Title: Lanterns in the Sky (The Starlight Chronicles #1)
Author: P.S. Malcolm
Pub. Date: March 5, 2020
Rating: ⭐️⭐️ / DNF at 50%
Everything was normal for Lucy Maisfer until the day a star fell from the sky and knocked her out. Upon waking, she comes face-to-face with Jason Woods, who also happens to be the mysterious new guy in her best friend, Valarie’s, life.
Then the strange dreams begin, and she learns about the Starlight Princess— who must not under any circumstance be reawakened. Driven to uncover the meaning of it, she finds herself caught up in a strange twist of events that eventually lead to bigger danger than she ever anticipated. Before long, Lucy is forced to make a choice between saving the world, or saving her best friend; only to discover that Valarie cannot be saved… that she has an even darker secret, and that her supposed star-crossed romance with Jason might not be so destined after all…
This will be a spoiler free review, and I want to thank NetGalley for the free eARC in exchange for an honest review.
The cover is what initially drew me to this book, and then I read the synopsis. I pretty much impulse requested it on NetGalley and got the approval email. My expectations weren’t high for this book, but based on the synopsis, I did have high hopes. It sounded really unique and something I’d like.
Ya’ll this book just didn’t work.
I tried to convince myself to finish it, but between the writing style, the messy plot full of plot holes, the world building and the one-dimensional characters I just can’t stay invested.
Right off the bat, I wasn’t a fan of the writing style. It was really bland and basic. Writing style isn’t a make it or break it thing for me, so I pushed through my dislike, since the concept of the book sounded really interesting and cool.
Then there’s the plot.
Things happen in this book.
Well, obviously. I don’t know where I was going with that sentence.
Things happen in this book, some of it makes sense, other things are just weird and there’s such a strange mix of fantasy elements that it all just gets confusing and lost. I also didn’t quite understand the magic system, or how there are magical princess, aliens and angels…like I said, lots of fantasy elements that don’t quite mesh together. So much happens, but also like nothing happens of any real consequence? It’s like all the emotional weights were gone?
And the worldbuilding. I get the feel the author was going for, but a fictionalized European country, nestled amongst Easter European countries, but heavily influenced by Britain and everyone has American sounding names…
It’s also very confusing.
I get that the author was trying to go for a quintessential European feel, kind of reminded me of Switzerland in the very basic way it was described, but overall, it just felt very generic, flat and was supposed to be pretty. Almost a magical backdrop. Like, if you were to look up Travel Destinations in Switzerland, hilly, mountainous, gorgeous, that’s the vibe I was getting, but wasn’t quite picturing based on the descriptions given.
Now the characters…I wasn’t a fan of Lucy, or Valarie. Chrissy is just a stereotypical mean girl on steroids…basically Regina George. Jason was…well, to be honest, I didn’t care. None of the characters sparked anything in me. They were one-dimensional and at no moment was I rooting for them. Every character seemed to exist to further Lucy and Valarie along, adding really noting substantial to the rest of the story. For having their worlds upended, and pasts revealed, and everything else that happens, Lucy doesn’t ever really react? She sort of just takes it in stride, and suddenly with no training or anything, can just do things. I get that there’s magic involved in this, and that explains why, but come on. No one is just going to be okay with being thrust into a ever raging war, not without first losing their shit.
Ultimately, to my disappointment, this book just didn’t do it for me. Overall, it was just kind of a mess and I don’t want to recommend this to anyone. It’s just not worth it.
UPDATE: I went and read some of the Goodreads reviews once I’d finished writing my own, and I honestly feel like I read a different book form the 5-star reviews. Between the 5 and 1- & 2-star reviews, it a huge difference in opinion. I don’t know what it is, but the 5 -star reviews almost feel fake – like, they’re too glowing…if that makes sense. They just read weird, or maybe it’s just me. I don’t recommend this book, but if you’re interested, I’ll leave the GR link – here – and you can check them out yourselves.