Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Review: Inherit the Stars

Inherit the StarsAuthor: Tony Peak
Series: Standalone
Released: November 3rd 2015
Publisher: Roc
Length: 464 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

An epic debut set on the edges of space, where one botched job could mean death—or so much worse…
Wanderlust runs in Kivita Vondir’s blood. She dreamed of salvaging like her father when she was young, and now it’s her addiction, getting her through pit stops filled with cheap alcohol and cheaper companionship and distracting her from her broken heart.
Her latest contract to hunt down a fabled gemstone is exactly the kind of adventure she craves. But this job is more than meets the eye. For one thing, her duplicitous employer has hired rebel Sar Redryll—Kivita’s former lover—to stop her at any cost. For another, Kivita’s recovery of the relic unleashes in her powerful new abilities. Abilities that everyone in the Cetturo Arm—human, alien, and in-between—desperately wishes to control…
As she avoids a massive galactic manhunt, Kivita teams up with two unlikely allies: Sar and his enigmatic new partner. Only, as the gem’s mysteries are revealed and danger draws near, Kivita begins to wonder if her ex has truly changed, or if he’s just waiting for the right moment to betray her once again… 

In his first full length novel, Inherit the Stars, Tony Park offered us a wonderful space adventure with excellent worldbuilding, interesting societal structure, gray characters and a very memorable romance.

Tony Peak is a tremendously imaginative writer. Kivita Vondir’s world is complex, very socially layered and incredibly thought-through. I loved the descriptions of technology and of Kivita’s society, but I also loved that they never overtook the narrative and became more important than the story itself. Finding balance is the single most important thing in books that rely so heavily on worldbuilding, and it is my opinion that Tony Peak succeeded splendidly.

I found Kivita to be such a difficult character to like at times, a solitary woman intent on doing nothing but salvaging. She often suffered from far too much self doubt and for the most part, I was unable to find any justification for her splendid reputation. She was known and celebrated far and wide as an amazing salvager, but she had a tendency to mess up, which confused me to some extent. On the other hand, she redeemed herself toward the end when she proved to be both compassionate and kind.

The idea of a corrupt religious leader certainly isn’t new. If I can find a fault within Inherit the Stars, it’s that Dunaar seemed a bit stereotypical as a villain. A lot more could have been achieved with his character, but as it was, he wasn’t a truly convincing or complex threat.

For those among us who appreciate a good romance above all else, there’s enough fire and heat between Kivita and Saar to burn a whole city down. Their romance isn’t at all explicit, but their chemistry is off the charts. Admittedly, the romance could have done without the third person in the mix. I really don’t appreciate love triangles and find them to be overwhelmingly tedious and emotionally exhausting, but even that can be forgiven due to some extenuating circumstances.

Unsympathetic though she might have been, Kivita was still a delight to read about. This book’s true strength isn’t admittedly in its characters, but in the worldbuilding and in many action scenes that were done so very beautifully. The next time I’m in the mood for some really good science fiction, Tony Peak’s future works will surely be at the top of my list.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.


  1. It looks like you really enjoy this one. I do love a sci-fi book that has a good follow through in all areas of the book. Otherwise it's no fun at all. I find some authors focus on one thing more like the world characters than the characters which really doesn't work very well at all. Great review! :)

  2. It is so important to get the right mix in science fiction because too much time spent on world building drags the plot down for me. Nice that you enjoyed the story even with a somewhat unsympathetic character. Happy to hear about the romance. I'll have to check this one out. Wonderful review, Maya!

  3. I haven't read science fiction that I enjoyed in such a long time. I'm so glad you put this on my radar, Maja, because I'm definitely going to check it out, despite the love triangle and weak villain. I can always give certain aspects of a storyline some leeway in return for a good book. ;) Gorgeous review, dear!

  4. I'm perfectly fine with weak characters strong plot books. I might have to check this one out.

  5. Glad the world building was done so wonderfully and it was a really interesting read!

  6. Well, this is a tremendous recommendation, coming from you, Maja. That balance you mention is indeed a big issue with many writers, myself included. I have to see it done well in this book :) Outstanding review.

  7. It's goo to hear that the world building was thorough but didn't overwhelm the plot. I'm bummed about the stereotypical villain. I love to hate villains and sometimes they even make the book. Glad you enjoyed this book despite its issues overall.

  8. I'm always intrigued by science fiction standalones, and one with awesome world building is always welcome! I'm not so sure about the not as developed characters and the love triangle though!
    Thank you for the great review Maja!

  9. Not happy about the triangle either but this sounds interesting. I do love a good sci fi and for me the key is a good world. Glad the worldbuilding in this one was excellent!

  10. Thanks for sharing - I hadn't heard of this one. I don't read a lot of sci fi, but I AM trying to branch out even more with genres. :)

  11. I love a good sci-fi, even though I don't read it as often as I want to. This sounds like a good one, but I do like a little more from the characters.

  12. I haven't read any good Sci-Fi books lately, but you make a convincing case for this series.

  13. I do like characters that land in that 'gray' area. I'm not always big on space adventures but I haven't read many adult ones so I should probably try more of them.

  14. The idea sounds intriguing but I'm not sure it's a book for me... Many aspect I usually struggle with in a book...

  15. This sounds fascinating. I really enjoyed your review - sci-fi is a bit lacking in my reading material at the moment, so I definitely need some good recommendations.

  16. I'm not too crazy about sci-fi and since Kivita was kind of hard to like, I'm thinking about passing on this. I love it though when the worldbuilding is well thought out.


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