Hello and happy Friday!
Today, I’m so excited to share about Kate Willis Hoppman’s latest book! If the Stars Awaken released yesterday, and in celebration of her launch, I want to take a moment and share all of the book’s information and my review! I was honored to receive an ARC of this beautiful book, and have loved reading and learning about the story. I can’t wait for all of you to dive in as well!
To start, you can find If The Stars Awaken by going to Amazon here (click these words).
Look at that beautiful cover!
“Hush, little one, and you will see a starlit web of mystery.”
Queen Marinne awaits a sign from the Maker about her unborn child, but the heavens are worryingly quiet about everything except the new star taking over the sky.
Others look to the stars as well, but none more than the Starreader’s loyal apprentice, Dynast, who finds himself cast aside and left to search the skies for answers on his own.
Elite guard Arrow has no time to wonder about the star as he protects the royal family, a task that becomes harder when the Starreader interrupts the christening to prophesy the end of days.
Fear and confusion unsettle the kingdom, and a bid for survival turns into a desperate search for truth and hope.
If it’s any indication of how much I was drawn in by this book, I finished the entire thing in one sitting!
Usually, epic, more-detailed fantasies like this tend to give me pause. Not because I don’t like fantasy, but because they’re usually so focused on all of the details of the majestic world, intricate magic systems, and wide-spanning plot that they don’t give as much time to the characters as I prefer. I’m a very character-focused reader. However, this book had exactly the balance I hoped.
It had such an incredibly interesting world, with lots of details and a captivating plot, but it followed the characters closely, with a narrow and more intimate storytelling lens. And I loved that. I really got to connect and empathize with each character, and even the minor characters seemed very real.
Speaking of characters, they were extremely well-written. I greatly admired the Queen in particular. I liked her, related to her, and look up to her for her example of strength, grace, and love even in the midst of hardship. She was one of those characters that I wish I knew in real life. And each of the other characters around her were unique and likable, as well. They each seemed to have lives and goals of their own. I rooted for all of them, except for the ones I wasn’t supposed to…
The entire world and their system of reading the stars was super detailed and intriguing, and I was drawn into it quickly. And even though it wasn’t explicitly Christian, the allegorical elements expertly woven throughout the story were beautiful. Not out of place at all, and very powerful. Although it might be compared to astrology on first read of the blurb, I didn’t see that at all. Instead, I felt it held a lot of biblical elements, and appreciated each of them.
If I have any complaint, it’s just that I wanted more. From start to finish, I was invested, and I would have loved to learn more about the characters, their backstories, the world itself, what happened to them at the end, and exactly why some of the story events happened. I’m not sure if I just didn’t understand a few things, or if the author is saving explanations for another book…? Either way, I didn’t want it to end, and thoroughly enjoyed the read!
I would recommend this book to mature middle-grade readers and up that enjoy fantasy stories with inspirational characters, allegorical elements, family love, and journeys.
Content Warning: Loss, grief, references to child loss, injuries, fights, and violence.
** I was given an e-ARC copy, but was not required to give a positive review. All thoughts expressed are my own honest opinions.**
About the Author
Kate (Willis) Hoppman is a follower of Jesus and lover of words. She enjoys quiet afternoons reading or watching movies with her nerdy husband, baking tall cakes, and hanging out with her family.
Her website: https://onceuponanordinary.wordpress.com/
If the Stars Awaken: https://www.amazon.com/If-Stars-Awaken-Kate-Willis-ebook/dp/B0CJ7GXPW1/
Congratulations on your release, Kate!
Have you read If the Stars Awaken? If so, what was your favorite part? And if not, does it sound like your kind of book? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!