ARC Review: Ignite the Stars – Maura Milan

Ignite the StarsEveryone 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, they see Ia’s age and talent as an opportunity: by forcing her to serve them, they will prove that no one is beyond their control.

Soon, Ia is trapped at the Commonwealth’s military academy, desperately plotting her escape. But new acquaintances—including Brinn, a seemingly average student with a closely-held secret, and their charming Flight Master, Knives—cause Ia to question her own alliances. Can she find a way to escape the Commonwealth’s clutches before these bonds deepen?

In this exhilarating edge-of-your-seat sci-fi adventure—perfect for fans of The Lunar Chronicles—debut author Maura Milan introduces our world to a thrilling new heroine.

I received a copy of Ignite The Stars from Netgalley. I’m not that much of a space fiction fan, but the cover won me over. I love the colours in the galaxy, it’s so pretty. And I also liked the fact that the most famous rebel in the universe is presumed to be a man, and not a girl.

This book is #ownvoices for Asian representation (story is set in space).

Maura Milan has created a beautiful sci-fi story. I seriously don’t like stories set in space that much, because I often find that the characterisation of the different aliens is lazy and stereotypical. Not with Ignite the Stars! There were also biracial (as in different alien ethnicities for want of a better word) characters, and I thought that the representation was on point. Since there were two biracial characters, the reader is shown that the way they act isn’t how all biracial people act.

While there is a romance, I really loved that the Ia’s friendship to another character is more important to her. It’s refreshing to read a story where friendship is not undermined by romance.

I like how it was made very clear that this takes place in the future. Ia listens to the classics, which she states is heavy metal. It’s interesting to realise that in a few hundred years, the music we consider modern will actually be considered classical. It’s surreal!

One part that I found very profound was where a character mentioned that once the Olympus Commonwealth passes the law to send refugees back, it’s only a matter of time that people who come from the same planet but aren’t refugees will be sent back. This is something that’s so important to realise, and it applies to our real world as well!

There is a huge emphasis on the refugee crisis in space, and what is being done about it. This is in connection with the slavery plotline. I hope that the next book will focus on some of the characters who are refugees or slaves.

It’s mentioned very casually that the rulers of the Olympus Commonwealth are Queens who are married to each other. It was lovely to read this and not have it become a big issue in the story.

I did NOT see the plot twists coming. The plot is one of the best. I enjoyed it so much. I felt for Ia during every loss, betrayal, win, and success. Not everything is black-and-white in this book, there are so many grays and some things are done better by one group and worse by the other, and vice versa.

There were some ableist words.

Ignite the Stars is a story that emphases belonging, knowing, and finding oneself. It discusses current political topics in a fictional space system.

Trigger warnings: violence, murder, slavery.

4 stars

Will you be reading Ignite the Stars? What’s your opinion on sci-fi set in space?


2 thoughts on “ARC Review: Ignite the Stars – Maura Milan

  1. I read this already and I enjoyed it as well! The refugee plotline and how it parallels the real world was definitely interesting, and I loved Ia’s character.


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