Star Dust by Ali Winters

28515382A case of mistaken identity triggers a reign of terror.

A Star Princess of Soleis, bound by tradition, is forced to fulfill an arrangement made prior to her birth. During the Tauri masque, Oriana meets a handsome stranger, but soon finds out he is not who she thought.

Prince Lucian, unfamiliar with the treaties of the Universe, must restore the reputation of his world and prove his kingdom is not behind the attacks.

No one knew an innocent mistake could lead to the destruction of the solar system. Worlds are conquered, lives torn apart, and destruction reigns, while Oriana, unknowingly, holds the key to salvation.

Now, a Princess who needs saving must save herself, the man she loves, as well as the rest of the Universe, before it is destroyed beyond repair.

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My Review:
3 stars — I received a free copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

This one just wasn’t quite my cup of tea.  I enjoyed the uniqueness of the setting and the world that Ms. Winters developed, but my bread and butter for stories is always characters, and I just wasn’t enthralled with either Oriana or Lucian.  I think I just tend to be more drawn to sassier heroines, and as such Oriana came across a bit drier to me…  It was like I was missing the sparkle from her personality…I wanted something more there.  Occasionally I did get glimpses of it, but just not enough to satisfy me (and mostly not til the end of the book).  I think I was stuck on the stupid detail of her age as well.  It wasn’t until the end of the book where the delightful solar system map is (LOVE those details btw, and the chapter titles?? GORGEOUS) that I discovered that Soleis is the closest planet to the sun (closer than Mercury), and so 100 Soleis years is significantly less days than I was expecting (b/c I was still thinking Earth years — and so I was wondering what she was doing with herself for 100 Earth years of time and not having learned anything about ruling and whatnot, or so it seemed). I mean, I knew it was her coming of age, so 18 year equivalent, but I guess I just thought they lived a lot longer, and…well, you know, I got confused and started wondering things that are kind of irrelevant now.  But it still does seem kind of crazy to me that she was that sheltered from all political life…but wait Lenore, does it?  Hmmm…brain won’t shut off.

And Lucian was hard for me to read…I don’t know if it was the mood I was in while reading, but occasionally he just came across somewhat jerk-ish, and so I just didn’t find myself falling in love with him.  Truthfully, of all the secondary characters, I was most intrigued by Erik.

I found the pacing to be a bit off for me as well.  I can’t tell if it’s a me thing or not, but it just didn’t feel like it was building to one big climax for a while there, and I was missing some tension or something.  It just felt like they were doing one thing, then the next, then the next, and I guess I wanted something…it sucks when you don’t know what makes books work for you, you just know when they’re not working for you, you know?  I’m so articulate today, you’re all welcome.

I also found that the hints given to the readers were too big sometimes (about her pendant for example), and so after a few hints I just kind of got frustrated…maybe it’d be different if the characters were noticing the hints too, but they were still oblivious.  I don’t know.  You know what, I don’t know what I’m saying anymore.

So yeah, TL;DR, most of this book just didn’t work for me.  I found the beginning with the ball to be a bit long, I reached the first bit of action and was actually REALLY drawn in (almost cried and everything, there was a lot of emotion in that part and it was really effective), then I lost my verve for the story for quite a while, and then it ramped up again at the end with the climax.  Sorry for all the rambling.  I tend to do that when I don’t enjoy something that I was expecting to, like I’m justifying my thoughts to myself.  *rolls eyes*  Do I have a complex much?  😛

EDITED TO ADD: after talking to my husband, I want to emphasize that this is NOT a sci-fi novel.  I think my brain had a hard time wrapping around that since it’s set on other planets and stuff, but then I had a hard time suspending my disbelief b/c there were so many things that couldn’t happen b/c of science, you know? (like you just can’t live on half the planets, some because they are made of GAS, and some b/c of being too close to the sun, etc).  So just think of this as a FANTASY novel and NOT sci-fi, and it might work better for you.


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