The Fallen Star, by Jessica Sorensen (2011)

The Fallen Star (Fallen Star, #1)The Fallen Star by Jessica Sorensen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Gemma is the quintessential loner. She lives with her emotionally distant grandparents, and spends all of her time at school completely alone. Unlike most teenaged girls, whose emotions are always so close to the surface, Gemma can't feel anything.

Until February 8th of her senior year. That's the day she starts feeling emotions, as well as having dreams. Her dreams are horrible, too: nightmares of being chased through the woods, gaunt creatures with glowing yellow eyes right behind her. Then a man with a scar appears, radiating evil. He commands the creatures to finish Gemma off, and they do.

Night after night, it's the same nightmare.

One day, two new kids move to Gemma's school. Aislin is a beautiful blonde girl, who's surprisingly nice to Gemma, considering how horribly most cheerleader-types treat her. Also new to school is Aislin's brother, Alex. Something about Alex makes Gemma feel electric shocks up and down her skin. It's not just Alex's handsomeness, his bright green eyes or perfectly tousled hair. She feels actual electric sparks.

Worse yet, the Astronomy teacher assigns Alex and Aislin to Gemma's solitary table in the back of class, and Alex seems filled with an irrational loathing of Gemma.

As it turns out, Aislan and Alex are not your typical high school students. They're members of an Order called Keepers, who ostensibly protect the world from evil creatures. The yellow-eyed, blood-chilling creatures are real, too. They're called Death Walkers, and they are as unpleasant in real life as in Gemma's dream.

Also, Aislan and Alex aren't in Gemma's school by coincidence. They are there to watch over Gemma. For years, Gemma has felt like the least-important person on Earth. When she learns the truth, she discovers that she is unique, and extremely important indeed. Furthermore, there are a lot of people--and non-people--who would love to see her killed.

This is the set up for Jessica Sorensen's excellent novel, "The Fallen Star." We join the story knowing as little as Gemma does, and learn as we go along. There's no time for a lengthy explanation of "how things are." Gemma, Aislin, and Alex find themselves in danger during a school field trip, and that's when Gemma's exposure to "how things are" begins. From that cold bus in the Colorado mountains, one hell of a journey begins.

I like the world Ms Sorensen has created. She takes creatures we've all read about--vampires, for example--and creates a different mythology around them. It's a nice change.

Also, I like the relationship between Alex and Gemma. There are definite sparks there--quite literally, in Gemma's case--but they distrust each other and fight most of the time. Except, of course, when they're kissing.

I also like Ms Sorensen's pacing. Gemma is bounced from one peril to another, but there is always a respite, a few minutes when she can catch her breath, learn a bit more about "how things are," and convince herself that maybe she's safe. Then, all too soon, she's running for her life again.

This is book one of the series, and the ending is such that I'm glad I have book two ready to start. I'm hoping it is as good as "The Fallen Star."

Either way, this is a brilliant start to a promising series.


View all my reviews

About tom

B.A. in Literature, Minor in Film Theory and Criticism, thus meaning all I’m trained is to write blog posts here. Neptune is my favorite planet–it vents methane into the solar system like my brother does. I think Chicken McNuggets look like Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Indiana. There are times when I’m medicated, which is why I wrote about McNuggets. Buy some today and tell me I’m wrong! Anyway, Beyond that: mammal, Floridian, biped.Good Night, and Good Luck. Besos, tom
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2 Responses to The Fallen Star, by Jessica Sorensen (2011)

  1. GL LOVER says:

    I just read the whole series and they are AMAZING

    Liked by 1 person

    • tom says:

      I know! I loved this series. It traversed “The Evil Land Where This Genre’s Novels All Become Cliched,” and emerged victorious and untainted. Yay, Jessica Sorenson! There were so many wrong turns she could have made, but she didn’t. It was masterful. Another series I really liked was Shannon Mayer’s “Rylee Adamson” series. Talk about a book grabbing you by the collar and yanking you through. It’s different–less fantasy, more adult vs YA–but I thought it was awesome, with arguably the most kick-ass heroine ever (seriously, Buffy could only DREAM of being this awesome when she reaches Rylee’s age!)
      First review:
      I found the same thing to be true of Darby Kartchut’s novels. She has three trilogies, and they involve a lot of Celtic mythology, nasty goblins, etc, but they’re also coming-of-age stories as their young heroes grow and learn to use their powers. They fall into that class of books where you open it, then you go to get a drink and discover you’re two-thirds of the way through.
      Anyway, thanks for your comment. I’m glad somebody else loved this series, and it always makes me happy when somebody actually reads actual BOOKS! There are so many good ones out there. I lament all the characters who live in obscurity, unnoticed and unloved. (Of course, my characters do the same, since I haven’t been able to revise my novel in the two years since I wrote it–I feel guilty about it sometimes; perfectly good characters, just waiting for me to get off my ass and patch up a few plot holes. lol) Happy reading! (And if you want some good characters for a discounted price, let me know 😉 )


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