Review: 'The Stars Never Rise' by Rachel Vincent

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Stars Never Rise
Rachel Vincent

Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she's too busy trying to actually survive. Her town's population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.

When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she'll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie's sin has put her in serious trouble.

To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?

Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can't survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.

The Big Picture: 

Overall, I felt a little disappointed in this book. I was expecting something else entirely.
Nina was terribly boring. She would be an ordinary poor person in this world if she didn't have her powers. On top of that, I didn't like her flat personality. Her loyalty to Melanie was admirable, though.
The plot was just okay. The action scenes were pretty amazing. And that breakout? Awesome.
I did not like the romance. I didn't. At all. It was too quick and uncalled for. The two characters barely had chemistry. It (the romance) seemed for form for no reason.
The ending was a cliffhanger. I hated how it ended so abruptly, but I can't wait for book two.

Travel Companion:

If we traveled with the main character Nina Kane, she would be:

The Thief

She would steal things. She would steal to feed her sister and mother. She would steal for money. She would be good at it, but she would get caught sometimes.
We would meet her during one of her takings. We would stop her and ask her to return the stuff. She would refuse and tell us her story. (Quickly, of course. She wouldn't want to get caught because of a little chat.) We would take her with us and let her stay with us for a bit. We would hang out and get used to her personality. We would invite her to join us, and she would join us on our adventures to escape her reality.

I didn't particularly like Nina. I thought she was too boring. She didn't have much going for her. Okay, you're an exorcist. I get it. Do you have any other qualities?
She was pretty ordinary. Sure, her thievery was pretty interesting, but she wasn't anyone special. Nothing about her wowed me. I felt like there could have been more.
Her personality wasn't stunning either. Her personality mostly consisted of her being stunned into silence or accusing people. She didn't make snarky remarks like Finn or Devi. She wasn't uber-kind like Reese or Grayson. She was kinda in the middle. Nothing about her stood out. 

The Adventure Begins (And Ends):

The plot was okay. It wasn't anything too interesting. I wasn't wowed by it. It seemed to move slowly but not too slowly. The majority of the book was them thinking and moaning and laughing and doing stupid things. I felt like they really weren't on the run. It wasn't even like they were hiding at times.
I liked the action. That was pretty great. The exorcists really knew what they were doing. And they did it well. And they had fun doing it. I would love to fight with them.

There was one problem, though. It felt like Nina knew how to fight even without training. And I don't believe that. You have to train. Your exorcist senses can't always help you. I hope they train her in book two. I felt like she got lucky most of the time when she fought the degenerates.

I'll Wait For You At the Gate:

The romance was quick, and I didn't really like it. There was no reason for it.
The two didn't have chemistry. They just didn't click. Why did Finn like Nina? I don't know. Nina was boring and dull. Finn was exciting, though. He was pretty interesting. I'd rather read about things from Finn's perspective. These two just didn't mix well.
I felt like the romance was there to just be there. A little 'aw' factor. I didn't like that. Everyone seemed to pair off as well. Reese and Grayson. Maddock and Devi. Who else? Who's next? Step right up and be paired up! You'll definitely find love and NEVER break up!

Perks and Upgrades:

I loved the world. I really did. It had many layers to it. And we got some background information from the mini quiz Nina gave Melanie. We learned about the demons and what happened. It wasn't a detailed world, but it was definitely interesting. Souls and demons. And degenerates. Exorcists. Etc etc etc.
And I thought Finn's predicament was unique to this book. It was a great idea. I thought it was really cool. The thing I had a problem with was that he seemed like Superman because of it. Doesn't he get tired? Or have someone who isn't willing? I felt like he needed some restrictions. You can't just body jump whenever and wherever you want to.

I loved the family and friends elements added in. Books that emphasize family and friends get a +1 just for that.

Nina was a pretty good older sister to Melanie. She cared for her and would do anything for her. Which I liked. And Melanie would do anything for Nina. These two are an admirable pair.
The friendships were pretty great. The exorcists really worked well together. They were in sync. I can't say my friends and I communicate through steely glares and invisible, telepathic conversations, though. These guys were a team. They were family to each other. I thought that was nice.

You Have Arrived at Your Destination:

That cliffhanger... The ending had lots of tension. I felt like the plot just dropped. And I didn't know what to do. I said, out loud, "That's the acknowledgements?" I was wondering where the story had gone. It disappeared. I wanted more.
The cliffhanger assures me one thing, though. There will be a sequel. And, because of the cliffhanger, I'll be reading the sequel to find out what happens next. (Mostly because of Finn.)




  1. Agh, this does seem a little dry and plan. :( I've seen the cover around but haven't really read any reviews, but it dooooesn't seem one I'll be rushing out after (although yay for epic cliffhangers!) I'm not a fan of those sort of thrown-in romances. ;(
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    1. Yeah. It was disappointing. I was so excited for it! Sigh... Not all books can be burning stars, I guess.
      Epic cliffhangers can be annoying. Adds a book to my TBR list. -groans- My growing TBR...
      Yeah. Romance is everywhere now. I'm like, 'CAN'T THEY BE FRIENDS?!?!'