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The Stars Never Rise    by Rachel Vincent Amazon.com order for
Stars Never Rise
by Rachel Vincent
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Rachel Vincent shows her creativity with the first in her new series, The Stars Never Rise. The combination of paranormal and dystopian should be a sure hit with today's market.

Nina Kane has spent most of her life just trying to survive in her theocratic hometown of New Temperance. With no father and an addict mother, it is hard enough for Nina to make sure she and her younger sister Melanie have a place to live, food on the table, and uniforms for school. She does not have time to worry about the degenerate hordes outside the city walls.

All that changes though when she runs into a degenerate someone whose soul has been consumed by a demon in an alley one morning. Nina manages to escape with the help of an exorcist who is not a member of the Church, but that is just the start of one hell of a day. By the end of if, her whole world-view is shot and Nina finds herself an enemy of the Church.

Vincent creates two very unusual devices in The Stars Never Rise. First, the concept of the zombie-like degenerates, who actually have much more to them than a typical zombie. Second, a love interest without a body, which makes for some very interesting love triangles.

Both of these make the novel stand above other YA dystopians and paranormals, but there was just some unknown quality that seemed to be missing. Nina was strong-willed and likeable, the baddies were rather deplorable, the pace was good, the world-building was unique, and the ending was a true cliffhanger, so what else is needed for the start of a good YA series? I honestly think there might have been just too much, and that is what detracted.

Nevertheless, The Stars Never Rise is a good read, especially if you are looking for something different. The ending definitely left me wondering where Rachel Vincent will take the series, and if one of my suspicions will prove correct!

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