Inherit the Stars by Tessa Elwood

Received from NetGalley for review.

3.5 stars

Inherit the Stars is an interesting blend of space, love, and politics, with a young girl trying to save her family and kingdom at its centre. Sadly, it’s not done as successfully as I would have liked.

Three royal houses – Fane, Westlet, and Galton – rule throughout space, each with their own planets, advances, and problems. And that’s about as much as you find out; the world building is severely lacking, as I have no idea how this system came to be, where the houses came from, how their politics work or who everyone is. You are thrown straight into the action of Asa (the protagonist) getting her injured sister, Wren, off a planet, which is brilliant, but there isn’t enough history in the novel to fully grasp the characters and the story. Asa’s house, Fane, is in trouble because of some weird chemical malfunction when they were finding new energy (again, not enough history or explanation about this), and so begins a story of deception, with Asa posing as her older sister and marrying into Weslet to try save everyone. I bet you can guess how that worked out.

The characters were much the same as the plot – lacking. So many characters are introduced that it’s hard to connect with them. I loved Asa at first, she seemed like such a little badass taking her sister’s place, but as soon as she was married she became so weak – she’s bonded into the marriage by blood and nothing can break it, so I don’t see why she couldn’t raise a little more hell instead of being controlled by her own father and in-laws, and acting so subservient to everyone. Her relationship with Eagle (yep, that’s his name) was rather strange, as they seemed to go from hating each other to loving each other in a very short period of time. It’s not quite insta-love, more of an alliance and mutual understanding that changes without any reason; they just suddenly love each other out of nowhere. Very odd. The other characters were largely caricatures of what you would expect from snooty Lords and Ladies – they claim full control over their children and orchestrate everything about them, whilst playing petty mind games.

Inherit the Stars isn’t a bad story – it has buckets of potential – just an underdeveloped one, and its fast paced, action packed narrative doesn’t make up for the lack of world building and character development. Sometimes it was just too much hard work to keep up with all the different names, relationships, alliances, and characters. It was difficult to connect and empathise with anyone because so little was known of a situation, which was especially evident when it came to Asa’s mother. The metaphors the author used are some of the strangest I have ever encountered, as well; practically everything Asa experiences are described with some bizarre metaphor and it became a bit boring after a while. Fun and weird to read, but sadly lacking where it counts.

Read: November 28th-December 2nd 2015

3.5/5 stars

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