I received an ARC of this book for an honest review from the publisher Skyscrape through NetGalley.
Goodreads Synopsis:When the aliens came, they didn’t attack—they just hung in the sky. After a year of human hysteria, they left and the rains began. Ever since, some girls have been born with unusual abilities. The fifth daughter of Magnus Roma, creator of the extraordinary circus called The Show, Penn was born a Celestine: she can call down the stars. Her newborn cries brought burning hail that killed her twin brother. For sixteen years Penn has hidden her power by assuming the life of her twin, just as her four older sisters (who can manipulate the elements) have hidden from the Wardens’ Commission in plain sight as circus performers.
Then, one explosive night, Penn loses everything. The wardens want to protect Earth from anything alien. Her sisters are taken, and The Show is destroyed. To save her family, Penn must do the unthinkable and use the power she’s been taught to suppress. She’ll travel to the very heart of her world’s darkness and discover the truth about her terrifying gift.
For sixteen years Penn and her sisters have had to hide who they really are. The Show was created exactly for this reason. Her father , also gifted, is the glue that holds this whole ‘world’ together and when he goes missing Penn’s life and that of her whole world that is The Show comes crashing down around her in a rain of stars, literally! Forced to defend herself and her family she calls down the very stars on the heads of those trying to capture them;or is it only her they’re after? Not only is she Magnus’s daughter, she is Celestine;she is an anomaly.
This was a remarkable combination of science fiction, fantasy and steampunk elements.
The story was eloquent with a fairly original take on super abilities , my favourite of which was the ability to ‘sing’ down the stars. I thought this was a devastating but ultra cool ability to possess.
The story moved along at a steady pace and Penn, the main character, was often in dire straits. This created tension and anticipation which didn’t leave room for boredom. We get to experience Penn discovering just the extent of her abilities and this often on the fly.
Her sisters’ abilities were also detailed and we got to see them in action along with the life-like machines. These machines are partially sentient and wove that steampunk element through the story.
The use of the circus ‘The Show’ as a cover to conceal their abilities was brilliant. It was logical and not farfetched. The characters could hide and use their abilities in plain sight without it being seen for what it really was.
There was no lack of action sequences in this book which i loved! I thought these scenes were well depicted and easy to visualise.
I wish that the sisters were more present in the story. They sort of faded into the background with only the occcasional reference after the initial circus showdown, and never really made it back into the story.
Penn’s character lacked development. She was lacking in good judgement and continued to react the same way throughout and did not seem to learn from her mistakes. There were also times I felt that she could have used her abilites to prevent getting caught so often.
Overall, this was a surprisingly enjoyable, fast-paced and engrossing novel .
I recommend this for lovers of science fiction and or fantasy and YA readers.