Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she’s too busy trying to actually survive. Her town’s population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.
When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she’ll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie’s sin has put her in serious trouble.
To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?
Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can’t survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.
This book was seriously rad af.
When I was in my otaku phase some years ago in middle school (but are we really out of it?), exorcists and demons and supernatural crap were my thing. Hellsing, Trinity Blood, D.Gray Man, Ao no Exorcist yes yes and yes (although the vampires in those anime are not the same you see in Twilight). Later on TV shows like Supernatural also came into play.
SO OBVIOUSLY, I was super excited to start a YA series about exorcisms and demonic possession. We’ve had our shares of vampires, werewolves, ghouls here or there and even demons, but when you get the church involved, it’s a whole ‘nother playing field.
The only other YA novel I can think of with these aspects and a similar haunting atmosphere is Eliza Crewe’s totally awesome Cracked, which I’m still waiting for the third book to come out.
ANYWAY, back to The Stars Never Rise. Step aside, hot demons with your forbidden love with more hot angels, because the demons in this book are LEGIT.
They will fucking suck your soul if given the chance. They are intelligent, and live among the people.
But no fear! Because the Church is here to protect you. Years ago, during a war between demons, the Church stepped out and protected humanity from the evil creatures. Now, they rule the place.
“All schools were run by the Church, and all teachers were either ordained Church pledges or fully consecrated senior members. Same for doctors, police, soldiers, reporters, and any other profession committed to serving the community.”
Sounds like the Church is doing a bang-up job of protecting the people, right?
OR SO YOU THINK.
There are many secrets about how the Church came into power that Nina and her friends discover throughout the book. The lovely old priests and exorcists that help protect our community? Not what you think they are.
Thanks, Father Anderson.
In the beginning of the book, I was kinda scared on where it was heading. I mean, I think you would be too if you read,
“Then I saw his eyes. Deep green, with a dark ring around the outside and paler flecks throughout. For just a second, I stared at them. I’d never seen eyes like that. They were beautiful.”
I read that and I was laughing because if she gonna keep on thinking like that then she ain’t gonna survive amiright.
BUT THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN. The romance has a really cool twist that doesn’t dominate the actual plot. When I say “really cool,” it’s unique and different than your average teenage drama. Plus, it’s not overbearing and even though some developments from this end is going on, the characters are focused on their overall goal. In the beginning I was scared that the romance would cover up any actual story (come on, eyes, really?) but the book proved me wrong and I LIKED IT.
NOT ONLY THAT, but all the characters were complex and highly enjoyable to read about. The exorcists that are introduced are a fun group with different, colorful personalities. Nina herself makes smart choices and tries her best to support her family. Even when her sister gets pregnant, Nina puts herself second and thinks about working in a factory for the rest of her life to support Mellie and her baby. CAN I GET A SISTER LIKE THAT? Sometimes she has to face consequences for her choices but she faces them like a goddamn pro. You do what you do to survive, man.
Oh man, I really don’t want to spoil anything for you guys so just READ IT. Does demon posessions, characters who fight back, and a Church that may or may not be protecting the people seem to be up your alley? Then WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
COME TO THE DARK SIDE.
WE HAVE HOT GUYS.