Wednesday, August 17, 2016

BLOG TOUR: There Once Were Stars by Melanie McFarlane (REVIEW & GIVEAWAY)

There Once Were StarsPeace. Love. Order. Dome. That’s the motto that the Order has given the residents of Dome 1618 to live by. Natalia Greyes is a resident of Dome 1618, a covered city protected from the deadly radiation that has poisoned the world outside for four generations. Nat never questioned the Order, until one day she sees a stranger on the outside of the dome. Now Nat wants answers. Is there life outside the dome and if so, what has the Order been hiding from everyone?

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

There may be a lot of dystopian novels out there (though, the genre is beginning to simmer down), but I still love reading them and there are still so many with new ideas. This one caught my eye from the first time I read the synopsis. This book, while having dystopian themes we are used to, brings a new idea to the table and does a great job.

Nat lives inside a dome with her grandparents. Her family and others has lived in the dome for generations, ever since a disease spread outside and they had to bomb the world to rid of it. Live in the dome is controlled and strict, but the government has their reasons. That doesn't stop Nat from sneaking off into the (forbidden) forest everyday since her parents died. It's on one of these days that she notices two strangers outside her dome. But that can't be possible. There's nothing alive outside the dome, there's too much radiation. That is how her parents died. But Nat will discover the truth behind the two strangers, the dome, and even her parents death.

Like I said, I never seem to tire of dystopians, but there's something about dystopians involving domes that just demand to be read. Maybe it's because of the Gone series, one of all-time favorite series, who knows. Anyway, I thought the world-building in this book was very well-developed. McFarlane described the dome, and even the outside of the dome, very well. I was able to get a clear picture of the world. The history was also explained (slowly, no info-dump here) and made sense.

I liked Nat as a main character. She's a strong and smart MC. She had trouble seeing what was right in front of her at times, especially when it came to the romance, but I liked her as the MC.

The romance was something that I was okay with, but not too wild about. First of all, I would like to mention that while there are two guys interested in Nat, one of them is kind of in the friend-zone and it's obvious from the start, so that wasn't a problem. I also happened to like the love interest. My problem was that the romance was a frustrating boomerang. They would be into each other, then they weren't talking (because they were unsure of "feelings"), and back again. It got tiring, especially when I just want them to get together and kick government butt.

As for the ending, it felt abrupt to me. Though, that may be my fault. I thought I had 20 pages left (ending up being 1 1/2, I was reading an ebook and I guess the page count was off) and I was hurrying to finish it before I had to go somewhere. So I might have rushed it. But I remember thinking "Oh my gosh I'm almost done and so much is happening" only to turn the page to find a few paragraphs left...
Will there be a sequel? Because I want one now.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book! I loved the story and I was able to become immersed in the world! The romance bothered at times and I kind of what more books (wish is a good thing), but I overall liked this book. So, I'll keep my eyes peeled for any more books.

I hereby give this book
3.5 Stars
Meaning: I liked it, but it wasn't quite amazing.

Melanie McFarlane is a passionate writer of other-wordly adventures, a little excitable, and a little quirky. Whether it’s uncovering the corruption of the future, or traveling to other worlds to save the universe, she jumps in with both hands on her keyboard. Though she can be found obsessing over zombies and orcs from time to time, Melanie focuses her powers on writing young adult stories to keep the rest of the world up reading all night.
She lives with her husband and two daughters in the Land of Living Skies.

Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
Five (5) ebooks of THERE ONCE WERE STARS


  1. Sequel coming spring 2017! Less romance more action! Thank you for your review :)