Inherit the Stars by Tessa Elwood
Paperback ARC, 301 pages
Published by Running Press Teens,
an imprint of Running Press Books Publishers
Publication Date: December 8th, 2015
Three royal houses ruling three interplanetary systems are on the brink of collapse, and they must either ally together or tear each other apart in order for their people to survive.
Asa is the youngest daughter of the house of Fane, which has been fighting a devastating food and energy crisis for far too long. She thinks she can save her family’s livelihood by posing as her oldest sister in an arranged marriage with Eagle, the heir to the throne of the house of Westlet. The appearance of her mother, a traitor who defected to the house of Galton, adds fuel to the fire, while Asa also tries to save her sister Wren's life . . . possibly from the hands of their own father.
But as Asa and Eagle forge a genuine bond, will secrets from the past and the urgent needs of their people in the present keep them divided?
Inherit the Stars was a great book that I don't regret reading, but I definitely had some major issues with it. First of all, I loved the family aspects of the book. Asa—the protagonist—put family above everything else in her life, and she really struck me as a person with a lot of resolve. She always tried her hardest to do what was best for her family.
The dreaded insta-love trope (that is so common in YA books and so annoying) was avoided, and truly I loved how Asa and Eagle started off as reluctant partners and gradually became closer. Speaking of Eagle, he was a great and complex character with well-developed and realistic flaws. While he began as distant and moody, by the end of the book, he had undergone a tremendous amount of character growth, and it was just wonderfully executed.
Unfortunately, I had several problems that kept me from completely loving the book. One of the biggest was how little world-building there was! Coming from a person who's always had a deep interest in astronomy, there is so much room (and need!) for details and explanations in a sci-fi fantasy story involving outer space travel and multiple solar systems. Instead, I can't even name one thing about appearances, landscapes, or general features of the planets. Not only this, but I am missing an explanation as to how the characters travelled through space within a matter of days. Despite these very odd scientific mishaps that perhaps I'm nitpicking over, it was the ending that disappointed me the most. Basically, two pages from the end of the book, just when I felt like it would take another book to resolve everything—every single issue was fixed instantly and in the most lucky, convenient way possible. It was a pretty big let-down. I would have preferred a cliffhanger and an entire sequel for a better and more reasonable conclusion.
Overall, I would recommend Inherit the Stars, though I did have some annoyances that kept me from falling in-love. It places a huge value on family, and while the weird science and the ending were lacking, the characters themselves and the writing really made up for it!
1) The book placed a great emphasis on the importance of family, and Asa puts her sisters who she is very close to—Wren and Emmaline—before everything else in her life, and it was touching to read.
2) No insta-love! The romance truly took a long time to develop, and the characters got to know each other instead gradually. It was a slow burn, and it felt natural.
3) Eagle was a great, realistic character. He had his flaws, because he was distant and reluctant at first, but he really developed throughout the story.
1) There was basically no world-building in this book—although different planets and solar systems give so much room for it! It is frustrating that not even one feature of the planets travelled between throughout the book was mentioned, which took away from the story.
2) How did they to travel between solar systems in a day? I need to know!!
3) The ending was SO rushed. A conflict that should have taken a separate book to resolve was quickly cleared up on the last page—it felt completely forced. I expected more and I expected better.
The brown of his eyes echoes in his lips. Warmth and wonder like life is this shiny, beautiful thing.
No wonder he smiles so rarely. Everyone would forget how to breathe.
“Yes. You survived! You get to eat breakfast with your family ever day and dinner with them every night. When people look at you, they should see courage—literally—in your skin, and face the idea that you didn’t give up when they probably would have. You’re awake and standing and if they don’t realize how amazing that is, then you can just blame me.”