Ignite the Stars

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Aug 2018

Member Reviews

THAT “no one realizes that notorious outlaw … is a seventeen-year-old girl.” GOT ME, OKAY?! 

Lately I have been automatically picking up female pirates and females in space. So I was instantly DOWN for this tough female lead sci-fi, and man, I was not disappointed.  It was very easy to get into this story!  Ignite The Stars is centered around our three protagonists (who are also our three narrators). Ia is an awesome, tough heroine, Knives is the slow-burn love interest who probably has the most character development, and then there is Brinn who has a big secret!  The character development was all very complex, and the plot was action packed and fun to read!  The evil, manipulative government system gave me Hunger Games vibes, but I loved the sci-fi spin to it!! Definitely looking forward to the sequel!!
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I was blown away by how easy it was to get into the story. Usually with sci-fi it takes me a few chapters to understand the world or the story itself, but with this particular book I found it extremely easy to understand everything that was going on. The information given to us at the beginning about the world building and the society wasn't confusing or boring, and I as kept reading the story things became better and better.

I would say, that though it had a nice and interesting plot, it was more a character driven type of story, because the book was more focused on the relationships and interactions between the characters and their overall development, which was pretty well done in my opinion. I adored the cast of characters and their evolution throughout the story, so I didn't mind a weaker plot. 

Like I was saying, the characters were the strongest part of the novel. Our main character Ia was such a great and badass protagonist, and I absolutely adored her even from the beginning. The relationship she had with her roommate was so well written, and I actually really enjoyed the dynamics and interactions they had going on during the book, and how her friendship evolved and became a much stronger one at the end of the novel.

Though I feel the romance was a bit to rushed, I was glad to see that it wasn't the main focus of Ignite the Stars whatsoever. I liked the relationship between these two characters, and how the grew and changed as I kept reading the story, and mostly that it was a nice addition to everything that was going on in the book.

There were a few twists and turns from the middle to the end of the book, and though there were some that I was shocked and pretty surprised to read, I admit there were others that were a bit more predictable, but nonetheless it was still a very fast paced story with lots of action packed scenes.
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To be completely honest, before I started reading this book I was quite sure I wasn't going to like this book. I just kept reading other books and ignoring this one. I always try to start a book unbiased, but I have already read so many disappointing YA sci-fi books in the last year and a half that I really just had given up to be honest. 

It was though love at first...In the beginning of this book I really didn't like the characters. They started of as nothing special and nothing we haven't already seen a thousand times before.    There are three narrators and in the first characters they were all portrayed as perfect humans with perfect memory and perfect looks... boring.

But, pretty quickly the atmosphere changed and it appeared the characters weren't as bland as they seemed! From that point the story became better and better. And in the end I ended up really liking this book.

I would have loved more background info.

Many things, like the histories of all the different space races,  all the things Ia Cocha did that gave her such a big name and especially what happened to Earth all those many years ago, are questions that I would love to have answers on. I just overall would have loved to have more history on a lot of things. The whole concept is so cool, but a lot was really vague. That's sad because I really love some details in a story.

Overall a great book and one of the best YA sci-fi books I read in a long time! Definitely a book that every YA sci-fi lover should read.
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Ignite the Stars is a strong YA science fiction novel that will have readers hooked from start to finish. There is plenty of action, adventure, political intrigue, and even a bit of romance that only enhances the plot. The relationships feel authentic, while the characters feel real and flawed. I'd have to agree with the Throne of Glass in space comparisons. Highly recommend to those who enjoy The Lunar Chronicles.
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Ignite the Stars is a fast-paced sci-fi adventure with strong female characters. If you can get past the idea that a 17-year-old girl has been the most wanted criminal and rebel in the universe for several years, then this book is a fun and quick read.

The best part of this book is the way it handles the treatment 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.  This is another great reason to read this story.

I really enjoyed reading this book and think it’s worth picking up. I would like to thank NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book for Professor Owl’s readers.
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Loooove the cover. That's about where my love for this book ends. I honestly didn't even finish it and I like futuristic books set in space. I just got so many different vibes and felt like I was reading a couple different books. The most annoying being every time I read Commonwealth I thought of Cinder. I just could not get into it. Like a couple said it reminded them of Throne of Glass and well that didn't end well for me either...
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After reading a lot of fantasy, I needed a change and nothing better than a bit of SF.

A universe colonized by a government that continues to want to acquire new planets, peoples who are bullied after an old war that killed thousands of people, injustices ... Here is the universe of this book that mixes genres. Because yes, the starting point is clearly science fiction, planets, ships and everything I like in the genre. The fun part is the elements that the author integrates as the injustice toward a specific kind of people which gives a novel a bit of dystopia vibes and a message deeper than could be expected.

The book is narrated by three characters, we have our criminal space Ia, she is a well-built heroine, but a little classic, she lost everything because of the government and wants revenge, her evolution is well done, but a little predictable. We have next, Knives who is in charge of keeping her well-behaved in the academy, he is the most interesting character of the three, he has lost faith in his government and he is built with more layers and of course the romance between the two characters are super well done and slow burning and I'm waiting to see what will happen in the sequel. Brinn is a character who hides a secret, her mother belongs to the people that everyone hates, she refuses this heritage and her story will allow the author to talk about racism, identity and other stuffs. It's a pretty interesting character that will reserve us surprises in the sequel.

For the story of the novel, a lot of action, a lot of character development and a first tome that I find very successful. After, in all honesty, I think this novel remains in the things we could expect in a SF+YA book, the final revelations are promising, but still a little predictable, this is my only downside.This being said, this book is still very catchy and distracting and I hope that the sequel will be a little more suprising.
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The mark of a good, entertaining read is how much I think about it once I've closed the cover.  Fast paced, entertaining, and looking forward to the sequel!
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I am a huge sci-fi nut, but this book fell a little flat for me.
I can appreciate the female lead and her being a woman, beng a secret and all the connotations that provides us with in todays world. But the plot itself felt overpowered by the underlying tale of her being a woman..
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Ia shocks the universe when her true identity is revealed. She is the infamous rebel, criminal mastermind, and fierce pilot the Olympus Commonwealth has feared and pursued. With no other choice, she is sentenced to be enrolled in the empire’s most elite military academy. Here she meets Brinn, her roommate with a secret, and Knives, the handsome flight instructor with a past. Ia deserves to be a treasured sci fi icon. She is fierce, smart, and resolute.
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Ia is a rebel, a soldier, the protector of the disenfranchised.  She's out to save the world from the corrupt Commonwealth.  Her world is very black and white; what she believes to be the right way, and everything else is evil.  And she is willing to do whatever it takes to bring down those who go against her.



And then she is captured.  Her punishment?  To train with the Royal Star Force, the very entity that she has been fighting all these years.  And while she attends classes with other students, her world becomes more shades of gray.  



Ignite the Stars is a masterful tale of justice, friendship and courage.  One of the subplots is that Ia's roommate isn't what she claims to be.  She is hiding a secret about her identity that threatens to destroy everything that she has worked so hard to achieve.  I think students will connect Brinn's situation with what is currently happening in our own country, and that will lead to some great discussions!



I loved Ignite the Stars, and I think it will appeal to a variety of readers!  There is just enough romance to satisfy romance readers.  All the girls are kick-ass, which will appeal to readers who like strong girl characters.  And there are detailed descriptions of jet fighters and epic battles to appeal to readers of action and adventure!  I am definitely purchasing this title for the library, and I think my readers are going to keep it off the shelves!
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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.
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I write this review as a high school teacher-librarian.

This book belongs in the hands of students and in classrooms. While I wouldn't use it for a whole class read, this is perfect for books clubs, reading groups and individual reading programs. The action takes off right at the beginning and the characters are engaging. 

Perfect teen read.
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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).
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A good sci-fi YA story with plenty of action and some great characters. The two strong female characters are well written and the story of their growing friendship is the foundation of the story and is what kept me reading. Great space adventure.
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I absolutely loved this book. It gave me major Star Wars vibes in the best possible way. Ia Cocha is both fierce and compassionate. I love her moral compass! To me, she is a perfect mixture of Han Solo and Princess Leia – she is fierce, compassionate, a rebel, and a scoundrel! Set in a new galaxy, Ia Cocha brings us with her on her inter-galactic adventures and I am here for it!

On top of such a wonderful hero, Maura Milan also gifts us with two fantastic side-characters who narrate their own sections: Brinn and Knives. I can’t go into too much detail about these characters or their story arcs because I don’t want to give any of the plot away, but I loved both of these characters! In many ways, I really related to both of them and I hope that we see more of them in the sequel.

All in all, this was a beautiful and amazing book and I recommend it to everyone who is a fan of science fiction. I can’t wait to see more of this galaxy and see what’s in store for our three main characters! Fans of The 100 and Illuminae will want to pick this one up!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this book. (All opinions are my own)
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I wanted to like this book, the Throne of Glass in Space had me intrigued...but sadly that's about all that happened there.  It was just an ok read.  The main heroine was fine, but it lacked in likablility for me.  Maybe it was the space setting and the different things thrown in there about that.  I adored Throne of Glass, but this book left me not really enjoying it.  Overall, it's a fine enough read, just had higher expectations for it.
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This was a fun read. The setup was simple enough to get you to crack open the book. The storytelling's pace is definitely enough to motivate you to read in one sitting. If you thought Potterverse needed to deal more with its geopolitical environment, you'll like how this has a bigger picture of its characters' conflicts.

I have a minor issue with the use of names like "Macross" and "All Black" because of real world copyrights, but that wasn't enough to get in the way of enjoying the book.
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I really feel like this could have been a strong book if a bit more attention was paid to the characters.

As a whole, Ignite the Stars had elements that could have made a wholly enjoyable story. It had space flight, a training academy, refugees, secrets, and three different characters from totally different backgrounds struggling with their identity in the unstable world. On paper, the description is so tantalizing, it's dripping with hot fudge. Somehow, the execution didn't play out in a way that felt wholly successful to me.

This book's description promises Ia, the Blood Wolf of the Skies, and her struggles as she is imprisoned at a military academy. Instead, the reader is given three different POVs. All of these characters are written out as interesting, but none of them really behave to character. The badass talks about being badass and is described in narration as badass, but ultimately does nothing to secure that title for the reader. The strong female character coming to terms with her heritage is presented as a powerful, intelligent young woman comes off as a sidekick needing constant guidance, and Brooding YA Hero?

Well, he's eternally a Brooding YA Hero. I'm not fond of this trope, so that's on me.

There are a lot of different directions this book could have taken to make it a more original and more interesting read, but instead various subplots are pushed to the side to make way for the Grand Plot, which even the characters don't feel wholly committed to. And the Grand Plot is interesting enough - I promise! I'm just had a difficult time believing in it, because it all felt so awkwardly forced.

Ignite the Stars is a book that really will appeal to a lot of readers, but don't jump in looking for too much depth and space adventure. Most of this book happens with two feet on the ground. If the characters were a bit more three dimensional and didn't feel so squished into the confines given them by the plot, I would have liked this a lot. As it was, I cringed. A lot.

It's so close. So very close.

But a lot of people who like YA sci-fi and bad girls gone good and Brooding YA Heroes will really like this one.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me a digital ARC of "Ignite the Stars" by Maura Milan. I have noticed in recent years that YA Science Fiction has started to blend. Most of the characters and plot are the same but not with this book. It feels fresh and exciting. The book does read more for a teen audience rather than a crossover for adult and that is the only reason I didn't personally feel connected but I know teens will. I will be purchasing this book for the library that I work at.
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