I didn’t have any trouble picking this book up and getting started in it. Nora Roberts has been my favorite author and I have always been excited to start reading one of her books. Unfortunately, as of late, her books haven’t had as big of an impact on me as older ones I have read. This book didn’t disappoint me but it didn’t impress me either.
Sasha has always known she was different; dreaming of places she has never been and people she has never met isn’t normal. Her most recent dream sparked a pull inside of her that she can no longer ignore so she packs up her things and heads to Greece, not completely sure of what will happen. She knows these dreams and visions mean something and meeting Bran, Riley, Doyle, Annika and Sawyer completes the puzzle. All six of them have a destiny; to find three hidden stars, reunite them and release them back to the sky. They find this adventure isn’t that simple; finding the stars is one thing, keeping them from an evil power is another.
Quick blurb about where this book will fit into my reading challenge. This one will go into the ” read a book set in a place you want to visit.” Done. I want to go to Greece and have always wanted to go. I want to see the history, the myths, the beaches and the people. It is in my bucket list so I will absolutely make it there… Someday 🙂
Now, the book. I am just going to say it, this book was just average. At first, with the prologue written the way it was, I thought it was going to be boring and unimaginative. The story got better and got moving, grabbing my attention more but it didn’t have the normal Nora Roberts flare that I am so used to and look forward to.
The prologue, I had a little bit of a laugh at; let me sum it up for you. Three sisters come together to make and give gifts to a new baby queen. Each sister creates a star for her and that star gives the queen something special, like kindness and beauty. As they are making the stars, a fourth sister shows up wondering why she wasn’t part of the gift giving. The fourth sister takes it upon herself to give the queen her own gift but it isn’t as bright or nice as the rest; it is hurtful and dark. This sister departs with threatening words and the three remaining good sisters worry for their new queen and what the dark gift will do to her. So, they take the dark gift and put a positive spin on it. Does this at all sound familiar to you? If you are thinking about Sleeping Beauty, we are on the same page.
Throughout the book, I found myself having a hard time putting together a visual story because there wasn’t enough descriptions to complete pictures. That left me with holes in the places, people and things as well as in the story. I ended up working too hard trying to create my own visuals that I would have to go back and reread sections to piece it all together. Roberts usually gives us very vivid descriptions and details but those all seems rushed through.
There wasn’t a lot of depth to the story or the characters, they were just there and things were just happening to them. We seem to only skim the top of the water with this one. The readers aren’t taken to another level to really connect or understand the characters or sequences in the story. Maybe we will start to see a little more depth in the next books.
Something I absolutely think should have been left out of this book was a nod to the gun control issue our country is in the midst of. On page 238, one character is showing another how to safely handle a gun. The character says “Some insist that guns don’t kill. People do. But guns do kill, and knowing that, respecting that, is really important.” Showing us what side you stand on Nora? This was a weird slip of politics and the first one I have come across in any of her books. Hopefully she doesn’t add anymore because there is enough of it in the world, I don’t need real world politics in my escape pods.
Recently, it appears like Nora Roberts is cranking out ask many books as she can in a year. She has gotten stuck in a repetitive writing style and her books aren’t unique to me anymore. I hate saying this but I was wondering if she was using a ghost writer to get books written based off her initial ideas. Her books aren’t the same anymore but I still read them because they are familiar and I will still try to love them.
I will say this about her writing style though, it still flows and moves the reader through the book whether they like it or not. This book isn’t my favorite NR novel but I did find myself interested and wanting to read it. I want to see what happens next with the six main characters and how their story develops so I will be reading the next two in the series. I hope they are the same as this one or better, I am just hoping they aren’t worse. Again, this was just an average novel compared to the other ones that I have on my shelf.
I shared a lot of my negative opinions about this novel but there were things that I did like. Toward the middle of the book, you come across some pop culture references that I enjoyed seeing. One of them was a Daryl Dixon name drop and reference to The Walking Dead. I also liked the location the book is set in. It made me wish that I was reading on a Greek beach instead of my bed. In the middle of winter, it made me wish for the warm sun on my face and the cool sea at my feet. I think I need a vacation…. 😉
Nods to some pop culture characters
Repetitive writing style
Lacking full and rounding descriptions
Sleeping Beauty prologue
Nod to gun control
Average story telling
Overall: This book was the first in a series that I will continue to read. It is an average book in her vast collection of stories. If you are a die-hard Nora Roberts fan, I would suggest you pick this one up to add to your collection. If you aren’t and are looking for a good romance novel, there are many more and much better written Nora Roberts books out there.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Up Next: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver