Saturday, January 21, 2017

Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan

Title: Hold Back the Stars
Author: Katie Khan
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Source: Random House UK via NetGalley

Carys and Max have ninety minutes of air left.

Unless they can come up with a good idea, they're going to die in about an hour and a half.

But it doesn't need to end like this.

Adrift in space, Carys and Max can't help but look down at the world they left behind; a well-oiled, efficient machine that they can no longer call home. Perhaps they might have done things differently if they'd known what was going to happen...

Katie Khan's debut novel is an epic lovestory that will leave you breathless. Set in a future world that bans relationships before a certain age, Hold Back the Stars begs the question: How hard would you fight for the chance at love?
Review by Nara

As you might be able to tell from the cover, the tagline and the blurb, Hold Back the Stars is really a romance with a scifi setting (set in the future) rather than a scifi focused novel. That's probably the first thing you need to know if you're thinking about reading this novel. There is not much of a sci-fi flavour to it at all (apart from the "present" time being in the vacuum of space). I did half expect that it would be that way, and was slightly disappointed when it turned out that I was right.

Not sure if it was just the formatting of the electronic ARC that I was reading, but the way the novel was set out, it was actually very difficult to keep track of the timelines. It was quite obvious as to whether it was set in the past vs the present, but it was hard to know exactly how far back we were going, and the transitions weren't quite as smooth as I would've liked.

I can't put much faith at all in the 'science' of the novel. There were the sort of explanations where you kind of have to just accept them without thinking about it for fear of discovering a large number of holes and breaking your suspension of disbelief.

The romance side of things was okay, but it just wasn't engaging enough to carry the entire story and flow of the novel despite it technically being the main focus. The jumpy timeline and somewhat awkward prose didn't help with my immersion in the novel. The writing wasn't quite to my taste, with a lot of examples of odd word choices making the tone too formal.

So unfortunately, I wasn't the biggest fan of this novel. I'm not sure that I would recommend it; it would depend on whether you're okay with character and romance focused scifi novels.

It was okay
Overall: 4/10
Plot: 2.5/5
Romance: 3/5
Writing: 2/5
World Building: 2/5
Characters: 2.5/5
Cover: 2/5