Tag Archives: The Sound of Stars

Review: A Song of Salvation by Alechia Dow

A Song of Salvation by Alechia Dow

A Song of Salvation
Alechia Dow
Bloomsbury YA
Published July 11, 2023

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About A Song of Salvation

From the author of THE SOUND OF STARS and THE KINDRED comes a YA space opera about a reincarnated god and a grumpy pilot on a mission to save a beloved space DJ and stop an intergalactic war.
Zaira Citlali is supposed to die. After all, she’s the god Indigo reborn. Indigo, whose song created the universe and unified people across galaxies to banish Ozvios, the god of destruction. Although Zaira has never been able to harness Indigo’s powers, the Ilori Emperor wants to sacrifice her in Ozvios’s honor. Unless she escapes and finds Wesley, the boy prophesized to help her defeat Ozvios and the Ilori, once and for all.
Wesley Daniels didn’t ask for this. He just wants to work as a smuggler so he can save enough money to explore the stars. Once he completes his biggest job yet—bringing wanted celebrity Rubin Rima to a strange planet called Earth—he’ll be set for life. But when his path crosses with Zaira, he soon finds himself in the middle of an intergalactic war with more responsibility than he bargained for.
Together, Zaira, Wesley, and Rubin must find their way to Earth and unlock Zaira’s powers if they’re going to have any hope of saving the universe from total destruction.

My Review

I’ve read both THE KINDRED and THE SOUND OF STARS before and enjoyed them, so I knew I wanted to give this book a try. It’s got the same deep characters and vivid descriptions that made Dow’s other books so great, along with a found family vibe. The story also involves themes about colonization and the spirituality of creativity versus destruction.

One of the things I haven’t seen in the marketing for the book (via a peek at Amazon, Goodreads, and the top Google search results) is that these are maybe companion novels? They exist in the same story world. And they have cameos of characters from both of Alechia Dow’s other YA books. I’m not sure if I’m mixed up or if maybe they aren’t being marketed as companion novels on purpose for some reason?

In any case, you can easily enjoy this book as a standalone. It’s got a bit of romance and social commentary as well as some humor. Rubin and Blobby are my favorite characters. I love that Zaira could communicate with Blobby, and Rubin’s upbeat, always-prepared manner made him such a fun character.

On the whole, I had a great time reading this book. I think fans of Claudia Gray should check out all of Alechia Dow’s books.

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 12 up.

Major characters are Black and Brown.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Contains made-up swear words.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between two boys. Kissing between a boy and girl.

Spiritual Content
Zaira is a reincarnated god of creation, Indigo, and has supernatural abilities. Ozvios, the god of chaos and destruction is the oppositional spiritual force in the universe. Fish-like creatures called Jadu bestow the ability to see the future to those they bite. Some people have the ability to sense others’ emotions.

Violent Content
Situations of peril. One scene describes a cage fight and a main character participating in one. Fish surround and bite someone. Battle sequences with fatalities. No graphic descriptions.

Drug Content
When people aboard a ship experience fear or anxiety, the ship offers a chemicallent, a substance which calms them when it’s pumped into the air.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of A SONG OF SALVATION in exchange for my honest review. All opinions my own.

Review: The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

The Sound of Stars
Alechia Dow
Inkyard Press
Published February 25, 2020

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Goodreads

About 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.

My Review

Somewhere between requesting an advance copy of this book and actually reading it, I forgot what this story was about. (This is the only thing I don’t like much about e-books– it’s harder to flip to the back cover copy and read the summary again if you want to refresh on the premise of the book.)

Right away, though, I loved the idea of the secret library. And the references to some of the social situations and how they morphed after the alien invasion felt pretty realistic. I also think it’s really fun when a book creates its own fandom, whether that’s a famous book or movie or in this case, a famous band. I loved all the snippets about the Starry Eyed– interviews, lyrics, news spots, everything that made them seem real.

It took me a little while to get into Ellie. She’s a little prickly, which I grew to understand and love once I understood why. At first I think I worried she would be too judgy– but it becomes obvious fairly quickly that she’s just guarded and for good reasons.

I really liked the way Ellie and Morris’s relationship developed. I also loved that the story followed Ellie’s feelings about physical affection. I feel like that can be a really alienating thing to feel, especially as a teenager when there’s so much emphasis on dating and attraction. So I loved that this story models someone who’s different, and a relationship in which that’s okay.

Plot-wise, I feel like some people are going to argue that the end is kind of too easy. I don’t want to give anything away. For me, I enjoyed the end– there were some elements of it that I could see coming, but that didn’t hinder my enjoyment of it. This is one of those books that sets up the second book in the last few pages of the first, so I’m sure there will be a sequel. Right now I plan to read it. I’m interested enough in Ellie and Morris’s story to invest in another book for sure!

Fans of THE 5TH WAVE by Rick Yancey or DEFY THE STARS by Claudia Gray will definitely want THE SOUND OF STARS on their reading lists!

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Ellie describes herself as on the spectrum of asexuality (gender isn’t important to her with regard to romantic love) and isn’t generally interested in romantic physical intimacy. She’s also black. There are a couple minor characters that identify with they/them pronouns.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used fairly frequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Some references to sex and kissing. Brief kissing between boy and girl.

Spiritual Content

Violent Content
Ellie and her friends witness human executions (someone hanged to death) and trauma caused by experimentation. Some situations of peril and battle situations. Nothing grossly graphic, but the kinds of things you’d expect in a post-apocalyptic world.

Drug Content
Ellie’s mother is an alcoholic.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support the costs of running this blog. I received a free copy of THE SOUND OF STARS in exchange for my honest review.