Ignite the Stars

Ignite the Stars

Everyone in the universe knows his name. Everyone in the universe fears him. But no one realizes that notorious outlaw Ia Cocha is a seventeen-year-old girl.A criminal mastermind and unrivaled pilot, Ia has spent her life terrorizing the Olympus Commonwealth, the imperialist nation that destroyed her home. When the Commonwealth captures her and her true identity is exposed...

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Title:Ignite the Stars
Author:Maura Milan
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Ignite the Stars Reviews

  • julianna ➹

    *sobs in asian*

    I love the cover so much, even the vague and general space nebula background behind the model.

    Ignite the Stars was

    → a badass Asian protagonist

    → a found family

    → a slow-burn-as-hell romance

    → subtle current-day political themes

    Seriously, Ia is amazing and

    Also, why was this pitched as

    in space? This has a similar premise, but the plot goes in a very di

    *sobs in asian*

    I love the cover so much, even the vague and general space nebula background behind the model.

    Ignite the Stars was

    → a badass Asian protagonist

    → a found family

    → a slow-burn-as-hell romance

    → subtle current-day political themes

    Seriously, Ia is amazing and

    Also, why was this pitched as

    in space? This has a similar premise, but the plot goes in a very different direction?? (If you don't like this because it's pitched as Throne of Glass, let it be known that this is a lot more diverse!)

    is a teenage outlaw who’s basically ruthless and untrusting of anyone except her brother. She’s like Kaz but in female, Asian form and in space. And YOU BET she goes through an arc where she finds friends that won’t betray her. 💯👍🏼💯

    is hiding the fact that she’s half-Tawny, part of a widely discriminated against group, by dying her hair brown from its natural shade of blue. She’s basically a freaking genius and I

    the subtle political theme behind her patriotism vs. her identity.

    has a weird as hell name, but I still love him nonetheless. He’s an instructor at the space academy that literally just wants to lay low and do the bare minimum until Ia is thrown in his face, aka the most relatable character ever.

    who decide that the best idea to deal with her is to have her train as a cadet for their military. (The Olympus Commonwealth colonizes

    , btw.)

    Ia decides that she'll pretend to go along with this training, but she would gather information to try and break out. She ends up being roommates with Brinn, our half-Tawny.

    This was really refreshing as a science-fiction because unlike a lot more common science-fictions set in space, this still has many touches of the current world; like the presence of mass media as well the heavier themes of colonization. I feel that a lot of fans of

    would really enjoy this book.

    by the ninth chapter/around 60 pages I was completely invested in the storyline, the characters, and their relationships.

    The romance wasn’t a huge plot point as much as our plot was about our characters learning to accept each others/themselves but I still really enjoyed reading it!

    I want to talk about the growing friendship between Ia and Brinn

    Ia helps Brinn get in touch with her identity as a Tawny by teaching her things she didn’t even know about herself, like their abilities. Ia encourages Brinn to love the Tawny part of herself and I just? 💕💕💖💖💞💕💓💞💓

    And then Brinn helps Ia care for others and stays by Ia’s side even through Ia’s personal problems and I just? 💕💕💖💖💞💕💓💞💓💕💕💖💖💞💕💓💞💓

    (...I saw the plot twist coming from the first chapter.)

    I loved the political theme centering around Brinn’s identity as a Tawny.

    I could really connect to this narrative (even though I’m not biracial), and I’m sure so many other readers will too.

    There’s a moment in the book where she tries to convince herself that even though she’s Tawny, she wouldn’t be discriminated and then there’s a sinking feeling in her gut that she would be; I feel like this will be a very important book to many people.

    Brinn feels proud for the Olympus Commonwealth and feels extremely patriotic about the military while her family doesn’t understand how she can care so much for a place that

    When she meets Ia, she feels disillusioned as she discovers that the Olympus isn’t as lawful and good as it claims to be.

    Anyways, I just really loved Brinn’s character development as she becomes more comfortable with her Tawny identity. 💞💕💓

    The couple of qualms I have about this book are mainly about its characterization of Ia.

    (Also, the curse word "mif" was used a lot and all I can say is ....interesting choice.)

    and it’s going to be important for so many readers: both for its poc model on its cover and for its underlying political message. I highly recommend this book, for biracial people and poc especially. It's more than just a general science-fiction book.

  • Vicky Who Reads

    5 STARS

    I've been rendered speechless from this book. Because WOW.

    WOW.

    WOW.

    WOW.

    So rarely do books that I hype up in my mind actually live up to the ridiculously high standards I make for them, but

    ignited an explosion and blew me all the way past the stars.

    Literally. The notes section of my phone for this book looks like this:

    So I was obviously

    articulate the minute after reading it. BUT IT WAS JUST SO GOOD.

    I mean, Ia, the Blood Wolf, the Asian (!!!) sev

    5 STARS

    I've been rendered speechless from this book. Because WOW.

    WOW.

    WOW.

    WOW.

    So rarely do books that I hype up in my mind actually live up to the ridiculously high standards I make for them, but

    ignited an explosion and blew me all the way past the stars.

    Literally. The notes section of my phone for this book looks like this:

    So I was obviously

    articulate the minute after reading it. BUT IT WAS JUST SO GOOD.

    I mean, Ia, the Blood Wolf, the Asian (!!!) seventeen-year-old who's doing way more amazing things than I am right now, was such a cool character and quite the badass with a decent moral compass (y'know, for a murderer). So many people will love her and she definitely pulled some very cool (and very wily) moves throughout the story.

    But I really loved Brinn the most.

    Brinn was the real star of the novel in my mind. In the novel, the Tawnies have blue hair and are typically refugees of the Olympus Commonwealth who've been greatly discriminated against. And the way Brinn grew throughout the novel--first going to great lengths to hide her blue hair and fit in with her peers, then to finally accepting herself and her identity and most importantly, her people--was the greatest struggle and greatest triumph of this novel.

    So many multicultural teens these days struggle with accepting their identity, and although nobody's #OwnVoices for Brinn (blue hair, remember?) her story is something that so many people will be able to relate to. How many times have I felt ashamed of my culture and tried to hide it? More times than I should be.

    I really connected with Brinn and the way she accepted her heritage was really inspiring to me, and something that I found to be one of the most important storylines in this novel.

    Not gonna lie, I was low key shipping Brinn and Ia, but Knives is cool too. I feel like there's a lot more of his character left to explore than any of the other narrators, so I'm very excited to see what Milan does with him in book 2!

    Honestly, the star of the show (after Brinn, of course) was the action. The action was so smooth and engaging and never felt stuttered or just lame. The whole book was entertaining, honestly, and I found the dialogue smooth and the conflict with deliciously high stakes.

    Plus, the betrayals were awesome, although I feel like I expected some of the twists. But it felt okay to me because of how it exposed Ia's character flaws, which was nice to see that she's not the perfect murderess.

    I do have to note that the tradition begun by Battlestar Galactica continues in

    . Fictional curse words (think

    or

    , not the benign "stars" in

    ) are present.

    (Honestly, I prefer fiction curse words in circumstances like these rather than modern curse words, because it makes no sense whatsoever why this other star system would use our modern curse words. Curse words change throughout centuries (i.e. zounds), so why would they not change across light years?)

    And it's not like the curse words are totally ridiculous. I believe one is "mung" which is used in the same way as "shit," and it makes sense (not only because it rhymes with dung, but also because sometimes I just dislike mung beans).

    Overall, I just had such a fun time reading this awesome and super entertaining novel. Plus, the gorgeous model on the cover doesn't make it hurt (and she actually looks like what I envision Ia looks like, so that's also really really great).

    I definitely recommend to anyone who loves science fiction or who just wants to pick up an awesome book in general? Yeah, you.

    |

    |

    ---

    OMG MAURA YOU'VE BEEN HOLDING OUT ON US THIS IS AMAZING

    pre review

    I'M SORRY WHAT THERE'S A POC ON THE COVER (of the first book!!! not just the cover redo!!!) gah this

    to come sooner please and thank you!

    cover reveal

    (look at it it's so beautiful T.T)

    SEPT. 4th 2018 Y'ALL (see pub date announcement tweet

    @librarians). I'm so ready for outlaws in space!

  • Lisa

    This is the space adventure I’ve been waiting for! Strong female characters, friendships, slow burn romance and a lots of high stakes missions. YES.

    Some of the plot threads took me to places I wished for more info on, but it’s only because I loved it and wanted more.

  • E L E A N O R (bookishcourtier)

    4.25

    I admit that

    it wasn't the

    original of plots, but it was an old plot in a new setting that made it seem really fresh and interesting. And it was a fun plot, at any rate. I really liked it. And I TOTALLY get the comparisons to throne of glass because there were some similarities. But even if you didn't love tog, I still recommend this because even though there were some similar things about it, it was not....the same. And I will attempt to write this

    4.25

    I admit that

    it wasn't the

    original of plots, but it was an old plot in a new setting that made it seem really fresh and interesting. And it was a fun plot, at any rate. I really liked it. And I TOTALLY get the comparisons to throne of glass because there were some similarities. But even if you didn't love tog, I still recommend this because even though there were some similar things about it, it was not....the same. And I will attempt to write this review without listing the things I found kind of similar, even thought that will be hard because a) Ia reminded me a lot of Celaena (which I guess could be good or bad depending on who you are...) b) she's practically an assassin who gets caught and has to work for the "empire" and c) it was compared to throne of glass before it was even released so obviously my brain was hardwired to seek out all the comparisons I can.

    ~ I really enjoyed the characters. We see the story mainly from the perspective of two girls - Ia and another one whose name I have conveniently forgotten. I'm so great at this. But Ia (as I mentioned before) is very much like Celaena from the Throne of Glass series, meaning slightly arrogant, but also cares a lot about stuff. (<--- an accurate demonstration of my eloquence with words.) And [insert the name I forgot here] was also a strong character, although personally I preferred Ia. She was just a bit more interesting and badass.

    - The writing style and plot were really easy to read and super fun! This first book is making way for an epic new series which I am definitely looking forwards to. I want to know what happens next to all these characters. And while, okay, the plot twist was kind of predictable, I don't care? There was something about this book which seemed to make old tropes seem new, and that is always great. We like the older tropes, just not when they are recycled in the same way over and over and over again. Basically, synopsis wise, outlaw Ia (who everyone thinks is some dude but she's actually a girl - hooray!) gets captured on a mission and is made to work for the empire as one of their pilots. In case you hadn't realized from both the cover and the blurb, this is a sci-fi! I found that I don't actually read a lot of sci-fi, but this is a light sci-fi.

    Because it

    isn't! There are some powerful messages in here about

    and the kind of things you need to care about in life. So yep. I really recommend this, it is fresh and interesting and I really loved it! The characters are great, and there is lots of promise for an exciting new YA series that I think is

    . Throne of Glass in space was the original pitch for this, and if that sounds like an interesting concept to you, please go read it because yay its awesome.

  • Kate (beautifulbookland)

    Space books are difficult for me, mainly because I’m not that intelligent and so can’t really follow along with all the technical space talk, ya get me? But I’m so desperate to love that I keep trying and trying but...I just can’t. I absolutely adored The Lunar Chronicles, but most other sci-fi books fall short for me.

    Sadly,

    is no different.

    It was okay, it really was. I liked Ia, our criminal mastermind extraordinaire, but there was just something

    .

    (On a different note,

    Space books are difficult for me, mainly because I’m not that intelligent and so can’t really follow along with all the technical space talk, ya get me? But I’m so desperate to love that I keep trying and trying but...I just can’t. I absolutely adored The Lunar Chronicles, but most other sci-fi books fall short for me.

    Sadly,

    is no different.

    It was okay, it really was. I liked Ia, our criminal mastermind extraordinaire, but there was just something

    .

    (On a different note, the name keeps making me sing Rewrite the Stars from The Greatest Showman whenever I read it, so that’s always a plus.)

    is told in three different POVs -

    , our aforementioned criminal,

    , who didn’t really serve much of a purpose outside of her relationship with Ia, and

    the Flight Master at a prestigious military training school, and also the son of the General who devotes his time to hunting down Ia.

    When Ia is captured and sent to the academy, Knives is forced to hold her reins - in the form of a device that could stop Ia’s heart within seconds.

    So, obviously, I shipped it.

    If this book was told in Ia and Knives’s POVs, I probably would have given this 4 stars instead of 3, but Brinn just dragged this ship down. I skim read the majority of her chapters, because I just couldn’t bring myself to care about her.

    Ia, however, is a bit of a whirlwind. She’s reckless and brilliant and arrogant and dangerous, just how I like my heroines. Her POV was definitely the highlight of the book for me.

    For a debut novel, Maura’s writing was really good. The only problem I had with it was the made up curse words. Every time someone said “miff” or “miffing” instead of “fuck” or “fucking”, I cringed so hard. There are a few other made up curses that weren’t quite as bad or overused as “miff”, but I, personally, find it just a little bit silly when authors invent their own curse words.

    Had this book been fantasy instead of sci-fi, I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more, as I always struggle with space settings, as I said earlier. I would definitely recommend this book if you’re a fan of YA sci-fi books, though, as it definitely has a lot of potential, and I feel like I’m going to be in the minority with my rating of it.

    *thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for sending me an arc*

  • ALEXA

    3.5 stars! Even though initially I almost felt like this would be rated lower because the pacing and set-up felt a little clunky, I actually really ended up enjoying myself. It was a fun space adventure (that I could see as a film or tv series with more development)!

  • Lauren Stoolfire

    Everyone in the universe knows the outlaw Ia Cocha and fears him. One thing they don't know is that Ia is actually a seventeen year old girl. In reality she is a top notch pilot and a criminal mastermind who has spent her entire life terrorizing the imperalist Commonwealth that destroyed her home. When Ia gets caught by the Commonwealth, they see the truth of her identity as an opportunity. They will force her to serve them and pr

    Everyone in the universe knows the outlaw Ia Cocha and fears him. One thing they don't know is that Ia is actually a seventeen year old girl. In reality she is a top notch pilot and a criminal mastermind who has spent her entire life terrorizing the imperalist Commonwealth that destroyed her home. When Ia gets caught by the Commonwealth, they see the truth of her identity as an opportunity. They will force her to serve them and prove once and for all that no one beyond their control. Before long, Ia is stuck plotting her escape at a Commonwealth military academy. Her new acquaintances, though, Brinn and Knives, cause Ia to begin to question her own alliances.

    by Maura Milan is a YA sci-fi debut and promising series opener. I was really hoping to love it - I mean, the cover and the blurb definitely hooked me. While I liked it well enough, it didn't quite distinguish itself enough for me. There's a lot to like from Ia and Knives, exactly the sort of characters I like to read about, the fast pace, the action, and just how timely the story feels in terms of refugees. Overall, though, the way the story played out didn't impress me in part because it feels very familiar. I couldn't help but compare it to

    by Marissa Meyer and the

    series by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, but it never quite reaches those heights. In part, I think that's because there's not a whole lot of world-building. I usually like being thrown into the action right away, but I don't think we ended up with enough to make up for it later on. Looking back on it, I doubt I could go into much more detail about the setting aside from coming up with space or military academy. Finally, I wanted to mention the three perspectives used to tell the story - Ia, Knives, and Brinn. I preferred the Ia and Knives sections to Brinn by far. Brinn's perspective didn't flow as well as it could have and it bogged down the storytelling a little too much.

    Overall,

    by Maura Milan is a decent YA sci-fi debut. I had really high expectations going in and it didn't quite live up to them. All things considered, though, it's a great first effort and I have a feeling the sequel could be truly great. I have a feeling you'll want to pick up Milan's new novel if you like Marissa Meyer and Amie Kaufman. Thanks again for this opportunity, NetGalley!

  • Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always

    Characters were okay, but the writing was wayy too choppy, and I felt like a lot fo stuff didn’t make sense? + Annoying scifi cursing 😒 Totally shipped the romance though 😍

    RTC!

  • Geek Furioso

    "Think Throne of Glass set in space"

    And just like that, you lost me. Have fun guys, I'm out of here.

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