The Star Shepherd by Dan Haring and MarcyKate Connolly
Release date: Sept 10th
Top 3 Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Adventure
My rating: Set it on fire/If you have nothing else to read/you need to read it/Run and buy it.
Source: provided by Raincoast Books
To buy the book: CA • US • FR
Add to: Goodreads
Hey guys! I’m back from my holidays in Maine and I’ve read a few books I’m now ready to review! Starting with the Star Shepherd, a middle-grade novel where stars are more than burning masses of gas in the far far away sky…and they might even need saving!
When the world first formed, the night was black and filled with dark creatures. The Elders knew their people couldn’t survive under such a threat. So they gave their hearts to the sky in the form of stars to keep evil away.
Now, eleven-year-old Kyro is a Star Shepherd like his father. He’s spent his life tucked away in the small town of Drenn. There, the family watches the night sky for falling stars―and rushes to rescue them when they do.
When too many stars start falling at once, and disappearing before they can be saved, Kyro’s father journeys to report the threat. But when he doesn’t return, Kyro, with the help of his best friend, Andra, and his trusty dog, Cypher, must find a way to save the stars before the dark creatures make a terrifying return.
A world of monsters and stars
Let’s start by what I loved about this book first: the stars and how they came to be, the lore around them. Their role to protect the world from evil, as well as how they sometimes fall from the sky and need to be sent back up by the Star Shepherd. It was sweet and lovely and kind of reminded me a bit of the whimsical side of Stardust by Neil Gaiman.
And in this magical world, our young hero is facing a great danger: the stars are falling, and it seems someone is cutting them off, offering a chance to the monsters of the past to come back! Problem is, no one believes a young boy and he has to take the matter in his own hands when his father disappears searching for lost stars…we will follow him through his journey and its dangers. His companions: his dog best friend and a young girl – Andra – one of the only villagers who fully accept him. They were genuine and innocent characters, while also pretty brave, and I think it will be easy for young readers to identify with them (also very good job on the female character here with Andra who is full of resources and often leading the way!).
There are a lot more beautiful elements in the story but I don’t want to spoil it all!
Where is there a problem then?
Right, cause I said I’d start with the good, there must be some bad. For me, the main issue was the geography. If you put a map at the beginning of the book, make the traveling more realistic. How can our character cross so much distance in a day? Like an entire desert and some more??? Even placing myself in the skin of a younger reader, I’m pretty sure I would find that puzzling and even a bit upsetting.
Also, the action was a bit slow to start and the first part was lacking a bit in term of rhythm. And even if after it got better, and I really enjoyed the story, there was something missing for me to really feel it deeply.
In a few words
Even if the magic didn’t work 100% with me, I believe this novel to be a sweet tale perfect for young readers who dream of the stars! And the little bonus: Dan Haring illustrations inside!
See you for a cup,