Fifteen-year-old Michelle saves the world on a daily basis…with her trusty video game controller, of course! Naturally, she jumps at the chance to play an experimental virtual reality game.
The beautiful fantasy world of Starrs? Check. The power to mold matter? Check. No reset button? Wait, she didn’t sign up for this!
Turns out Starrs is really real, and to make matters worse, Michelle’s interference awakens the Cycle of the Six Moons, a series of devastating trials that will devour the universe.
Fighting the apocalypse was way easier when danger stayed on the other side of the screen, but Michelle finds a secret weapon in her new-found powers. She uses them to rescue the crown prince of a powerful magic kingdom from their sworn enemies, a technologically-advanced cult that strives to eradicate magical blood.
Michelle starts to fall for Prince Jayse, the only one who believes Michelle to be a savior rather than a curse. But not even video games could prepare her for what the cult has in store for them…
Deciding last minute to stay in Starrs, Michelle continues her epic adventure as Goddess. After all, learning how to save the world sure beats a year of pre-calculus. With her friends by her side, Michelle travels to a city of scholars to learn the lore of the Cycle of the Six Moons.
At first, the exotic retreat turns romantic, as Michelle spends her free time exchanging sweet letters with the crown prince, Jayse. But, during her studies, Michelle learns something that drastically changes her game plan. Powerful blood must be spilled to end the Cycle…blood that only runs through her veins and the prince destined to fall in love with her.
During a celebration honoring their enlightenment, Michelle and Jayse are whisked off to a rogue city as trophies of a tournament, where only the strongest can claim a taste of their blood. Gallant as ever, their guardian, Gediyon, enters to prevent harm to his friends. Unfortunately for the contestants, the Cycle’s latest trial prevents everyone from waking from a cursed slumber…
He pulls up the stone and looks at it, then steps forward. “It’s midnight.” Standing a few feet in front of me, he lifts it from his neck and dangles the chain from both hands.
My heart wants to escape my chest. I know what he’s going to do. I watch him expectantly, wondering if he can hear the drums of my heart. He looks at me with his gorgeous green eyes, his cheeks tinged pink. Maybe they reflect the red of my own face.
“A few lifetimes ago, Cyal gave this to Saei to protect her. Now it’s time I return it to you.” He raises it above my head as if it’s a crown and slips it around my neck. I catch the stone as it falls over my chest. It’s still warm.
That was enough excitement for one night, but then Jayse leans closer and places his cheek against mine. He’s going to kiss me. Oh God, he’s finally going to kiss me!
He doesn’t, and instead whispers something even sweeter. “Happy birthday, Michelle.”
Then I burst into tears, cover my mouth with my hands, and gasp, “How did you know?”
He smiles bashfully, wiping my tears away. He says, “You told me once.”
He deserves a kiss for this. I’m crying, laughing, and I throw my arms around him. I don’t kiss him, and go on bawling, “This is the first time I’ve ever had a birthday without my family.”
“I’m sure they’re celebrating the day in honor of you.”
I don’t know if they are. Jayse tells me that he hasn’t told anyone else it’s my birthday, and I want to keep it that way. I don’t want everyone treating me any more special than they already have.
We don’t stay long at the Inner Temple, because we need to be well-rested for the performance tomorrow night.
I hold Jayse’s hand while we walk back to the guest house. I sigh every now and then, thinking about how perfect his fingers feel intertwined with mine. He has such a strong grip, but it doesn’t hurt me. I feel safe.
My parents used to ask me if I felt any different each birthday. When I was little, I thought I felt older. Then I started to lie to make them think I felt special.
Now that I’m sixteen, with the responsibilities as the Cycle’s Creator, now that I’ve fallen in love, I definitely feel different. I feel like another person.
You can follow the Cycle of the Six Moons series on Goodreads.
~~ Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
The Starriest Summer is the First book in The Cycle of the Six Moons trilogy by Adelle Yeung. I do believe as well that this is the first published book by the author, and if that’s true, I am very impressed.
The author’s imagination knows no bounds, from the main character’s brother making a machine that takes her to another world, to flying in protective bubbles from place to place. It was great reading about her discovering her powers, and her reaction to them, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about all of the wonderful places, people and things in ‘Starrs’. The premise of our heroine thinking that she was only taking part in some amazing virtual reality game was good fun. As a gamer myself I had quite the giggle at things like her waiting to find a ‘save point’, or describing the different characters as Mages etc, all characters found in games that I play. I think if you aren’t a gamer you would lose that little extra bit of fun, but it certainly won’t detract from the story line and your enjoyment of it.
It’s a book full of fantasy, thrills, and excitement, and although it’s a book aimed at the younger reader, it’s still a book that hooked me and I am in my 40s. I enjoyed it, and will undoubtedly read the next in the trilogy to see what happens next.
I was given a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
~~Reviewed by Monique~~
AN ECLIPSING AUTUMN is book 2 in The Cycle of the Six Moons trilogy, and I believe it can be read as a standalone, although some things might seem vague, it worked for me. It is a fantasy, and definitely on the young side of Young Adult. Our young heroine Michelle, fifteen years old, is officially Goddess, and her worries multiply as she is not entirely sure how her newfound powers work. She is on her way to a city of scholars to learn about the lore of the Cycle of the Six Moons. She’s travelling with a few companions, among them Crown Prince Jayse, when the train they’re on is derailed, in more ways than one.
Michelle finds out too soon that training to be Goddess is not what it’s cracked up to be, as she learns what it entails, and I must say it’s rather shocking! AN ECLIPSING AUTUMN is a universe bursting with colours, and the author adds just enough details to paint a clear picture without going overboard, and the tone is positively that of a teenage girl, the dialogues also ring true. The beginning of the book sets the scene for what we’re up for, but it’s when Michelle is told about The Six Moons that the author really captured my attention. The worldbuilding is extraordinary, and utterly fascinating, and Michelle has her work cut out for her, and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen. I somewhat expected AN ECLIPSING AUTUMN to be somewhat akin to The Hunger Games, but not at all.
It’s a good thing that Ms. Yeung inserts some amusing tidbits – often about food or featuring the awesome Dreana – because otherwise AN ECLIPSING AUTUMN would have been very dark indeed: there was quite a bit of violence, blood, and nasty surprises, as Michelle finds out. I like how the author seamlessly blends an utterly fantastic world with everyday things that are as familiar to us as they are to Michelle at home. I thought the character of Jayse, while sympathetic, was a tad flat, while Michelle is a real firecracker; she is not perfect, but she is a great heroine. I must admit that my favourite character is Dreana: she is something else, the complete opposite of Michelle, and yet they make a good team! I also very much appreciated that, while AN ECLIPSING AUTUMN obviously belongs to the Teen-Young Adult category, Ms. Yeung remains realistic in the depiction of her characters: not everyone of the “good guys” is flawless, and I liked that a lot.
I was however surprised that there is a third book in the series, which I did not expect from the onset, and AN ECLIPSING AUTUMN ends on a cliffhanger, and what a cliffhanger it is, with plenty of astonishing revelations before that shocker! Book 3 will be a doozie!
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.