Book Title: No Ordinary Star
Author: M. C. Frank
REVIEWED BY: CHELSEA
Series: No Ordinary Star #1
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopia
Pub Date: 11/25/15
A soldier is summoned to the North Pole, days before the year changes, told to fix a the great Clock for a celebration. He has no idea what to do.
A girl, hunted for the crime of being born, almost dies out on the ice. She is rescued by the last polar bear left alive.
A library waits for them both, a library built over a span of a hundred years, forgotten in the basement of an ice shack.
The world hasn’t known hunger or sickness in hundreds of years. It has also forgotten love and beauty.
The year is 2525.
Let’s all just pause in a moment of silence for how breathtaking that cover is. ❤ I’m always thrilled when I find a book that has the trifecta: gorgeous cover art, a plot that holds my interest from the first chapter, and characters that I forge an early connection with. No Ordinary Star held all three of these fine aspects for me, which is why a 5 star rating was a no brainer upon finishing the first part in the series. For those new to these books, this is a trilogy yet in a much better format. Here you will not find those annoying, unnecessarily long installments intended to draw out a story beyond its shelf life; I have discovered the intention here was to take one continuous story and break it up into three smaller pieces as a means of greater retention of the story for the reader. I found that each segment really holds your attention, while giving your brain a moment to process and re-evaluate what you’ve just read at the end of that part. Now that you have a handle on the trilogy as a whole, let’s dive into the review of part one…
By now I’m sure you’ve picked up that this dystopia has a holiday theme, and while I want to blab so badly, I’m going to avoid talking about specific plot points as to not spoil the read for you. I think the above blurb is beautifully vague, yet draws you in just enough to know you have to experience this read for yourself. I will say that I greatly appreciated the format in which the story is told; we mostly have two points of view that vacillate between “tin soldier” and “match girl”. The reason behind the names becomes apparent as you read, don’t worry, and while we are utterly on the outside at the beginning of the novel, the reader is slowly drawn in to this unfamiliar world as if being let in on a secret plan.
While this segment is mainly the set up for the remaining two pieces of the story, it is neither boring nor an info dump that we see so frequently in YA fantasy books. Here the character development is front and center, and I found it refreshing and unique to be able to focus on the forwarding of the story without silly instalove clouding the picture. Most of the focus is on our two main characters, three if you count my favorite polar bear named Ursa, but we do get an introduction to a few minor characters that I am eagerly anticipating further development in the next two features. Overall, this was a suspenseful and intriguing read that had me constantly trying to figure out what was at play. If you enjoy YA/NA dystopia with an air of science fiction fantasy, but are tired of all the cliche tropes, I encourage you to give this brief series a try. I think you’ll find the subtle, romantic undertones with important, timely messages to be invigorating and cleansing. Highly recommended and stay tuned for my review from the next in the series, No Plain Rebel!
*Many thanks to the author for providing my copy; it is a pleasure to be a part of the street team and provide my honest thoughts here!