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Book Review

A Dark and Hollow Star Review

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The “ironborn” half-fae outcast of her royal fae family.
A tempestuous Fury, exiled to earth from the Immortal Realm and hellbent on revenge.
A dutiful fae prince, determined to earn his place on the throne.
The prince’s brooding guardian, burdened with a terrible secret.

For centuries, the Eight Courts of Folk have lived among us, concealed by magic and bound by law to do no harm to humans. This arrangement has long kept peace in the Courts—until a series of gruesome and ritualistic murders rocks the city of Toronto and threatens to expose faeries to the human world.

Four queer teens, each who hold a key piece of the truth behind these murders, must form a tenuous alliance in their effort to track down the mysterious killer behind these crimes. If they fail, they risk the destruction of the faerie and human worlds alike. If that’s not bad enough, there’s a war brewing between the Mortal and Immortal Realms, and one of these teens is destined to tip the scales. The only question is: which way?

Wish them luck. They’re going to need it.

My Review

CW From the Author: anger, arson, blood/gore, body horror (minor), death of a child, depression, disownment, divorce, drug use/addiction, grief/grieving, human trafficking, poverty, psychopathy, stalking, suicide (past, off-page), suicide ideation, toxic relationship/manipulation, trauma/PTSD, racism, violence/gun violence

I can’t remember the last time I full on belly laughed while reading a book (okay it was probably the infamous Daevabad potato head line but still, that was a while ago) and this book had me do it more than a couple of times.

This was such a FUN read, fae, ya fantasy, mystery, gay as all get out and with possible formation of my new fave squad.

Don’t let the size of this tome intimidate you, for me the pacing kept up, never lagging, and because you’re jumping around through this mystery, the chapters are quick and always pushing toward the next bit. Also Shuttleworth’s writing style was incredibly engaging and witty, they had me from page one if I’m honest. I loved that!

The cast of characters was GREAT (though admittedly Aurelian was a bit of a weak link though I have incredible hope that he’ll win me over completely in the next book). They were all quite varied from each other and I’ll be real I would totally want to spend the day with Arlo and her cousins, but not her mom, because her mom terrifies me lol.

Arlo is quiet and reserved on the outside but get her around family and her true colors show lol, I loved her. Prince Vehan was a hoot as well, I think he’s just this little cinnamon roll that we should all protect from the world, he and Arlo quite clearly have HUGE hearts, and he also has a strong sense of justice.

But.

No one compares to…

Nausicaä.

This immortal, sassy, snarky lesbian has stolen my heart. I would take a bullet for her and then ask her to autograph it.

She is Dean Winchester with wings and in heels.

Under that tough exterior is raw grief and it’s so powerful that it has colored her immortal life in a way that has landed her on the mortal plane for eternity for what she did in reaction to that grief. I love that she acknowledges the mental health issue of her sister, that she can know she suffers from it as well and that immortals are not immune to it. She, Nausicaä, sheds light on this assumption that I think many of us have when reading stories with immortals. They’re living, they feel, there’s a stigma in their own kind in these world about mental health but Nausicaä embraces that they aren’t perfect in all their immortality and I loved the message that sent out.

Anyway, these four are all separately dragged into the same mystery and before we know it, we have a budding Scooby gang and the mystery is one that has powerful repercussions through their world and ours.

The world-building was excellent, I loved the courts and their different locations, I loved the magic for those not fully of the fae realms and the differing levels between the ‘fae’ themselves and other beings. We have a great mix-up of everything and not to mention the world-building is basically attempting to rewrite itself in the plot and holy cow did I love that.

The mystery is fantastic and I loved the different POVs though we are mostly learning things through Arlo’s over the others. As we’re piecing together things it just makes the stakes rise even higher and by the end of the book I had no idea what to do with myself. LIKE HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WAIT FOR THE SEQUEL?! And now I really want to roadtrip to Canada and take the book with me lol.

Anyway, I loved this all so much. 4/5 Cups of Coffee, why not 5? As much as I loved it, I think we could have done more with the others, and I think we needed focus on the other three at times where we were mostly with Arlo as stated earlier. And though I loved the writing style, I still did want more of the back history to help me propel forward through the present of the book. BUT. AMAZING book and I adore it.

By TheCaffeinatedReader

A Caffeinated Reader and Musician, destined to write lacklustre book reviews with the over-ample amount of free time.

3 replies on “A Dark and Hollow Star Review”

Nausicaä dealing with the loss of her sister was amazing to me. To present such a notion in a fantasy story isn’t new but to a immortal? Now that’s interesting. The idea that someone who is ever eternal suffers from such a mundane thing is unthinkable but not unpleasable but its not surprising. Your review is so beautifully written. It’s one of my favorite books of the year and can’t recommend it enough.

Liked by 1 person

“She is Dean Winchester with wings and in heels.”

EXCUSE ME?! You sold this to me even more, I’ve already been eyeing this book since I first heard about it because Urban Fantasy and a queer cast? Like sign me the hell up but aaah even though I never finished watching Supernatural I adored Dean’s character hehe. I’m excited to eventually read this one now hehe (also I adore your blogs new look, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this to you yet or not but I LOVE it!)

Liked by 1 person

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