All Their Astral Light | Book Review

I received an eARC from the author. All opinions are my own.

The first war in history is shredding reality itself.

In a world where Seven Stars are worshiped by the inhabitants of Seven Provinces, violence and wonder bring together six impossibly dissonant people in a mad dash to save their world before a phantasmal insanity takes them. Maybe the myths are true.

Maybe the Starchildren have returned. Maybe they could be a part of something cosmic and profound. But even Provinces must die, and even the Stars must fall. 

Release date: 6/11/2022

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CW as provided by the author: Verbal abuse, childhood family trauma, harming of a child (flashback- not a POV character), entrapment/claustrophbic moment (POV character), psychosis (very general, frequent throughout book), misgendering and mockery of a nonbinary person, sexual assault, traumatic birth of a child, suicide (flashback/memory), suicidal thoughts (POV character), torture (POV character, involves bodily fluids), body horror, graphic descriptions of violence/war, explicit descriptions of sexual acts, and spiritual manipulation

If you’re looking at this indie adult fantasy and worried that the writing style might be simplistic or clunky, don’t worry. The writing voice was spot on, descriptions were detailed, and character emotions taken into account. For a debut author, I’m very impressed.

My biggest critique is that very little happens for the majority of this 400+ page book, or if things happen, they move slowly. We start off with a bang in the first chapter, a battle that really gets you paying attention. After that moment, it’s a lot of meandering with little clear point. The chapter headers are very nice in that they include who the chapter POV is from, where they are in the world, and how much time has passed from this world-shattering event. It’s useful to the reader to situate themselves, but it also further shows how much time has passed with no action having taken place.

It’s not that I can’t enjoy a book with a lot of meandering, where you’re not 100% sure what is being built up to, but usually in those cases, you know you’re building up to something. For a while, I didn’t know what the end goal was. I think if this book built up to the action that happened in chapter 1 and the characters were trying to help or hinder that action, it would’ve been a much stronger book.

In sort of a similar vein, there were a couple of instances where things would happen off page that I wish we had seen on page, instead of seeing them talk about what just happened.

This book also has queer characters! There are plenty of bi characters, gay characters, and a nonbinary character plus plenty of relationships that are platonic!

I rated this book 3 stars! For all my issues with the book, I never felt the urge to DNF it, so it was holding my interest. I won’t be continuing the series, but if the author writes another series one day, I’ll pick that up!

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