Ignite the Stars Review

Title // Ignite the Stars
Author // Maura Milan
Publication Date // September 2018
Publisher // Albert Whitman and Company
Readership // YA
Genre // Science-Fiction
Rating // ✭✭

I received a copy ofIgnite the Stars from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Everyone 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 was only a few pages into Ignite the Stars when I got the sinking feeling that I knew this story. Ignite the Starsis a very average young adult science-fiction story with a lot of familiar elements. And I mean ‘a lot.’

Do you recognise any of these tropes and traits: a prickly, mercenary female character, caught and imprisoned and given a chance to redeem herself? A school-like environment built upon competition? An inappropriate love-interest that becomes an insta-love situation when said female character shows amazing skills that others don’t have? Roommates who can’t stand each other?

They’re all in here, plus more. And they’re not bad things to include in a story – it just felt like it has all been done before and there wasn’t sufficient depth or exploration of any of them to make me feel like I was invested in the story, or the characters.

If we want to get technical, there’s nothing wrong with the story or the writing style – it’s alright. It’s easy to read and I’m sure there will people out there who really enjoy this story, especially if you’re fans of Throne of Glass or Zenith. It just wasn’t what I was after in a science-fiction story and so I was left disappointed.

Ignite the Stars is due to be released early September, 2018.

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