunning and ruthless and doesn’t take no for an answer. Watching Ia grow as a character throughout the book was one of my favorite things. She begins to understand that everything and everyone around her aren’t necessarily the enemies she thought they were. Knives’s point of view was my second favorite. He wasn’t as interesting as Ia, but the parts he narrated were equally as memorable and action-packed. Now, unfortunately, there were several things I didn’t like so much. The main thing was Brinn’s point of view. Her character was largely unnecessary, other than her role in her relationship with Ia and a bit at the end of the book. She was mostly there as the “smart” character, but her intelligence wasn’t utilized until the last fifteen percent of the book, which I found to be a waste. When she narrated the story, it didn’t flow as well and nothing happened. Another thing I disliked was the made-up curse words. They were overused and silly, and most of the time I had no idea what the character was really trying to say. Normal curse words would have served the author’s purpose just as well and would have made the story flow so much more easily. One thing I found confusing was the device installed in Ia’s heart at the beginning of the novel. It is meant to be able to cause heart failure in the case that she tries to escape custody (which she does, repeatedly). For me, this is completely unrealistic. I realize it’s a sci-fi novel and “anything goes,” but heart failure? Could the device not have just caused pain in order to stop her in her attempt? The device controls her heart, so it can easily reverse heart failure, but still. Come on. How about a simple sedative released into her bloodstream? It would have solved several of the problems Ia’s captors have in keeping her in line and it’s far less life-threatening. One last thing that I didn’t enjoy was the pacing and the writing. Both were choppy in places and made the story feel almost incomplete. It distracted me more than once, which is one of the reasons it took me an age to finish reading it. Overall, this is a decent Young Adult Sci-Fi debut. There was just something missing for me personally and the story didn’t distinguish itself enough from the rest of the genre. There were several elements I recognized, some from the Lunar Chronicles, some from the Illuminae Files, and even some minor references to Harry Potter. I had high expectations going in and, unfortunately, Ignite the Stars just didn’t live up to those expectations.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Anne (The Reading Life)

    I am like, at least 99% sure that they updated the synopsis, because when I first came across this book, I swore it said: "Think Throne of Glass set in space". Although it definitely succeeded in catching my attention, I also became extremely wary. Throne of Glass? Those are some very big shoes to fill. Never the less, I still try to give this book a chance, because how am I going to pass that up? I'm going to start off first by saying that I think they made the right decision to get rid of the lin I am like, at least 99% sure that they updated the synopsis, because when I first came across this book, I swore it said: "Think Throne of Glass set in space". Although it definitely succeeded in catching my attention, I also became extremely wary. Throne of Glass? Those are some very big shoes to fill. Never the less, I still try to give this book a chance, because how am I going to pass that up? I'm going to start off first by saying that I think they made the right decision to get rid of the line comparing it to Throne of Glass, because personally, this book does not live up to that title. Not because this book was bad or not fun to read at any means, just that I cannot find any real similarities between the two on the top of my head. The only one that I can think of immediately is that this book has multiple POVs. That's it. Setting a work to be one thing when it's not and getting expectations in the wrong place is a perfect formula for failure. It will disappoint the audience even if the work itself is not bad, and I've seen so many books and movies destroyed because of this false marketing. So I'm glad they got rid of it. But don't leave it! Do not give up on this book now that I said I don't think it's like Throne of Glass at all.  I was really, really scared this is going to be a bad, or worse, just another mediocre book. I just finished a really good book, and so I was expecting this one to be bad because usually, right after you've hit a jackpot, the next one is not as good (or really bad). I was (I'm not exaggerating) shocked that this book is actually...good. Oh my god, this book is actually good. Aside from how well constructed this science world building was as well as those FANTASTICALLY written character developments (I'll elaborate on those later), I first really need to praise the portrayal of Ia.  Ia actually seems like who she was supposed to be. Her portrayal actually made it believable that she would be the most wanted criminal (and the best one) in the entire galaxy. I am so surprised about that. Now it may seem like "why are you so surprised about that, isn't that something that was just expected?". Here's the thing, the idea of Ia is actually a really common trope. How many young adult books out there are featuring a main character that is "the best in (something) in the (somewhere)"? It's even more common for them to be something like "the best criminal" or the "best assassin", because since these two professions are a bit more aggressive, it'll make them easier grounds for an author to portray a real savage and bad - a** heroine. Also, a lot of people like these tropes, so these books are definitely targeted toward that audience. But more often than not, none of those characters really live up to their reputation up to a believable level. In other words, the author fails to actually execute the portrayal enough for them to truly be believable. The mannerism may not fit, the attitude and narration tone may also not have lived up. You'll also be surprised that the authors so many times just plain out fail in letting these "masterminds" reach the level of ability that actually makes sense and proves why they're the best. These are all technical character portrayal problems. There are two things the authors did that aid her in successfully excluding herself from that category of authors. First off, she used the perspective of Ia to its absolute complete filled-to-the-brink potential in letting us understand how her mind works (and in result shows lets us see for ourselves why she was the best). It was actually the first thing I noticed about her narration, and that was how she actually thinks like a criminal. The fact that I felt like her narration and mindset was different than a normal person made me realized how used I was to criminals that are not like criminals like all. It was because this was finally different, finally like a criminal that I noticed. She definitely had the out-of-ordinary precision and the habit to observe and memorize everything in her surroundings that a criminal (should) always have, and her pristine calculations she makes under pressure proves itself why she is the best.  Another thing that stood out in her narration is her (definitely rightfully earned) arrogance/confidence (depending on your perspective). She was actually confident, and she knows she's good. This truly made me realize how much the other books are lacking this specific tone with their criminals. Those characters are literally legends, and there's a reason why they are so widely known (and most wanted). They should be confident, if not just plain out cocky. It doesn't mean the protagonist is a trash person. Is just that they know they are the absolute best, which they freaking are.  This also reminded me to mention how the author did a great job in not making all the characters have the exact same tone in their narrations for the different characters. Great job on that too, I can actually tell the difference in the tone and attitude when reading them. That indubiously reflects on superb writing. The multiple switching POVs were also well-constructed and organized, so it did not feel like it was a whole jumbled up mess. Excellent  Job. The author also nailed her goal in having a complete character arc for three different characters with three different perspectives. She was also smart enough to make it work by intertwining those arcs together so that it can all work, while at the same time it would not have to last too long.  Everything about this story just screams to me excellent technique and excellent writing. You also know this book is good when this book doesn't even have that good of a hate-love relationship, and I still couldn't put the book down. Because for once, I really enjoyed this book not because of the relationships, but because of its story.  And this is coming from the person that 9/10 like a book if it has a really good hate-love relationship (because an actual interesting story has been kind of hard to come across these days). SO YOU KNOW HOW BIG THIS IS. Let's just say that no one can be more surprised than me to how much I actually enjoyed this book (and how good this book is).

  27. 5 out of 5

    laurel [suspected bibliophile]

    DNF at 27% On paper, this book is everything I ever wanted in a YA sci-fi. Found family. LGBT rep. Diverse MC (mainly Ia, who is Asian). Political themes that tie in to the present day. That gorgeous cover. And yet. I couldn't suspend my disbelief long enough to work through to the rest of the story. Merciless galactic criminal mastermind at 17? Okay, sure. 19-year-old Flight Instructor? Sure. Sure. Scared immigrant who joins the military out of a misplaced patriotism? Okay, yeah. Military Academy that DNF at 27% On paper, this book is everything I ever wanted in a YA sci-fi. Found family. LGBT rep. Diverse MC (mainly Ia, who is Asian). Political themes that tie in to the present day. That gorgeous cover. And yet. I couldn't suspend my disbelief long enough to work through to the rest of the story. Merciless galactic criminal mastermind at 17? Okay, sure. 19-year-old Flight Instructor? Sure. Sure. Scared immigrant who joins the military out of a misplaced patriotism? Okay, yeah. Military Academy that pops out amaze-balls pilots in two years and only has three occupational specialties for people to go into? WHERE THE MIFF IS MY LOGISTICS AND SUPPLY SECTION?! (view spoiler)[Yes, I get that engineers cover all-of-the-unmentioned, but plane maintenance does not for one second cover other maintenance of equipment, nor do maintainers get the parts from place to place, figure out the food and ammo situation, and basically keep things running while the fly-people do their zippy space things. Give SuppOs and Loggies some love for like one minute. I'm begging you. (hide spoiler)] Where do the people who board the space ships in combat gear come from? How the hell does the General acquire a new medal every month when they're theoretically at peace? Where is the military discipline in this famous academy and why the hell would you ever enroll the galaxy best murderer much less give her a roommate???! Plus, literally every time someone is mentioned there is something going on with their hair...and 76% of time their hair is mentioned, so is the hair color. I mean, I get it for Brinne, who naturally needs to hide her blue hair because her people are scorned, but does it really need to be reinforced that Ia has ash-black hair and Knives is the fairest blond in all the land? How I imagine the dialogue between characters, honestly: And Ok. Rant over. I'm very, very certain that this book will find an audience with many, many people. I just couldn't get over the military aspects of the book. And the hair. And the use of miff as a substitute for fuck/piss/shit/crap (i.e., "this miffing sucks" and "my dad was miffed") and then munge for hell/shit. And Ia was annoying as hell. Hopefully she gets over herself, but I'm not sticking around to find out. I received this ARC from Edelweiss for an honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey

    **I was provided an ARC of this amazing story from the publisher in exchange for an honest review** Okay, holy crap. I've had to take a couple days after finishing this to form a coherent review. Let me start by saying that SciFi/Space type books are NOT my thing. Well, they weren't my thing...but this book changed my mind. I was sucked in right from the start. Ia is the main character. She is a badass. She is fearless and ruthless and strong. Also, she is passionate. Everything she does, she does w **I was provided an ARC of this amazing story from the publisher in exchange for an honest review** Okay, holy crap. I've had to take a couple days after finishing this to form a coherent review. Let me start by saying that SciFi/Space type books are NOT my thing. Well, they weren't my thing...but this book changed my mind. I was sucked in right from the start. Ia is the main character. She is a badass. She is fearless and ruthless and strong. Also, she is passionate. Everything she does, she does well and at full speed. I'm not sure how much to go into her story, because I'm not sure what will be considered a spoiler, and learning about Ia is one of the best parts of this book. Knives is the hunky, broody, talented flight master. He's snarky, smart, strong, and very likable. He has emotional depth and his story is touching and realistic. Brinn is the other badass female in this story. Brinn has to hide who she is for most of the story and is affected by that choice and what it means. Brinn is loyal, fierce, and smart. I love Brinn and Ia's friendship/frenemy status. I can't tell you the last time I read a book and wasn't annoyed with at least ONE character. This book is on point. I loved all the characters and all the side characters (even the evil ones were written well and you connected with them, even if it was just hating them). The story is fast paced and moves along nicely in terms of events happening and emotion. There is NEVER a dull moment in this book and I couldn't stop thinking about what would happen and what twists would take place. Let me tell you, the twist ending is not something I saw coming. I can not wait for book 2 to be here!! Also-- I need some chocofluff in my life. Like...now.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I was pretty sure I'd enjoy this, but I absolutely underestimated how MUCH I would enjoy it. I was totally hooked and had a hard time putting this down. I read the second half of it pretty much in one go. I loved the characters, I loved the way different perspectives were manipulated and used to tell the story. I loved that the romances were largely subtle and in the background and I believed them (though I might've believed it more if it was queer but). The ending was stellar and the stakes wer I was pretty sure I'd enjoy this, but I absolutely underestimated how MUCH I would enjoy it. I was totally hooked and had a hard time putting this down. I read the second half of it pretty much in one go. I loved the characters, I loved the way different perspectives were manipulated and used to tell the story. I loved that the romances were largely subtle and in the background and I believed them (though I might've believed it more if it was queer but). The ending was stellar and the stakes were always high. I think some of the science/space-y explanations were a little clunky, but I got enough of the gist that I could follow along. I just absolutely recommend this book. Especially if you've been a fan of the one-off Star Wars movies like Rebel One and Solo.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amy • A Magical World of Words

    My blog: A Magical World Of Words 4.5 stars. OK so please just do yourself a favour and read this book. It's only publishing later this year so I guess that explains why it hadn't been hyped so much yet, BUT I'M TELLIN' YOU IT SHOULD BE HYPED because it is amazing. It is easily one of the best sci-fi novels I have ever read. Just read it. The writing is excellent. The book might be a debut, but the writing does not feel like that of a typical debut's. It's absolutely genius. It's stellar. The plot My blog: A Magical World Of Words 4.5 stars. OK so please just do yourself a favour and read this book. It's only publishing later this year so I guess that explains why it hadn't been hyped so much yet, BUT I'M TELLIN' YOU IT SHOULD BE HYPED because it is amazing. It is easily one of the best sci-fi novels I have ever read. Just read it. The writing is excellent. The book might be a debut, but the writing does not feel like that of a typical debut's. It's absolutely genius. It's stellar. The plot is insanely good. There's tons of chilling, adrenaline pumping action, but also a fair amount of beautiful, quieter scenes, and the whole sorry is so exciting, fun, and fast-paced. I also adore the humour, which lends itself to some awesome laugh-out-loud moments, too. Overall, the plot is just amazing. Oh! And I also have to mention the ending/climax! Without giving spoilers, let me just tell you how absolutely perfect it is. I cried, I laughed, I didn't think it was possible to love the book more, but I did. The ending is perfect in every way. But I found the world building disappointing. It is intriguing, but it's a bit confusing too. I wanted more explanations and details. It's quite limited and all over the place. This girl was a child of violence. She had suffered and survived. That was a part of her, but what about the girl who had teased him five minutes ago? Where did she fit in? Was she a mirage, a mere trick of the eyes? Did that person really not exist at all? His eyes traced the elegant line of her neck as she swiveled around to face him, her eyes sparking like collapsed stars swallowing up the surrounding light. She was a dark star, a black hole in the endless sky, and if he got too close, he would surely disappear. He knew all this, but even then, he couldn’t turn away from her. The characters are brilliantly written. Everyone is so real and human, with lots of depth and development, and the chemistry between everyone is insane, too. It's just incredible. I love the three leads: Ia, Brinn, and Knives. They're all so different but all equally compelling, and the depth and development they each get is amazing. I fell in love with all of them. They're three of the best main characters I've ever read about; Ia's arrogant but she's fierce, Brinn's insecure but she's a whizz with numbers, and Knives is tormented but passionate. I absolutely love and appreciate what they each contribute to the story. The romance!! Oh my word it's perfect. Knives and Ia start off fighting and trying to kill each other so of course I'm reading it grinning and shipping them hardcore, and the development of their relationship is stunning. I ship them so much. Female friendship!! Oh my gosh this is a female friendship to rival even Inej and Nina's. Almost. But seriously, Brinn and Ia's friendship is beautiful. They start off disliking and distrusting each other, but soon get to see the heart of the other person and what they're hiding, what they fear, and what they're fighting for. It's lovely and heart-wrenching to watch. And even though I shouldn't really say too much about the climax, it is the perfect example of girls having each other's backs. It's magnificent. Ignite the Stars is a breathtaking tale of love, friendship, and inner healing and growth. It's exciting and brilliantly written, but its characters give it its invincible heart.

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