Ignite the Stars

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Aug 2018

Member Reviews

This story pulled me in so much quicker than I expected! I loved it so much and couldn't put it down!
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Fantastic and fast paced--a new sci-fi series focused on social justice and diversity, which will likely be a big draw for teens in your library.
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There's nothing I love more than something described as "throne of glass but set in space," along with badass female protaganists and representation, even if the plot was perhaps a bit predictable. But all in all, it was super entertaining and fun, and just the kind of sci-fi romp and adventure I was looking for.
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Finally an Asian lead! I absolutely loved everything about this book. I also enjoyed the fact that there wasnt any insta-love. I absolutely hate books that do that. The lead is amazing and I cannot rave about this book enough!
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I was not expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did. If it was not finals week I was have totally binged read it. Milan creates such a unique universe. I loved the little sayings and the otherworldly creatures that were included. Also, this was apparently touted as Throne of Glass in space and like I see it if I squint but they are two completely different stories.

Ia is an awesome character and I really enjoyed how Milan wrote her. She is brooding, caustic, has quite the bloodlust, and DOES NOT GIVE A MIF WHAT YOU THINK. I mean her nickname is "Blood Wolf of the Skies" and if you don't consider that to be badass then I don't know what you will. But under all that, she is compassionate and will do anything for those that she loves. Family is a huge part of her life and in this book and that is all I am going to say about this topic because of hella spoilers.

One thing that I was, for lack of a better term, disappointed in was her age. She is 17 and it did not seem so realistic to me for her to have gone through some of the things that have happened. Like she got a neural implant put in when she 13 and was involved in a major battle when she was 16 or so. I don't know if it is the fact that I cannot believe that I am 3 years older then her and she has done all of this already (yeah, that was an unsettling moment) or what but I do wish that she was older. And this was also with the other characters as well. For example, Knives, her flight instructor among other things, is 19 and he is already one of the best pilots in the country. And speaking of Knives, I don't ship him and Ia. They are not "official" but I can see that Milan is taking them in that direction and I just don't feel it but maybe in the next book I will warm up to the idea. I hope that Milan keeps Ia and Brinn's friendship and builds on it more. Their friendship was my favorite part of the book. Brinn helps to show Ia that the world isn't full of people who will betray you and Ia shows Brinn all she can do as a Tawny, a race that is discriminated against in the Commonwealth. 

The plot has a great pace. I easily read it and would have probably read the book in one sitting if it was not for the fact that I had finals! It features fights, as well as speaks of current topics, such as racial discrimination and how the media affects public opinion. 

I do love the cover but I was expecting her helmet to be a lot more dramatic. The book hypes it up, saying how it is a feather that cuts like a slash against the visor like a bleeding cut and the cover makes it seem so small for such an important symbol.
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I really enjoyed Ignite the Stars! I loved the sci-fi aspect. The characters are relatable. I can't wait to read more from this author.
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Ignite the Stars is set in 8921 in the Olympus Commonwealth, the most powerful  force in the galaxy. Ia Cocha, a criminal mastermind whose planet was destroyed by the Commonwealth, is captured and sent to their Royal Star Force academy on planet Apehelion.  At first she is determined to escape, but slowly she begins to care about her cohorts, including Flight Master Knives, whose father captured her, and Brinn Tarver, Ia's roommate, who is hiding her half-Tawny heritage, which would endanger her safety.  As Ia learns to trust her new friends, she discovers her brother, who she has always worshiped, is plotting against her.  Chapters alternate between the three protagonists' perspectives as they discover that all is not as it seems in this action-packed sci fi adventure, which is filled with thrilling space battles and political intrigue.
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I adored Ignite the Stars so much. It deserves all the stars in the galaxy that's how much. In fact if you think our tastes intersect in any way, go find this book today. You will love it. Maybe not as much as I do (is that even possible?) but damn close. Seriously. Every thing from the Ia, her friendships, her vulnerabilities, her relationship with her brother. I can't even get over how much I adore this book. This the new review style from now on.
World Building

Let me start with a very easy thing to review (and keep my cool over): the world building. I could almost feel the metal beneath my feet as I read this. Even though a lot of this book takes place on this space station (and some other places I will not spoil for you), I could see the hallways. I could taste the chocofluff on my tongue. And I could feel the feelings of the characters so acutely. Ia's love of flying, the rush under her fingers, and the thrill under her skin. They were tangible, and very real to me. I could smell the smoke in the air.
Characters

But what I adored even more than that were the characters. Ia is my obvious choice for my love. She is so strong, intelligent, and arrogant. At the same time, when we are able to see into her thoughts, we sense her tenderness, her vulnerabilities, her guilt. And that makes her this rich three dimensional character. The way her shields come down as these people worm ways through cracks in her armor. We want to simultaneously protect her, support her, and, sometimes, yell at her. Just like all my favorites.
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As an Asian-American female, the cover of Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan absolutely took my breath away. YAS! Own that cover! Own the stars and space! This book is full of action and features a realistic science fiction world that I could actually get behind- it’s rare for me to not be cynical about sci-fi settings- and I can’t wait for more readers to get this in their hands! Note: I received a digital e-galley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Ignite the Stars is much more than it seems, and while it may share similarities with Throne of Glass, The Lunar Chronicles, or even Red Rising- at its core, it’s a science fiction novel that celebrates strength in diversity, brains over brawn, and the dangers of segregation. Oh yes, it’s a jam-packed science fiction novel with starfights, plenty of innovative tech, and new futuristic slang, but there are some complex underlying themes that tugged at my heartstrings. Here are a few of the highly relevant topics addressed: amnesty for refugees, feeling ashamed of one’s race and identity, the aftermath of colonialism, and the grey moral compass of a military body. During a week where domestic politics has been packing a punch, reading a book that is able to take some of the grief I’ve been feeling and put them into context within a fictional world has been enormously therapeutic. It becomes a type of grief that I can now process.

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Beyond the complexity of Ignite the Stars, the main characters are wonderfully dimensional. Ia is a fierce fighter and flyer and has terrorized the Commonwealth using her brains. She is unabashed about her kill count and celebrates her heritage as a Tawnee, a minor race of people identified by their navy blue hair and superior intellect. Brinn hides her true identity and tries desperately to fit into Commonwealth society- craving acceptance so much that she enlists in their military academy with hopes of becoming a hero- the type of hero who might capture a criminal like Ia someday. Both of these young women are flawed. But as a reader, you hope for them. You rally for them. I certainly did. Milan describes their fears and desires in a way that makes you understand why these women do what they do, and I empathized with them.

Admittedly, the first 25% of the book is somewhat slow as it builds up this brand new world that the book is set in. The wait is worth it, because the rest of the book is packed with action, both the close combat and space fighting type. I also really loved the world that Milan creates because it’s believable! There are lavatories! Unhealthy chocolate desserts! Borgs that need to be charged once in awhile! There are some unique properties to this setting that I also found hilarious- when the current generation refers to classical music from Ancient Earth, they are talking about rock ‘n roll. 

I rate Ignite the Stars 4/5 stars!
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This is a YA book but it delt with much broader issues as well. Ia is a 17 year old who has fought a war since she was 12. Her parents missing or dead, she is brought up by her older brother. She loves him dearly, not realizing he is jealous and psychotic. Her actions are all based on what he tells her, leading her to become the Blood Wolf, known as a cold blooded killer. This book starts with her capture and renders up a lively tale. Most readers will enjoy her story.
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~~I was provided with an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review~~ 

I didn't know what to expect from this book. The Throne of Glass made me hesitant, but I'm glad I picked this book up. Ignite the Stars tells the story of Ia Cocha, one of the most feared intergalactic rebels and her sudden change of plans. I like that the characters in this story are completely nuanced and there is room for emotional depth. Although a teen novel, the story isn't too trope-y, and I definitely enjoyed the twists in the story. A good start for a series, I can't wait to see what the next book brings.
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Ia Cocha is a notorious outlaw that is feared and respected by many. Ia also happens to be a teen girl. When she's captured by the Olympus Commonwealth, they make an example of her by exerting their authority to enroll her in their military academy in order to put her skill set under their control. All Ia wants is to escape her new situation... until she starts forming bonds with people at the academy that have the potential to change her alliances forever. If you think Ignite the Stars sounds like a fun sci-fi read that's on the lighter side, you wouldn't be wrong! I actually really ended up enjoying it. It was entertaining, simple enough to follow (even with the sci-fi elements, which can sometimes be a struggle for me) and I ended up really liking the characters a lot as the novel progressed (especially Ia). The only reason that I didn't fall completely head over heels for this story was because the pacing and set-up portions felt really clunky, and I almost very nearly gave up on it. Thankfully, I didn't, otherwise, I would have missed out on this one and it would have been a shame! If you're in search of a new sci-fi read to try, I'd humbly suggest giving this a shot.
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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!
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There is so much to love about Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan. For starters, the three POV characters: Ia, Brinn, and Knives. I adored them all for different reasons. They were nuanced and complex, and easy to root for. 

The world-building was excellent. I never felt like I was having information dumped on me, or like I needed to wade through a bunch of it to understand something. It was effortlessly laid out, but still very intricate. 

As for the plot, it was fun and engaging and, with short chapters, a breeze to get through. The pacing was excellent and I never came across a point where I felt I could put the book down and never pick it back up. I was invested in the characters and the stakes. 

My only issues were: things seemed to be too conveniently for Ia at times re: the technology she had available, and that I wish the characters could have had slightly deeper conversations/connections.

I’m so looking forward to the sequel.
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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.
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I received a copy of this ARC from NetGalley for my honest opinion. 

      This novel succeeds in keeping the main cast count low, allowing for more development in the main characters. One of the things I enjoyed was how vast the development of the characters was from the beginning to the end of the novel. While the characters start out looking out for themselves and are mostly immature, they develop into complex characters who look out for the good of others. Ia, herself, is pretty whiny in the beginning but gets alot better as she matures!

      While romance is not the main focus of this novel, it does still exist in the plot. One of the main focuses, however, is female friendship. The relationship between Brinn and Ia starts off very rocky and turns into something beautiful and complex. This relationship is really the star of this book and I can't wait to see how it unfolds in the next book. 

      As there are 3 main characters in this book, it is told from 3 perspectives which were written in a way where nothing was lost. The beginning of this book gave me Throne of Glass vibes which I enjoyed because it took inspiration from that novel without ripping it off. Another thing I enjoyed was the way the main Villain was revealed. I knew there was going to be a twist with the villain but I did NOT expect it to unfold how it did. 

      Overall, I was quite impressed with this sci- fi novel. This story was enjoyable and kept me guessing throughout. I really Loved the diversity among characters and the way that this played out in the story. This story wrapped up really well and I'm intrigued to read the second novel. You should give this a read if you enjoy space adventure and post apocalyptic sci- fi!
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Ia Cocha, Blood Wolf of the Skies, is the most feared criminal in the Commonwealth - so no one can believe their eyes when they find out this notorious outlaw is a petite 17-year-old girl. In order to avoid going to the worst prison imaginable, Ia agrees to join the Royal Star Force academy, living and working among her sworn enemies; the people who have been conquering the galaxy and contributed to the destruction of her home planet. Ia's every thought is directed towards escape, but over time doubts begin to encroach as she gets to know Knives, the academy's flight master, and Brinn, a cadet who shares a room with Ia.

Ignite the Stars is a fast-paced YA novel that mixes timely themes such as refugees and terrorism with fun science fiction. Each character is relatable in their own way, and the action pulls you through the story. I look forward to the next installment in the series!
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I loved this book! The full review will be posted soon at kaitgoodwin.com/books! Thank you very much for this wonderful opportunity to connect books to their readers!
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This is a good solid addition to the Dystopian/Sci-Fi/Adventure/Kick-Ass Heroine YA genre, as it were. I enjoyed a few pleasant surprises with both characterization and setting and I am intrigued enough to want to find out what happens to Ia and Blade and the rest of the folks in this Universe.
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Notes and Opinions:  First off this is totally NOT Throne of Glass in Space!  Just No I have no idea where they got that one. 

Holy crap readers! This book blew me away!  Don't get me wrong I love sci-fi but usually for books I find them confusing or boring. But this one, this one was pretty much perfect!  This one starts out with a bang and ends the same way. We have 3 POVs for this story and they all worked out well.  I did think that one thing could have been changed.  In this one, Ia (eye-ya) falls for Knives which is one of the other POVs and well for me I just kind of thought she should fall for Brinn.  Don't get me wrong I loved Knives but with the interactions between Brinn and Ia, I just thought that sounded more plausible with how the story was going.  But hey its ok Brinn, Ia, and Knives are happy with how things turned out in their love lives so who am I to judge. 

The story in this title flowed so well!  The author did an amazing job of intertwining the 3 POVs each one had their own voice and adds to the story at large. The most amazing things about this title were the twists, action, and the #OwnVoices part of the story.  The action in this one started off on the very first page. You come into this story learning about Ia and how to say her name and learning that she stands to help others who may not be able to help themselves. She is also very arrogant in the start of this title.  The action in this book was top notch and really blended well with how the author went about it all.   

The twists in this one were spot on! I didn't see them coming and man this author knows how to make you gasp and be surprised. I can't wait to see what she does with book two!  I am hoping to get even more surprises as the story unfolds.  

Last but not least is the #OwnVoices aspect of the story.  In this one there was a lot of discrimination that dealt with things like immigration and refugees which of course is something our world right now is dealing with.  In this one, we have Brinn who is hiding who she is because she knows first hand how cruel people can be.  I really loved her and how she grew over the course of this story.  I do wish that we would have gotten something along the lines of heritage with Ia though.  It was very interesting to get this kind of aspect from a side character. Because that is not usually what happens.  

Ia was so badass in this one! I really kind of hated her to start. She was pretty much a bully in some aspects which I understood because I mean really she was being tortured and held against her will. (ie. being arrested) but still, she could have been a little nicer about it. Ya I know that sounds really really weird. But something about her really just made me want to slap her upside the head.   I really loved how she grew as a character through the story. And I would love a prequel novella about her life in her early days of being Ia.  

Brinn, as stated above, was awesome she had a true voice and really knew early on in the story what she wanted to do with her life. Which I have to say that we should all be as lucky.  I really can not say enough about her. She is so strong by the end of this story and really came into her own. 

Knives is Ia's love interest which rounds out this 3 POV story. For me, he was kind of the light if you ask me.  I don't really know a lot about him other than what we were told early on in the story and well I think that Ia could do so much better.  For me, I just think that Knives in some aspects needs to grow a pair and stop acting like a baby.  I really hope going forward to book two that we really get to see what makes him tick and well I really hope that he learns to stand up to his father.  Thinking about this now I think the author played it a little safe with him.  He does show a little bit of hero during the beginning and last parts of this story but that's really about it.  


The romance in this one I can fully say was not the main storyline. This one all centers around Ia getting free from her captors and learning to be human again.  To learn to really care about something. It also centers around Brinn learning to be who she is without hiding and about Knives learning to move on from his sister's death (we don't learn a lot about this one and if you ask me I still wonder if she is really dead.  I can't remember if they said they found her body or not). 

In this scifi thriller you will find three character to love, twists to make you gasp out loud, and one killer ending!  It kept me on the edge of my seat until the very last page!  


Do I Recommend this book? Even if you are not usually a fan of Science Fiction you should really try this one out. Because this is the Scifi book that will make you fall in love with Scifi! 

Go Into This One Knowing: 3 POVs, No Love Triangle, No Cliffhanger 
 

Posting 9/18 at 2pm on http://www.crossroadreviews.com
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