The Girl and the Stars by Mark Lawrence (The Book of the Ice: Book 1)

Abeth, a frozen ice planet. Many years ago, a home to Nona and the sisters of the Sweet Mercy convent. Now home to nothing but wandering ice tribes, struggling to survive in the harshest conditions imaginable.

To survive is to sacrifice. Outliers must be culled. Whether you are weak and lag behind, or if you’re too big or strong and eat more than the average share, then you can no longer exist within the tribe. You are thrown away, torn from your home and family forever. Yaz, our teenage protagonist, finds herself in this position at the onset of the story, and we follow her journey down the rabbit hole into an unforgiving world of danger, mystery, magic, science fiction, politics, horror, and so much more.

To go into any more detail will spoil some of the fun, but I will mention that the story was impossible to categorize, as it created a genre all to its own. What to call it is up to you. Icepunk? Sure, why not. It’s not news that Lawrence continues to get better with every book. This is something we’ve known for years. But this is a different kind of story than what we’re used to from him. It has a drive to it, a pulse, a gearshift that kicks higher and higher.

Long-shrouded mysteries that were first hinted at in The Broken Empire and carried over through The Red Queen’s War and The Book of the Ancestor were finally being cracked open wide here, revealing that Lawrence has been low-key creating a shared universe of his work all along. What else could be in store for the future of the Yaz-mere? We can already access two different series in two different eras. Perhaps there’s a third era of time in which we can further expand on the lore of a mysterious race or two? But I’m getting way ahead of myself. This book is having that effect on me. It’s provoking wild theories and getting me very, very excited for what’s to come. It’s that kind of book.

Every chapter kept getting better and better. There were many questions I had during The Book of the Ancestor series that were addressed here. New abilities, new environments, new threats, new characters to love and hate, themes and questions carried over from Nona’s story, a ton of new mysteries to solve... it was plain to see how carefully the scenes were constructed, and it all flowed wonderfully. Almost every chapter had something breath-catching in it.

The Girl and the Stars is more than the start of a new series. It’s the culmination of some of the best ideas of Lawrence’s previous works while promising that amazing things are still to come. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next Icepunk book in the Yaz-mere.

ARC via HarperCollinsUK

The Girl and the Stars with be released on April 30, 2020.

10/10 The Girl and the Stars is the culmination of some of the best ideas of Lawrence’s previous works while promising that amazing things are still to come.

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