Saturday, February 15, 2020

Book Review: The Sound of the Stars by Alechia Dow

The Sound of Stars
By: Alechia Dow
Release Date: February 25, 2020
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Source: eARC from the publisher in exchange for a honest review
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Don’t miss this spectacular debut novel… Can a girl who risks her life for books and an alien who loves forbidden pop music work together to save humanity? This road trip is truly out of this world! A beautiful and thrilling read for fans of Marie Lu and Veronica Roth.

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.


My Thoughts:

When I saw the beautiful book cover for The Sound of Stars, I knew this was a book that I wanted to read!  

When aliens invade earth, one-third of the population is killed, while the other two-thirds are rounded up and contained under the strict surveillance of the Ilori labmades.  Music, Art, and books are illegal.  People are not allowed to come and go or socialize with one another, except for during designated times and under careful surveillance.  The Ilori labmades are preparing the earth for the true Ilori to be able to land and survive in the atmosphere's conditions.  A vaccine is being prepared for humans, that will allow for the true Ilori to use their bodies as a way to "vacation" on earth.

MORr1S "Morris" is a labmade commander that has been tasked with the creation of the vaccine. He doesn't have any true power, as the Ilori labmades are second class citizens and the true Ilori are their masters.  Ilori are not suppose to have emotions.  Morris is different, because he was raised by a mother who encouraged him to embrace his feelings. 

Janelle "Ellie" Baker has a passion for books, and hid all of her family's favorites.  She has an illegal library, where she smuggles books to other humans with the help of her best friend, Alice.

Morris discovered music when he came to earth, and when he discovers Ellie's illegal library, he enlists her help in rounding up more hidden music for him to discover and enjoy.  He promises Ellie that he will keep her, Alice, and her family safe, if she helps him in his endeavor.  As these two connect over their passion for music and books, they find themselves in a dangerous predicament, and while they're racing against the clock to save humanity, they might just discover what it means to fall in love...

I loved the strong characterization of both Ellie and Morris.  I got a good sense of who they were, as well as what their hopes and fears were.  Ellie was courageous, resilient, a little awkward, and very intelligent.  I loved and connected with her passion for books, as well as her love and loyalty towards her best friend Alice, and her parents.  Morris was a wonderful character in his own right.  I enjoyed the way that he evolved as the story went on.  He realized that emotions weren't something to be ashamed of, but rather, were a sign of strength.  He was compassionate and caring, and I loved his excitement, exuberance, and passion for all types of music, as well as for Ellie.

It was a lot of fun reading about various musicians, and their songs.  David Bowie, The Beatles, Cold Play, Queen, and Beyonce were a few mentioned, and I got excited over each new artist/song mentioned.  I also loved hearing about different authors and stories, such as Pride and Prejudice, Corduroy, The Hate U Give, and Harry Potter.  Important societal issues were addressed such as climate change, and civil/human rights as well as racial inequality and discrimination.  

Where I struggled a bit was with the pacing of the plot.  The prologue was amazing, and had me so excited to delve in to the story.  Each new chapter has an interview or article about Ellie's favorite band, The Starry Eyed.  I was confused at first, because these excerpts didn't fit with the story and were distracting.  However, at the end of the story, the author connected and explained everything.  I think the plot needed more suspense and action to move the story along at a faster and more exciting pace. The ending was great and flew by!  We are left with a to be continued ending, but we get a few answers and aren't left with a crazy cliffhanger.

If you enjoy science-fiction, stories about aliens, romance, pop culture, and relevant societal issues, you might want to check out, The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow!

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About the Author:

Alechia Dow is a former pastry chef, food critic, culinary teacher, and Youth Services librarian. When not writing about determined black girls (like herself), you can find her chasing her wild child, baking, or taking teeny adventures around Europe.


  1. What a cool idea! I love how it sounds like music plays such a central role in the story.

  2. interesting and i enjoyed your great review
    sherry @ fundinmental

  3. That sounds fun! I love the colors on that cover.

    1. The cover is gorgeous! This would be a great addition to a reader's book shelves for sure!

  4. You make this sound a ton better than the premise Lindy! I was drawn to the cover too and do love me an alien invasion story. It sounds like the music and books and pop culture are what really sell it. I get from you though that there are pacing issues. And that is a big problem with these type of stories, don’t let me think for too long.

    1. Thanks Dani! I love Alien invasion stories too :)

  5. This does sound like a fun and unique read, although that's a shame about the pacing.

    1. Oh yes, it definitely had fun and unique elements :)

  6. I love the title of the book. Might have to read it.

  7. It's a little tough when the plot lags in places. Glad to hear you enjoyed the story. It does sound original and interesting. :)

    1. Yes it was very unique, and I enjoyed this story overall :)


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