THE SOUND OF STARS
Can a girl who risks her life for books and an alien who loves forbidden pop music work together to save humanity?
Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.
Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. Deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, humanity’s emotional transgressions are now grounds for execution. All art, books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.
Born in a lab, M0Rr1S (Morris) was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does.
Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while making a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-fi, Fantasy
Representation: demisexual, biromantic and nonbinary characters, anxiety and panic attacks, fat character, black characters, hypothyroidism
Trigger Warnings: colonization, violence, execution, oppression, brainwashing and mind control, anxiety, panic attacks
I WAS GIVEN AN E-COPY OF THIS BOOK BY THE AUTHOR AND THE FFBC TOURS BUT THIS DOESN’T INFLUENCE MY VIEWS AND OPINIONS IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER. I’M VERY GRATEFUL TO HAVE BEEN INCLUDED IN THIS TOUR. THANK YOU FFBC TOURS AND ALECHIA DOW!
I absolutely love every scene in this freaking book. The plot never seems to linger or drag around but it’s not very quick-paced in the beginning either. It has perfect pacing. One thing that I loved was how the events unfolded. Sometimes, the events you expect to read about in the latter half of the book, end up happening by the middle of the book so you really have no clue what to expect. I absolutely adore books which have the quality to do that, and The Sound of Stars had a plot that kept me guessing every single event that would occur. The plot twist towards the end is one that I didn’t expect although I did predict a very tiny portion of it, I was pleasantly surprised.
The story in itself is fascinating and makes you want to be glued to the book forever. I had a major crisis when I was left only with 100 pages. I was dreading the end of the book because I simply didn’t want to let go of such a beautiful story.
Oh and I must talk about some of the amazing themes incorporated into the book, especially consent. This book shows us that consent matters in every way. It doesn’t matter whether it is sexual in nature or a matter of invading one’s privacy. It doesn’t matter if you’ve known someone only for a few hours or whether you’ve shared intimate moments with the. Consent still stands. My heart swelled twice its size every time Morris asked permission to kiss Janelle and the fact that he patiently waited with a smile on his face, every single time that she said no.
There are so many incredible book and song references scattered around the book! At several points, I just squealed at the pop culture references.
Oh my god. I am in love with Ellie and Morris.
The way they were written was so soft? I just can’t get over them. Janelle aka Ellie is a girl who loves stories. She’s always been told to speak softly and act less smart because she’s black and she shouldn’t be attracting attention towards herself. As a result, she grows up to be very introverted and wary of people. With most protagonists, you see a desire to save the entire humanity but after facing harsh discrimination, Ellie doesn’t lean towards that idea until very much later. She rebels silently by lending out contraband, aka books. Ellie is scared of the world and of losing the ones she loves and yet she is so very brave, ready to embark a journey and stand up for the people she cares for.
Morris is something else. He’s honestly the sweetest cinnamon roll I’ve ever known. I’ve seen and read about humans who are more stoic and emotionless than this supposedly stoic lab-made alien. Morris loves music with all his heart and then he falls for Ellie. I honestly fell more and more in love with Ellie too as I read about her from his perspective. He’s so smart and gentle and always seems to care for the people around him. I’ve already talked about his immense regard of consent so he’s basically the dreamiest book boyfriend you would want.
We honestly don’t see much of the side characters due to the nature of the story and plot but I loved seeing Avrola’s character as the supportive sidekick. I would definitely read their story as a companion novel, I’m pretty sure they had something going on towards the end with a certain band member…
Oh, and how can you not love Alice? She’s an absolute sweetheart. And I also found out Orsa to be a very well written antagonist because towards the end we do find her backstory or the reason behind her ‘evil nature’ as some would say, and it’s quite well developed so kudos to the author!
I think the biggest compliment I can give The Sound of Stars in terms of writing is that I felt I was inside the book. The rest of the world just didn’t exist. Many times sci-fi and fantasy novels tend to confuse me with the world-building and information dumps, but Alechia Dow is a master. Her writing is so fluid, lines blend together. Many authors try hard to make lines look pretty and quotable but there’s a sort of beauty to Dow’s writing that is so effortless and enthralling! You’ll definitely see it when you read it.
MY FAVOURITE QUOTES
“But they don’t know that rebels are made in the worst of circumstances, and even death can’t stop the. Us.”
“Music, stories, art… they’re a bridge between you and someone else…yeah, but also a bridge between the person you are one moment to the person you are the next.”
“You don’t have to be human for me. Just be yourself.”
“But I wasn’t the loose type. My worries kept me safe, and my feet on the ground.”
“I never wanted to care. I made myself believe I couldn’t anymore. That caring only sets you for disappointment. But I do care, and there is nothing I can do to change that/”
“I have a heart, and it belongs to you. And I have a body that wishes only to be near yours.”
“If music is a story, it comes alive with love. The more love it has, the more likely the story will never end.”
“We are alive. A story and a song. Neither of those things can die.”
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan
A Spark Of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna
Dare Mighty Things by Heather Kaczynski
You can win a copy of The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow by entering the giveaway right here! (US Only)
All the best 🙂
If you wish to follow the rest of the blog tour and visit the hosts, you can do so by following the tour schedule given here.
Is The Sound of Stars on your TBR yet? If not what are you even doing?
Have you ever read a book about aliens? Which one?
What was the last science fiction book that you read and loved?