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Last Star Burning

Review

Last Star Burning

Teenage Sev is labeled a Four, the lowest class in her dystopian society, after her mom betrays the country and abandons her daughter. Now she is branded, with a star burned into her hand, the mark of a criminal. Her mother’s body lays suspended on the Traitors Arch, stuck in a seemingly endless sleep brought on by Sleeping Sickness, a disease plaguing the nation. Despite her harsh treatment and lowered place in society, Sev has accepted the betrayal of her mother and her place in society, until she gets blamed for a brutal bombing on the city.

Now on the run, Sev must escape to the Outside; the area outside the city’s limits, filled with horrible creatures, poisonous foods and dangers from the crazed and infected people stuck outdoors. Her only companion is Howl, the Chairman’s son, and a First, who promises to help lead her to safety. With the promise of a new life, and information on her mother’s past, Sev must be careful who she can trust because no one survives in the Outside without secrets.

"LAST STAR BURNING was a beautiful read, with fast-paced action, wonderful characters and a string of twists and turns that left me in shock....I loved every minute of this novel. "

With her debut novel, LAST STAR BURNING, Sangster weaves a stunning story of betrayal, heartbreak and excitement, with a new challenge around every corner. I constantly found myself in shock over the consistent surprises in Sev’s life, as each event was realistic and entrancing. Although this is the first book in a series, I never found myself overwhelmed with an information dump at any point. Instead, Sangster gradually introduced various pieces about Sev’s family, past and the workings of this world all the way through the book, allowing me to become completely immersed. Besides that, the combination of rebellion, a fight between nations, surviving in the wild and a struggle of a dystopian society went perfectly. These are several of my favorite aspects of any book, and blending them all together produced something magical.

In addition to a beautifully constructed world, the characters in this book provided a refreshing idea in young adult fiction. The relationships in this book developed realistically, which is something that is usually lacking in most books I’ve read. Sev never lost who she was in order to pursue an unrealistic relationship without any basis, which made me love her even more. Furthermore, Sev provided a realistic account of how government propaganda and brainwashing can affect someone’s beliefs, which is lost by most seemingly perfect heroines. Supporting her society, even if they were out to get her, was realistic considering her background, and made me understand and appreciate Sev’s experiences and actions even more.

Overall, LAST STAR BURNING was a beautiful read, with fast-paced action, wonderful characters and a string of twists and turns that left me in shock. From the heartfelt descriptions of her past, to vivid and lively characters I loved every minute of this novel. Despite its fantastical world, I’d recommend this to fans of dystopian novels, as it follows that kind of set up more closely, and by the end it will leave you begging to read the sequel.

Reviewed by Jessica K., Teen Board Member on December 13, 2017

Last Star Burning
by Caitlin Sangster