A Wilderness of Stars by Shea Earnshaw

When Vega, daughter of the last astronomer, sees the twin stars on the horizon, she knows that it’s the sign several generations have been waiting for. She leaves the safety of the valley and the only home she’s ever known to go in search of someone known as The Architect. But she has to hide who she is from the people who want her for their own ends and avoid scavengers who stalk the land.

From the cover of this book, you’d be forgiven for thinking this was witchy YA, which is quite a popular genre in recent years. Especially as the author penned The Wicked Deep, which was about curses and witchery. (Yes, I did enjoy it). This one is also YA, but I would call it a dystopian western with some science fiction for added flavour. The ideas and plotting seem very much drawn from the world today, with conspiracy theorists, ranting cult like leaders, and a plague-like epidemic ravaging a dying planet. It’s not as cheesey and on the nose as that may sound, but I think if you’re looking for escapism or a break from doom and dread, this one may not fit the bill.

Generally speaking, I liked this one. It’s not heavy handed and there are some really interesting ideas in the mix. It’s an entertaining read, and I really had a visual sense of the way all the characters looked and the environment they live in. The book doesn’t tell you everything up front, and the way we have to piece things together as we go along adds a sense of mystery or puzzle to the adventure narrative. The story also has a nice romance at it’s heart, which I liked. It is YA, so it did feel a bit dramatic and bit long winded to me at times. I tend to find modern YA is a bit that way, so regular readers of the genre will enjoy that about it. It will definitely satisfy it’s target audience.

Read It If: you’re a Shea Earnshaw fan. It’s YA at it’s best: a dystopian future meets western, with some romance, and that keeps you guessing.

Thank you to Simon and Schuster Canada for the ARC of this book for review.

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