Ah! I loved it! It was my first sci-fi romance(I usually more of a fantasy fan and all it’s sub-genres) and it brings me back to the days I really started taking reading more seriously(around 2013). Back then, it was like the best books with women of color were coming my way, so when I realized how rare it was to feature such, I had to enter the real world =(
There was something otherworldly about the book, even through it’s storytelling. I wish I had something to compare it to, because there’s honestly nothing like it that I’ve read before. Maybe I need to go outside my reading circle, because there may or not be a book similar, I just haven’t encountered it.
It was awesome to see a speculative fiction book give a lot of shine to the arts. I can’t help that as a PoC, I don’t really feel we’re always encouraged to flourish in artistic fields. Unfortunately it’s not always the practical field your parents want you to go into, so unless you come from a “dreamer” family, it’s not common to nourish artistic kids and teens.
I love young adult, but it also crosses into new adult territory sometimes(it’s my absolute favorite category btw). The MC’s name is Iris(which is so pretty btw!) and the way they weave being a musician into the worldbuilding of the story was awesome. It’s a very science fiction world(READ THE GLOSSARY FIRST, YOU’LL THANK ME) so I liked that it was softened a little by the romantic plot. The plot really starts when Iris encounters an Adryil boy(which is an alien race opposite of regular humans).
I’m trying to make the review as spoiler free as possible, so it’s hard bringing up everything without telling all the goods! But there’s plenty of drama and conflict to move a 400 page book along.
I loved that Iris was your everyday type heroine. Not that there’s anything wrong with a quote-unquote “perfect” heroine, but I could relate to not growing up with money, but always being creative =) It’s bizarre how good artistic people were in this book, but they never thought they were good enough, and always wanted to be better. Its good to know living in the future really doesn’t change that feeling of inadequacy in artists(mainly musicians and dancers in this books case) and everyone’s still relatable despite that aspect.
I also love how Iris is front and center on the cover in a beautiful cascade of space colors(the cover reveal’s tomorrow, so y’all gonna have to find out what it looks like then) and stars. It really fits the feel of the book, and that’s an insta-buy for me when an girl of color is on a book =)
Overall, if you like YA, romance and science fiction and want to see all three blended REALLY well, take a chance on this book. I should mention I read it in an 8 hr span, and I rarely do that unless it’s an audiobook. So that says a lot about the way I enjoyed it(and I’d enjoy it even more if it eventually goes into audiobook, wink-wink ;p)
Some melodies reach across the stars.
In 2157, the Adryil—an advanced race of telepathic humanoids—contacted Earth. A century later, 15-year-old violist Iris Lei considers herself lucky to attend Papilio, a prestigious performing arts school powered by their technology. Born penniless, Iris’s one shot at a better life is to attract an Adryil patron. But only the best get hired, and competition is fierce.
A sudden encounter with an Adryil boy upends her world. Iris longs to learn about him and his faraway realm, but after the authorities arrest him for trespassing, the only evidence she has of his existence is the mysterious alien device he slipped to her.
When she starts hearing his voice in her head, she wonders if her world of backstabbing artists and pressure for perfection is driving her insane. Then, she discovers that her visions of him are real—by way of telepathy—and soon finds herself lost in the kind of impossible love she depicts in her music.
But even as their bond deepens, Iris realizes that he’s hiding something from her—and it’s dangerous. Her quest for answers leads her past her sheltered world to a strange planet lightyears away, where she uncovers secrets about Earth’s alien allies that shatter everything she knows.
Mary Fan is a hopeless dreamer, whose mind insists on spinning tales of “what if.” As a music major in college, she told those stories through compositions. Now, she tells them through books. She is the author of the Jane Colt space opera trilogy, the Firedragon YA dystopia/fantasy novellas, and the Fated Stars YA high fantasy novellas. She’s also the co-editor of the Brave New Girls YA sci-fi anthologies, which are dedicated to encouraging girls to enter STEM careers and raising money for the Society of Women Engineers scholarship fund.
Find her online at www.MaryFan.com.