Cover Image: Written in Starlight

Written in Starlight

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I'm obsessed with this series, I think it's more adventurous than the first one and i love it! It's beautifully written, i love the character's development and the romance.
Was this review helpful?
The main character was better in this book than the first. While the romance was tropey and I kind of wondered about some of the more well placed plot points it was a good read.
Was this review helpful?
I'm struggling with the rating on this one. There was some slight redemption in the last bit.

Let me begin by saying that I loved Woven in Moonlight. The author had a challenge in this book of making me like Catalina as our narrator, as I couldn't much stand her in the first book. And... I don't think she was successful. This book starts off right where book 1 left off - but from Catalina's point of view - with Catalina being dropped off into her jungle exile. She is whiny, narcissistic, and entitled as ever. Then she runs into her old general's son who disappeared into the jungle three years ago (which was OBNOXIOUSLY CONVENIENT and I hate when authors do that) and they resume their travel together to try to find the City of Gold, where Catalina hopes to persuade their ruler to help her take back her country... Which was originally the country of the people now hiding in the jungle.

Some of the major plot points of the book were nonsensical. The "romance" was angsty and tropey in a not great way. The portrayal of indigenous people in the first half of the book was bothersome. The magic felt over explained. The plot was predictable. No one was particularly memorable and I don't know that anyone fully redeemed themselves.

The good: the magic system (when not over explained), the use of Spanish, the final scene, the food.

I think I'm in the minority here, but I'm sorry - this one just didn't live up to the first book for me.

Thank you NetGalley for the ARC!
Was this review helpful?
I was so beyond excited to receive an arc of one of my most anticipated books of 2021! Woven in Moonlight was an absolute favourite so I couldn't wait to dive back into this lush world and Isabel's stunning writing. 

Let me tell you, I was not disappointed! Catalina was a thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying MC to follow as, given the events at the end of the previous book, she had a lot of room to grow as a character. Exploring her seer powers and learning more about how the God's of this world play their part was intriguing. The romance between her and Manuel was adorable, and honestly there's nothing I love more than a forced proximity trope. Pitching this as a South American Tomb Raider is such an accurate piece of marketing, as it really delivered that level of adventure and excitement. Couldn't recommend highly enough!
Was this review helpful?
This book is a delightful follow-up to Woven in Moonlight, one of my favorite YA reads of the year. Isabel Ibanez creates rich characters that you can't help but root for, even when they make mistakes. The descriptions of the jungle are lush and vivid. The dark magic is unusual and interesting and keeps the reader guessing. Will absolutely recommend to readers who love YA, fantasy, and OwnVoices stories!
Review will be posted tomorrow on Feminist Book Club: The Podcast and as part of the October Reading Wrap Up podcast episode.
Was this review helpful?
I read Written in Starlight without having read the first book, but now I wish I'd read the first one before reading this one. I think it would have provided more context to Catalina's character which irritated me at times due to her spoiled princess vibes. But having said that, this is a beautifully written book providing an enchanting glimpse into a fabled community in the Bolivian jungle. And Catalina grew on me as she developed which, I think, was the point. I enjoyed the descriptions of the deadly jungle and the atmosphere evoked. I also generally love reading about characters from different cultures and own voice stories, so this book ticked all those boxes. This was an enjoyable YA read with a diverse twist.
4.5 stars
Was this review helpful?
After an unexpected betrayal, Catalina is banished by the new queen of Inkasisa to live in the jungle. Alone and fearing for her life in this unknown place, the girl ends up meeting an old friend. Together, Catalina and Manoel delineate a plan to find allies and take the throne of Inkasisa for its true heir.

Being Woven in Moonlight one of my favorite books of 2020, I was really excited to read Catalina's book, even more as it's described as a South American Tomb Raider.

In the first half of the story we will accompany Catalina and Manoel exploring the jungle and escaping the dangers, which was really cool to read, but the second half is where things really happen and we have mysteries, actions and several unexpected discoveries.

I think that reading this book was faster than Woven's and I liked the development of the romance more. Except that Catalina's insistence on taking the throne back is quite irritating if you've read the previous book and know that things are not exactly as she thinks.

As promised, the book delivers a story with a very Tomb Raider vibe taking the reader on an adventure in search of a hidden city, I really enjoyed this search and even has a room scape (I love) moment that made me feel like I was there.

I liked that the mythology of the world was better worked and we had more explanations about the powers, it was something that I missed in Woven and that here was well explained being essential elements for the development of the story.

Written in Starlight ended up not winning me as much as Woven in Moonlight, but I really liked everything I read.
Was this review helpful?
This sequel was so adventurous, I loved it! After the ending of the first book, I felt like our Catalina deserved a happier ending, and we got that in this one! I loved her character development, and how she embraced her true identity, instead of the identity that she had been taught to embrace.
Was this review helpful?
From Isabel Ibañez, author of Woven in Moonlight, comes the next in the duology: Written in Starlight. While Woven in Moonlight focused on Ximena, Written in Starlight puts us into the mind of Catalina, following her adventure through the jungle as she searches for the lost city of Paititi. Along the way, Catalina discovers an old friend, and makes some new ones, and tries to figure out what is best for her people -- and herself.

Written in Starlight is full of exciting jungle mishaps and adventures. It has a distinctly Indiana Jones feel to it, with the main characters evading caimans and solving puzzles in ancient temples, and even sliding down zip lines made of vines. The writing is fast paced, with short sentences and a focus on action that will keep plot-driven readers engaged and interested.

Where Written in Starlight falls apart slightly is the relationships between characters. Much of the emotional life of the book relies on the relationship between Catalina and her newly rediscovered guard Manuel. The two go back and forth between friendship, love, and cold indifference so many times it is liable to give any reader whiplash. There is little forward momentum in their relationship. Instead, the book spends most of the time rehashing the same emotional beats again and again.

Fan of Woven in Moonlight are sure to enjoy this next installment, as will those who enjoy a good adventure story with plenty of action.

Thanks to NetGalley and Page Street Publishing for the ARC!
Was this review helpful?
Written in Starlight is a gorgeously written, intense and immersive story! I couldn't stop turning the pages!!!

Set in a lush, dangerous jungle inspired by the Bolivian Amazon where Isabel's dad grew up this book truly transported me! There a bits of magic everywhere, and beauty mixed with danger. I was prepared to hate the main character, Catalina, based on what we knew of her at the end of Woven in Moonlight but I ended up loving her! And I fell in love with this book even more than book one! It's fast paced, while still filled with fantastic world building and wonderfully satisfying character arcs. And it includes my favorite romance trope (but I won't spoil anything by telling you which trope that is.) :)

It gave me tons of The Girl Of Fire And Thorns vibes, which makes me soo happy, because that's one of my all-time favorite books. I recommend it for fans of ya fantasy with unique magic systems, survival stories, and diverse reads. Thank you Page Street Publishing and NetGalley for the free copy to review!
Was this review helpful?
This was an amazing book! It's set in the jungle and explores a hidden city. I love the worldbuilding and I felt how intense the scenes were. It feels like you are really in the jungle and danger lurks in every corner. It's not hard to read at all and the pacing is just perfect for the story. The characters were well developed as well.  Additionally, the dynamics between the two main characters were written very well. I love how the story went and by the end of the book, I wanted to read further. Strong beginning and strong ending.
Was this review helpful?
Just as good as the first one! 

I loved the continuation of this story with the side characters from the last book. In my opinion, the characters are perfectly flawed and learn important lessons along the way. The story itself is also refreshing in its delivery and setting. I can see a lot of people enjoying this next installment!
Was this review helpful?
Definitely a sequel. While this story could be read as a stand alone., it makes way more sense if you have read Woven in Moonlight. I personally am so happy that we got to have Catalina's story because when Woven in Moonlight came out I asked the author if she thought Catalina would survive the jungle and I was told to "wait for the next book ;-)" Catalina has been banished to the jungle and is saved by her former guard and the man who she has held a torch for for 3 years, Manuel. The go on a mission to find the Illari and their city of gold to plead for assistance in regaining Catalina's throne. 
Along her journey Catalina will find many truths, her true purpose, her true love, her true friends, and her true people.

The only downside to this novel was that it took me a little while to get through than normal because it is what I consider "an outside book" and I tend to find myself drifting when it comes to nature descriptions. This is not a problem of the novel but of mine.
Was this review helpful?
Written in Starlight is the sequel to Woven in Moonlight, described as “a lush tapestry of magic, romance, and revolución, drawing inspiration from Bolivian politics and history”. If I thought book one was bad, I had no idea how terrible book two would be.

Let me start by saying that Isabel Ibañez’s debut was one of my most anticipated releases, the book didn’t disappoint me, it crushed me. I was looking forward to more Latinx fantasy! Revolution! Stabby protagonists! I went to Woven in Moonlight with high expectations, but I went to its sequel with the clear intent of looking at its flaws. And friends, did I find them! I gave Isabel the benefit of the doubt in my first review, but I’m not holding back this time. Written in Starlight was bad, really bad.

I believe in DNFing books that do not spark joy, but I pushed through this book anyway. My friends can tell you how much I screamed, cried in anger, and laughed while reading it. I knew I have to finish and write this review, I knew that white reviewers would not pick any of the problems in this series. I did this on purpose, I know this very well, it does not mean this book wasn’t a painful journey.
Was this review helpful?
Review copy provided by NetGalley. 

I don't know how I got so lucky to get my hands on a review copy of this book but here I am and I am over the moon! Written in Starlight by Isabel Ibañez was a delight. In this companion novel to Woven in Moonlight we follow the exiled Condesa as she navigates a strange world and tries to figure out how best to serve her people. These books draw heavily from Bolivian politics and history and I find I fascinating. It makes me want to search out the real stories from history.
As infuriating as Catalina can be at times the character growth was really great. I didn't think that I could ever like her as a character but Isabel Ibañez won me over. The romance irked me a little. I know that it adds tension but I honestly just wish characters would say what they mean and mean what they say. Once they got over themselves it was much more tolerable.
I loved the magical jungle setting as well as the reclusive Illari people in the City of Gold. Oh and the magic! It felt really authentic, like something out of legend.
I would have to say that my favorite part of the book was the last 100 pages. I wont say what but it got tense and at times a little off putting, maybe even scary. You just don't know where the bad is coming from and the eerie feeling was unexpected but not in a bad way. 
Written in Starlight gets 4.5 Stars from me. So close to perfect. I am definitely hoping for a third novel with both characters. I just wish I didn't have to wait so long to read it!
Was this review helpful?
After reading Woven In Moonlight earlier this year, Written In Starlight quickly became one of my most anticipated releases of 2021. Being approved for the e-ARC felt a little like receiving an early birthday/Christmas present, and I'm happy to report that it exceeded my expectations and was every bit as wonderful as its companion.

Isabel Ibañez has a way with words. The only downside to reading the ARC is the wait between this release and the next, but I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
Was this review helpful?
I was provided with an eARC of this book in exchange for a fair review.

Loved this! I really enjoyed Woven in Moonlight and was very excited to get an ARC for WiS so soon after finishing the first book. I may have even loved this one more than the first! Catalina was a very interesting character and she did a LOT of growing as the story progressed. Some of the plot points were a little simplistic (ex: the "journey" for coming into her powers seemed a little easy) but none of that took away from the overall story. I will certainly revisit this duology again in the future!
Was this review helpful?
When I read the first book, I got the feeling we would either be getting a sequel or a companion novel! I’m so excited I was given the chance to read and review this book. 

To start, I really enjoyed this one, more than I did the first! I loved Catalina’s character development and how she came to embrace who she is instead of who she was raised to be. I loved meeting the Illari people, the jungle, and her world building/masterful weaving of words! Isabel Ibanez is one of my newest auto buy authors!
Was this review helpful?
YA meets a South American Tomb Raider in this thrilling companion to Woven in Moonlight.

This sequel was so adventurous, I loved it! After the ending of the first book, I felt like our Catalina deserved a happier ending, and we got that in this one! I loved her character development, and how she embraced her true identity, instead of the identity that she had been taught to embrace. It was so satisfying. The romantic tension, the jungle, the beautiful Illari people - everything was so magical! If you loved Woven in Moonlight, you’ll love the next book even more 🧡

A big thank you to Page Street Kids for sending me an ARC!
Was this review helpful?
This was one of my most anticipated books of Winter 2020/21 and I am so thrilled to say it didn't disappoint. 

This book follows a different main character than book 1, Woven in Moonlight, but it's hard to say much about that at all without spoiling book 1. I highly recommend you NOT read the synopsis to this story if you plan on reading book 1 and haven't yet!

However, it's obvious, at least, from the cover that this story takes place in the jungle. It's part survival story, part characters' development, part romance, and it was all so fun. The storyline in this one is pretty simple compared to book one - it's almost a quest book, with a journey to one place, spending time in that place, and then the resolution. The simplicity, though, definitely did not hurt the story in any way. It's so different from book 1 in that way, but there's still common themes and styles between the two books and it is a great continuation of the story.

The writing in this book is absolutely stunning. The imagery is so thorough and detailed, without being too fancy. It's incredibly easy to picture this story scene by scene, even for someone like me who typically has TV static in the brain. I said this about Woven in Moonlight, but this one, too, would make a fantastic movie. The way these books' rising and falling action scenes go are really just cinematic.

The characters in this book are really easy to get attached to, regardless of the way you were introduced to them at one point or another. They have emotional walls up, are hyper-focused on goals that might not be right for them, and are quick to say things they don't mean, or mean things they don't say. They are flawed and lovable in the best ways. The way people change and grow throughout this story is very in line with the way Ximena grew over the course of Woven in Moonlight, and it was one of the things I loved most about that book.

Full and complete transparency, I read Woven in Moonlight solely because the cover was beautiful. I truly could not make a lick of sense out of the synopsis, but I tried it for the aesthetic. I am not a fantasy person, normally, so I was trying something out of my comfort zone. But the magic system in these books is pretty interesting - they are just people who happen to have powers. The books aren't really about finding magic, losing it, discovering new magic... it's just kind of part of who they are. It makes it easy to grasp that way, and I completely fell into both stories even with magic playing the part it did.

Sorry that this review couldn't be more in depth, but just know that I love these books and I think they're both wonderfully executed, fun, and moving. I love the characters and the world and the writing and I would wholeheartedly recommend both books to almost anyone.
Was this review helpful?