Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Release Date: June 9, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she's too busy trying to actually survive. Her town's population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.
When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she'll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie's sin has put her in serious trouble.
To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?
Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can't survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.
The Stars Never Rise begins a new series by author Rachel Vincent. The same author who wrote the Stray and Soul Screamers series. Everything that happens in this story originates back to the so called Day of Great Sorrow. It was the day when the number of stillbirths officially surpassed the number of live births. It was the day that people realized that the well of souls had run dry, which led to the discovery that demons lived among humans. After the supposed Great Purification, the Unified Church began strictly enforcing what the citizens could and could not do.
The Church is the all powerful Wizard, telling the masses what is considered to be a sin while sending out exorcists to protect citizens against degenerates (demon infested humans who feast on blood). In this new reality, your entire life is controlled by the Church and there isn't anything you can do without their permission, including having children. Just ask New Temperance resident Nina Kane how life is treating her in this new reality. 16-year old Nina lives day by day doing what she needs to do to put food on the table for herself and her 15-year old sister Mellie, including bartering for food, and clean clothes to go to school with.
Nina and Mellie live under the same roof as her drug addled mother who hasn't spent any sort of quality time with them for any length of time which means that Nina does some things that may be considered risky or abhorrent. After being saved by a strange boy with piercing green eyes (Finn), and watching in embarrassment as her sister flees from her "reproductive assessment," Nina's world gets rocked even further when she discovers that she is different from everyone, including her sister Mellie by a now awaken and full cognizant "mother.". What's worse is that she is caught in the act by "exorcists" and is forced to flee without her now pregnant sister who she vowed to protect at all costs.
Nina and her new friends Finn, Grayson, Devi, Reese, and Maddock, are now considered to be rogue exorcists who will be hunted by everyone. Everyone being the Church, their fellow humans, and the entire nation who has been told that they are demon possessed. Nina will eventually stand tall alongside her REAL exorcist friends in order to save Mellie, and get the hell out of dodge before they are burned at the stake by the Church. I have read where people have compared this first novel to Stacia Kane's Downside Ghost series.
I do find that there are correlations, especially when it comes to the all mighty Church who preaches that Willful ignorance and Deception is a sin. The real difference between the two series is that Downside Ghosts is about Ghosts, mostly, and The Stars Never Rise is about Demons and their intentions to rule the world. The Stars Never Rise is fast paced and action packed. There is a bit of a lull at the midway point of the story, but trust me folks, you want to ensure that you read this book right until the last page. If you stopped before they, you will miss the most entertaining parts!