The Glow of Fallen Stars by Kate Ling

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The Glow of Fallen Stars by Kate Ling

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Follow up to The Loneliness of Distant Beings - this space romance sees its protagonists planet-bound for the first time. Can Seren and Dom's love survive the dangers?
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: Date: August 2017
Publisher: Little Brown
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 1510200185

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The Glow of Fallen Stars is the second book in Kate Ling's Ventura series - you can read our review of the first instalment here. Seren and Dom, together with Ezra and Mariana, have escaped the Ventura, the spaceship on which they have spent their whole lives, and crash landed on the planet Huxley 3. At last, they are away from the stifling authoritarianism of life on board the ship and free to pursue their own lives underneath a real sky, walking on real land.

There's no-one to answer to but there's also no-one to turn to for help and Huxley 3 is a dangerous place. It's all about survival for the first few days and Seren and Dom have to put romance aside as they begin to realise that the planet can be hostile and they are incredibly vulnerable. The four argue amongst themselves about the best thing to do but they are also there for each other when danger comes. And Huxley 3 has some very big secrets...

... but secrets not everyone will cope with or welcome.

The Glow of Fallen Stars is well-researched and has some really interesting themes about the nature of life and material reality. It is, though, predominantly a romance novel. If you're looking for romance with a sci-fi flavour, it's one for you. But if you're looking for sci-fi with a romantic subplot, perhaps less so. The focus is on Seren's and Dom's relationship and whether or not it can withstand a new and perilous environment and the injection of new people, including potential rivals. The conflict at the outset is between romance and survival, and moves on in the latter half of the book to focus on jealousy and miscommunication. I liked Seren but she is in the full flush of first love and her confidence in it is very easily shaken. When it's shaken, she shuts off her ears and won't listen to reason. Dom has a tendency to self-pity, which is a bit of a turn-off in my book. I preferred Ezra, with his snarky wit, faux confidence and irrepressible curiosity, and Mariana, who possibly has the harder row to hoe than Seren but manages to approach it with steadfastness and pragmatism.

The plot starts off fairly slowly, as the four escapees try to survive the island they've crash landed on but speeds up really well in the second half of the book with plenty of twists and turns and mysteries and discoveries to keep your attention. The Glow of Fallen Stars doesn't fall into any of the possible second book pitfalls - it keeps the romance central while moving the narrative on in interesting ways and sets the scene for the next book - is there a next book? There should be - without leaving us all hanging until it arrives.

If sci-fi based YA romance is your thing, you will enjoy this series. I'd bet on it.

Other fab YA novels set in space include Chasing the Stars by Malorie Blackman, a thriller and love story combined, riffing on Othello, and Phoenix by SF Said, a thrilling space epic.

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Buy The Glow of Fallen Stars by Kate Ling at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Glow of Fallen Stars by Kate Ling at


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