ARC Review | The Sound of Stars

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Title: The Sound of Stars

Author: Alechia Dow

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 400

Publication Date: February 25, 2020

Categories: Sci-fi, Dystopian, Romance, Young Adult

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.

Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. Deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, humanity’s emotional transgressions are now grounds for execution. All art, books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.

Born in a lab, M0Rr1S (Morris) was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does.

Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while making a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.

Thank you to Inkyard Press and NetGalley for giving me a chance to read this eARC.

The Sound of Stars is a very interesting mesh of the sci-fi, dystopian and romance it’s infused with love of music, books and the love of love really. It explores so many subjects like race, and colonization plus it has aliens! There is a lot going on in this surprising book.

Janelle or Ellie, as everyone calls her, lives in New York City but the world has been taken over by aliens called the Ilori and their labmades. Say what? Yes, Earth’s problems have become insignificant with this way bigger threat taking over. Humans have been killed and are now undergoing a process where they will be given vaccines and their bodies will be husks. The Illori will be able to inhabit these husks to vacation on Earth. Yes…Earth is basically being colonized by these powerful aliens who have been colonizing planets all around the universe.

Ellie is just a teenager, who keeps a secret library. If she is found out by the Ilori it would mean a death sentence. But she meets an Illori, a labmade commander named M0Rr1S, or Morris, who wants to trade. He will keep her secret if she can get him some other kind of contraband – music.

This story is a journey of books, music, love and watching two different species find common ground.

  • Love for books and music is at the heart of this book. It reminds us that no matter what’s going on, how as people we can be divided or conquered, the written word in story form or music form transcends hate and can bring people or in this case species together.
  • I was intrigued about this alien race, the Ilori, and their labmades. This story lays out some of the problems on Earth from climate change, to race relations and the corrupt government (hmmm sounds very familiar!). But with the Ilori invasion (which didn’t start out as one really), the humans have pretty much united to fight the aliens. Learning that the Ilori have been colonizing planets for awhile made me want to learn more about their alien race and these planets that they have found in the universe.
  • Labmades are an interesting part of the Ilori. They aren’t true Ilori, they were basically, made in a lab. So in their society, they are looked down upon. So Ellie being black and Morris being a labmade shared the feelings of being inadequate and “less than” everyone else.
  • It’s a unique story all around with the romance between a human and labmade. The way the story unfolded reminded me almost of a space opera (though they are not in space) – but Ellie and Morris travel throughout America to get to their destination and it feels like this epic space journey…but on land. If that makes sense?
  • The romance at first for me…was totally cute. A labmade and human relationship? I was totally for it! And I think a lot of people will find it an amazing part of the story, but at the end it was getting a bit cheesy for me. 🤣 But that’s just totally a “it’s me” thing…Ellie and Morris totally fell for each other and I swear it started to become some space opera musical (yes with singing involved).
  • The first few pages was hard for me to connect to because it’s sci-fi (not my favorite genre) with a lot of technical jargon that just left me scratching my head. I just needed to be patient, because soon I was 40% done with the book without knowing I was reading that fast. I loved learning about this Earth as aliens take over and their plans for humans. The story kinda lost me again 75% in and maybe because of the romance and cheesy/cuteness.
  • I don’t know that I connected to a character most…maybe Morris because I was fascinated with his life as a labmade.

Even though it was sci-fi and dystopian, it had lots of romance and optimism because of the love between Morris and Ellie. They are seriously the sweetest couple. The world-building of the Ilori and Earth after an invasion felt realistic and I wanted to know more about the aliens! There is so much going on in this story. There is adventure, deception, humans on the brink of being hosts to aliens, Earth being made into a vacation destination, music, books and love. For me, The Sound of Stars was a very unexpected yet fun story to read.

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