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There Once Were Stars

(Dome 1618 #1)

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  303 ratings  ·  157 reviews
Peace. Love. Order. Dome. That’s the motto that the Order has given the residents of Dome 1618 to live by. Natalia Greyes is a resident of Dome 1618, a covered city protected from the deadly radiation that has poisoned the world outside for four generations. Nat never questioned the Order, until one day she sees a stranger on the outside of the dome. Now Nat wants answers. ...more
Published April 26th 2016 by Month9Books
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Lonna | FLYLēF
FLYLēF Book Reviews

Original Post: There Once Were Stars at FLYLēF (

IN A FIELD saturated with conventional dystopian novels, There Once Were Stars, by Melanie McFarlane, is a story with a distinctively haunting quality that not only pulled me in, it also left a memorable impression.

In the aftermath of the Cleansing War, the Order has established covered cities to protect survivors from the poisonous radiation left after the war. Natalia Greyes is a resident of Dome 1618. She’s lost both her scien
Fafa's Book Corner
Review posted on Fafa's Book Corner !

Beware spoilers ahead!

I had heard about this book through Twitter. There was a blog tour going on at the time. It sounded interesting so I added it to my shelf. I came across some reviews that mentioned cluttered writing style. Rather than buy this I downloaded a sample. I didn't enjoy it.

The book begins with Natalia's 18th birthday. Her parents died when they exited the dome due to the radiation. Since then Nat has been living with her grandparents. Now th
There Once Were Stars was a novel that intrigued me as soon as I read the title. I wanted to know more about the book, and coupled with the gorgeous cover it had, it was too hard to resist. On top of that, I was already familiar with the author because I follow Melanie McFarlane’s gorgeous Instagram account. As soon as I saw there was a review tour I rushed to sign up.

I turned out to really enjoy this book. It has a dystopian kind of sci-fi young adult feel but doesn’t really take over the story
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a rollercoaster. It's safe to say I'm a fan of Dystopian books. I've read some really good ones this year. There once was stars is up there with the best.

I didn't know what to expect with this one, and the synopsis doesn't do this book justice. This book can be read as a standalone. However book 2, Here skies surround us is due out now, and I can't wait to read it!

Nat has lived her whole life inside a Dome. It is a sanctuary from a deadly virus that wiped out life as we know it now.
Kelly Roberson
Aug 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was super excited about this book when I first saw it on booktube tours mainly because it was a dystopian plot line. I immediately had to sign up for the tour because this genre is something I've really in the mood to read, so I did receive the book in exchange for an honest review! Overall, I felt this book really lived up to what I was looking for in a dystopian novel. The main character in my opinion was a great character perspective to read from even if she was a bit naive and gullible at ...more
Michelle (Bookaholic Banter)
There Once Were Stars was a breath of fresh air from all the other Dystopian/Sci-Fi stories I have read lately. It is the first book in a new trilogy. It had all the elements: adventure, mystery, horror, and romance. It was a compelling read that hooked me from the first page and reeled me in! It was mysterious in a way that it never gave answers away immediately and always kept me wondering and guessing if a character was good or bad, why certain things were happening, and what the outcome woul ...more
Aug 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Checkout my full review and giveaway on my blog! http://omgbooksandmorebooks.blogspot.... ...more
Aug 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*This review also appeared on A Leisure Moment (There Once Were Stars*

**I received an e-copy of this book via Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review**

After reading this book, I love the title even more. Natalia Greyes lost her parents nine years ago, and the title ties her to her mother in a wonderful way. Going into the book, I didn’t know what it was about. I haven’t read a dystopian in a while (that's not Siobhan Davis - what can I say? I'm a fan), so I was excited to start it. A
Mar 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Ever since I saw the show called the Dome by Steven Spielberg I have been intrigued by the idea. This book shows me a little of what the world might be like after radiation poisoned the world so many years ago.

Nat’s parents were famous scientists. They died when Nat was nine. She still has some memories and a book her mom wrote of her studies. She used to go outside the dome that they live in with a team. Nat’s mom knew things and studied things. Nat has believed that her mother and father were
Nicole (Let's Talk Books)
* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

When the novel first started, I was quickly intrigued with where this plot was going. I knew there were going to be many questions along the way to learning about this world. I've never read a book set in a Dome before, and I found it quite interesting. As the story went on, and little by little things started to unfold, the excitement dwelled down. The Order was not intimidating at all, and the big reveal was predictable in my opinion. I
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
Full Review on The Candid Cover

4.5 Stars

There Once Were Stars is a book unlike anything I’ve ever read! This book has a creative science fiction concept and is set in a world kept inside of a dome. The main character is very likeable and intelligent, making this book even better than it already is!

There Once Were Stars is a sci-fi that has such an incredible concept. Basically, there is a society inside a dome, shielded from the outside world. There’s so many elements in the book that make it a
Dorothy Dreyer
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When I read the description of There Once Were Stars, I became very excited to read the story. This sounded like one of those very special stories one hopes an author would write. Still, a part of me was very nervous that it wouldn't come close to my expectations. I am so thrilled to be able to say that McFarlane totally exceeded my expectations. This was the dystopian novel I was hoping for.

I loved the set up, the closed-off, seemingly peaceful and orderly world Nat is born into. Though she doe
Montzalee Wittmann
There Once Were Stars by Melanie McFarlane is an amazing book! It has everything a sci-fi nut wants in it. It has sci-fi, intrigue, suspense, government plot and cover-up, action, adventure, the unknown, creatures, a hint of romance, possibility of death at all times, twists and turns, surprises, and so much more! This book will keep you on your toes! Imagine living in a dome, told radiation outside will kill you if you ventured out. One day you see a stranger out there, and he sees you, the gov ...more
Hannah McBride
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a confession: I love the idea of a worldwide infection that causes mass chaos and disruption. In fiction, I mean. Not in real life. But seriously, I adore disaster scenarios, so I already knew I would like THERE ONCE WERE STARS before going in.

What I did not expect was how much I would love it.

Nat is the best - this girl is all heart and determination with a bit of rebellion thrown in for good measure. She's passionate and I loved learning about this world - the Dome - through her eyes. E
Beck Nicholas
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read ONCE WERE STARS in less than twenty-four hours. The flow and pace kept me hooked and the pages turning. It caught me in the world of the dome and didn’t let me go. I don’t want to spoil but the questions raised were handled so well and kept me reading for the answers.

Loved the sparks between Nat and Evan but more than that I loved Nat’s journey and struggle to be herself in a place where not only the rules but loyalties make it difficult. She was gutsy and vulnerable in a combination I re
Lisa Sanchez
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous! I was intrigued the moment I read the blurb and realized the story centered around a city enclosed by a dome. I'm a fan of dystopian novels, and this story satisfied.

Nat was a likeable character. I was drawn to her from the start. The romantic elements weaved into her storyline were perfect and left me with a smile on my face. Loved the intrigue and adventure. This was a well written novel I highly recommend!
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book! It was the perfect balance of adventure and romance. I felt like everything played out nicely. The characters were lovable, the love triangle wasn't obnoxious, and it was everything a good distopian book should be! I would highly recommend this book! (And I don't even really like distopian books! That says something to me!) ...more
Elizabeth Conway
Full Video Review to come on my booktube channel:
Natalie was such an annoying character she could never decide what she wanted and the love triangle was super annoying! They world McFarlane created was a great one and I really enjoyed the unique aspects of this dystopian but the lack of interesting characters and development made this book less than enjoyable!
Stephanie (Reading is Better With Cupcakes)

Dystopian novels. They are a genre, specifically from the teen section, that I tend to devour. Ever since I read Hunger Games way back before it exploded in popularity, I have been an addict. I cannot get enough of these stories. I just love seeing the various societies that authors have come up with that are supposed to be so ideal, but are really just a disastrous mess.

And there are so many ways!

So naturally I needed to give There Once Were Stars by Melanie McFarlane a read. A society set in o
I have been looking forward to reading this book since I first heard about it, and then when I saw the cover I was sold. It seems I can never tire of YA dystopian novels! While I enjoyed this read and *liked* it, I didn’t quite *love* it like I was anticipating. However, I am interested in reading the next book in the series when it comes out, so I hope that tells you that it’s worth giving a read!

I liked the idea behind this world in which we find ourselves, and the fact that remaining members
Emma Adams
There Once Were Stars is an engaging YA dystopian novel which puts a new spin on familiar dystopian themes.

I liked that the dystopian elements are hidden away at first, and the society Nat lives in appears to be perfect on the outside. It's only when she accidentally breaks rules and runs into hidden rebellions that she realises nothing is as it seems. This meshes nicely with the coming of age tale as Nat learns more about who she is and what she wants from life.

The building mystery is engaging
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of formulaic dystopian literature
Title: There Once Were Stars
Author: Melanie McFarlane
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC, 2016
Genre: YA Dystopian, YA Science Fiction

**I received a copy of this book free from and the Author in exchange for an honest review**

This review can be found on my BlogTeacherofYA's Tumblr, and my Goodreads page

My Review:

I know...I'm reading too fast lately to even do a "Currently Reading for Review" post...I just can't help it. Between reading and responding to comments, reading my book
May 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There Once Were Stars is set during a time where people live in domes because the outside world had to be bombed in order to destroy a virus that threatened all of humanity. The heroine of our story Natalia Greyes is about to turn eighteen and lives in Dome 1618 with her grandparents. Her parents, who were scientists studying the environment and trying to discover if it was safe to live outside the domes died of radiation while on a mission outside of the domes, or so she has been told. One day ...more
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

What can I say about this book? Well, I will start off by saying, for being a new author; Melanie knows how to capture the reader right away, so much so that I found it hard to put my e-reader down.

I am not going to give a breakdown of the story line (you can read the synopsis above ;0) ) , what I will tell you is that you won’t be disappointed with reading this book. Right from the beginning, you feel for Nat and her struggle with wantin
Amy McNulty
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love dystopians. There Once Were Stars was a solid entry in the YA dystopian genre. Nat was easy to root for, as was her romance with one of her two potential beaus. (No spoilers!) I wish there was even more of the danger that was present at the end, as the end was a very fast-paced read. I could picture it as a TV show on The CW or MTV.

I was provided with an early draft of this novel for free for review.
Nancy (The Avid Reader)
Today is Natalia “Nat” Greyes birthday and she is eighteen. Today is the first day of the rest of her life. Nat starts her new job today but before she has to enter into the adult world Nat is going to visit her special place at the edge of the dome. Nat lives inside of Dome 1618, a covered protected city.

The dome has protected them from radiation poison for many, many years longer than Nat has been alive. Nat has been going to her special place since the day she lost her parents nine years ago
Suze Lavender
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Life in Dome 1618 is structured. People are living in a protected environment because of high radiation levels. A terrible virus and the aftermath of it made life a lot more complicated and the domes are offering security and protection. Nat is eighteen and she has to start working. She's especially good at getting in trouble and she has no idea what she wants to do yet, but there also isn't much time to think about it as someone has made the decisions for her. Her parents were famous scientists ...more
Jay G
Jul 02, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my YouTube channel:

2.5 Stars

*I received this book as part of Booktube tours in exchange for my honest review*


Natalia Greyes has lived in Dome 1618 with her grandparents after her parents death 9 years ago. The dome was created to protect it's inhabitants from the radiation outside that has affected the world for the past 4 generations. Natalia has followed the directions o
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: month-9-ya
After war ravages the planet, survivors are forced to live in domes to protect themselves from radiation. Natalia has grown up with only hazy glimpses of the stars in the sky. The new, orderly society sets rules to protect survivors as scientists work toward improving everyone’s quality of life.

Natalia follows the rules without question until the day she spies someone outside of the dome. After taking a job on the Expedition Team, she finds even more reasons to be skeptical about the lack of a
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
A refreshing take on dystopian, THERE ONCE WERE STARS is a non-stop, action-packed mystery full of twisty turns, heartfelt relationships, and characters that jump off the page. I’ve long ago stopped reading dystopian novels, but the synopsis for THERE ONCE WERE STARS grabbed me from the very first word, and the first few sentences of the novel itself sold me for good. McFarlane delivers on every promise of the premise, taking the reader on and amazing journey with Nat and Evan. From the everyday ...more
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Whether it’s uncovering the corruption of the future, or traveling to other worlds to save the universe, Melanie McFarlane jumps in with both hands on her keyboard. Though she can be found obsessing over zombies from time to time, Melanie focuses her powers on writing young adult stories to keep the rest of the world up reading all night.

Connect with Melanie:
Visit my website: w

Other books in the series

Dome 1618 (2 books)
  • Here Skies Surround Us (Dome 1618, #2)

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