Publisher: Andrea K. Höst
Publication Date: September 30th 2012
Madeleine Cost is working to become the youngest person ever to win the Archibald Prize for portraiture. Her elusive cousin Tyler is the perfect subject: androgynous, beautiful, and famous. All she needs to do is pin him down for the sittings.
None of her plans factored in the Spires: featureless, impossible, spearing into the hearts of cities across the world – and spraying clouds of sparkling dust into the wind.
Is it an alien invasion? Germ warfare? They are questions everyone on Earth would like answered, but Madeleine has a more immediate problem. At Ground Zero of the Sydney Spire, beneath the collapsed ruin of St James Station, she must make it to the surface before she can hope to find out if the world is ending.
Confession: When I see the words "alien" and "invasion" at the same time in the description of a book, movie, t.v. show, whatever, I automatically picture some campy 1950s horror flick and assume I won't like it. (Which is just ridiculous considering how much science fiction, aliens included, I actually like!) But, BUT...do you see this cover? And Andrea Höst is an Australian YA author (which basically means it has to be good, right?) I am so glad that I decided to take a chance on And All the Stars.
Höst completely took me by surprise with this one. And All the Stars has that rare combination of being action packed while still having incredibly developed characters. The plot was exciting and engrossing, but the story was still just as much character driven as it was plot driven. The way the different relationships between the characters developed, or were revealed, made me feel like I was one of the group. Höst's world is an entirely fresh take on so many ideas in science fiction. She throws some serious curve balls in the plot, and I completely didn't see them coming! I wish I could say more about it, but much of the pleasure in reading And All the Stars is in the unexpected. I would hate to spoil the reading experience for someone else.
I also really liked the diversity found in Höst's characters -- it felt effortless and natural, a pleasant change from much of what I have recently read! If I had one complaint, it is that the ending was tied up just a little too neatly, and felt much less authentic to the characters than the rest of the book. The "where are they now" vibe was a little too removed from the characters with whom we had become so intimately acquainted.
Rating: 5 of 5 stars ~ I loved it! It’s one of my favorites! I will push it on everyone I know!
Review also on Goodreads; review copy kindly provided by Andrea K. Höst.