Friday, June 5, 2009

Stargazer by Claudia Gray

Stargazer is the second book in the Evernight series/trilogy?, just published March 24th.. You may remember my review of February 14th, in which I gushed repeatedly about how awesome Evernight is. Stargazer is just as awesome.

There's not a ton I can say without giving spoilers for either of the books, but I'll do my best.

First, Gray has the same control over her plot here that I was so impressed with in Evernight. I gasped at every twist. Sure, the elements have been used before--what elements haven't?--but this story hasn't been told. It feels new, and that's very special. Most of the meat of the story is internal conflict and slow development, then the last third is an explosion of action that grows perfectly out of that development.

I do feel like more Twilight-esque themes are used here, particularly the love triangle and "true love" aspects. The difference is that Gray knows what she's doing, she consciously deals with things rather than just applauding them because they sound nice. Sure, love feels all-consuming. But that doesn't make anything okay as long as you do it for love. There's a real world out there that contains more than two people, and what you do is going to have consequences for you, the object of your love, and everyone else around you.

I hate to keep comparing it to Twilight, but with its ubiquity it seems unavoidable... One of the things that bothers me most about Twilight is that the only characters who seem to matter are Bella and Edward. Bianca, Evernight's protagonist, actually has other friends, actually has parents and teachers and random people she meets on the street. She actually cares about them. This shouldn't need to be said.

I think the main question Stargazer wrestles with is, "What can you do for love?" It's dealt with in romantic love, parental love, sibling love, and friendship love. There's an intricate world here with a lot of gray areas (hah, pun!) and it's worth investing the extra time to not just enjoy the story, but really chew through what's going on in it. It's a fantastic book, no matter how deeply you want to invest yourself, and an amazing move forward in the overall Evernight story. I can't wait for the next book.

Buy Stargazer

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