Maura Milan’s Ignite the Stars (2018) came to me as a gift with a glowing review. So, I saved it for a day when I could just lose myself in a fictional world without being disturbed. After having been buried in a pile of books that are compelling but heavy on the heart for a while, it was nice to have such an exhilarating reading experience that gave me an adrenaline rush. Immediately upon finishing the book, I looked up to see if there was a sequel. The good news is that the second installment, Eclipse the Stars (2019), will be coming out this September! Luckily, I won’t be suffering long. Even when I have a reading list that seems to have no end, I am so bad at waiting for a sequel once I get hooked on a series…sigh.
As one might guess from the eye-catching cover, Ignite the Stars is a YA science fiction set in space. Unlike those who grew up in the United States, neither Star Wars nor Star Trek has been a huge part of my childhood, though I came to appreciate both as an adult. Die-hard fans of Star Wars / Star Trek might call me blasphemous, but I loved that Milan’s debut offered a blend of both canons. Moreover, Ia Cōcha, who adorns the cover, is a badass POC female character with a dark sense of humor that will grow on the readers. It has almost become a norm in young adult fiction to have empowering female protagonists. Nonetheless, I loved that Ia is a character that I haven’t wanted to yell at in a long time. She has her flaws as is often the case with teenage heroines who believes they are invincible. However, I found Ia fascinating due to her complex moral compass and her ability to live with her sins and make amends.