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(Starswept #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  279 ratings  ·  132 reviews
"The best science fiction novel I have read in a long time. I was absolutely captivated from the first page." — Lyssa Chiavari, author of the Iamos Trilogy

A dark and dangerous tale of secrets and intrigue brightened by one young woman’s passion for music... Romance, music, and intergalactic conspiracies make this a fascinating coming-of-age story quite unlike anything I’v
Hardcover, 376 pages
Published August 29th 2017 by Snowy Wings Publishing
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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J.L.   Sutton
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written dystopia with a twist! Mary Fan’s Starswept begins with our heroine, Iris, at the prestigious performing arts school, Papilio. This school is on an Earth which had made contact with an advanced alien civilization, the telepathic Adryils. This is also a future Earth which has a huge divide between the Elites and everyone else. At Papilio, there is intense pressure for Iris to succeed. Iris’s only chance for a better life, even a decent life, is to get noticed by patrons from A ...more
Stephen Kozeniewski
When I started the manuscript which would become STARSWEPT, I wondered why it was written in first person present, a fairly unusual perspective. When I found out why, about halfway through the book, I realized it was an elegant solution to a thorny problem. And that's the best way to describe Fan's writing style throughout this novel: elegant.

But for those readers less interested in the craft of writing, let's talk about the story. Without giving too much away, STARSWEPT is about art. It's about
Melissa Souza
**Thank you to Snowy Wings Publishing and Netgalley for sending me an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.

5 beautiful stars!!!

I have no coherent words to describe this book. However, I will say that it surpassed all of my expectations. From the blurb, I really didn't know what to expect besides that it was going to be a sci-fi story with music. But, what I read just left me speechless. I found myself reading chapters into the wee hours of the morning just to know what's going to happ
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Thank you so much to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read and review this delightful new book by Mary Fan. What a lovely musical journey to take alongside with Iris! This is the perfect book for those musicians out there who are looking for a book that combines romance, sci-fi, and writing that really integrates the arts.

Iris is a student at a prestigious music academy, focused solely on pursuing her viola studies (and THANK YOU, Mary Fan, for picking a less-loved instrument like
Jul 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017, arcs
I am very conflicted about this book. I’m not able to say if I liked it or not. Well, I definitely enjoyed it, but it has many flaws.

Let’s start with what I didn’t like about this book :

First, it was very, very, very long. The story began to be interesting when I was 50% into the book. I feel like so much could have been cut off the story. The first part of the book is supposed to set the world, the context, the characters etc, for the story to truly begin, with moments of actions etc. But with
Paige Daniels
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Starswept is an intergalactic fairy tale that everyone needs in their lives. Even though there are no wizards in this book, that doesn't make it any less magical. Mary Fan weaves a incredible tale in this books rife with art, space travel, and intrigue.

Iris Lei is a student at performance art school who considers herself to be an average student among artistic prodigies. All the students, including Iris, aspire to be one of the few to be one of the few chosen to go the Adryile's mysterious plan
Shirley Cuypers
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Original review

First of all, I want to thank Mary Fan for sending me a signed ARC copy of her beautiful book! Thank you so much!

Second of all, I want to mention how beautiful this book is! The cover is so beautiful and on the inside there are some beautiful pictures and decorations!

And third of all, here's my review:

Starswept tells the story of Iris and Dámiul. Iris is a 15-year-old violist at Papilio, a school to become a great artist and to attract an Adryil patron. All the kids at Papilio t
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The concept of an interstellar connection is a fascinating one. What would happen if Earth made contact with some alien race? To be honest, I don't think it would go all that well and, behind the facade of Papilio, it looks like I would be right in this futuristic world.

I wanted to like this story and for a little while I did, but the inconsistent pacing made it difficult to truly connect with any of the characters. The first quarter of the book was alright, if a bit bland. Between it and the se
SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc

Going in to this book I had no idea what to expect. I have read a few books set in the way future, some on earth, some set in space others somewhere in between. But this book is somewhat unique.

I really enjoyed the world setting, is was fantastic and really great explained. But so were the characters, I really loved Iris and her dark, yet beautiful journey in this book.

Iris, is coming from a poor household and struggles to keep afloat with her s

Karissa Laurel
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Karissa by:
This book earned a lot of kudos from me (besides being solidly written) for the ingenuity of the concept. I'm totally guilty of finding one book I like and then wanting to read a bunch more like it, but in the case of Starswept, there's not much I can compare it to and that's very refreshing (at best I might say it's Center Stage with a long distance, outer space love affair). Mary obviously has extensive knowledge in the intricacies of the musical aspects of this book, and as a long time writer ...more
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I got some Tiny Pretty Things vibes reading this, but of course the dystopian/sci-fi aspect took it down a very different path. The dystopian elements are grounded in real world systems of class inequality, so it wasn't hard for me to imagine such a world, even subtracting aliens out of the equation. The storyline of being an artist in a cutthroat environment where numbers make or break you resonated with me as an aspiring author, and Iris's passion, determination, and idealism in the face of ha ...more
Sinead Anja (Huntress of Diverse Books)
Check out my book blog for more book reviews and other bookish posts!

I received an ARC of Starswept from Netgalley. I decided to request this book because I was intrigued by the space setting and the cover is just amazing. If you’re interested in reading how the cover was created, check out this link.

It’s #ownvoices for East Asian American representation.


I loved the concept of the book. The world that Mary Fan has created is fascinating and it’s especially interesting to think of how the world
Eric Mesa
I met Ms. Fan at Farpoint 2019 at her booth after seeing some of the panels she was on. We started talking about her books and I was intrigued and put this book and Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon on my To Read list. I also started following Ms. Fan on Twitter, and from getting to know her via tweet, she has put a lot of herself into this book: She went to college for music and has original compositions on her site: There are silks performances in the book and M ...more
G.L. Tomas
Ah! I loved it! It was my first sci-fi romance(I usually more of a fantasy fan and all it's sub-genres) and it brings me back to the days I really started taking reading more seriously(around 2013). Back then, it was like the best books with women of color were coming my way, so when I realized how rare it was to feature such, I had to enter the real world =(

There was something otherworldly about the book, even through it's storytelling. I wish I had something to compare it to, because there's h
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Mary Fan’s Starswept we follow the story of 15-year-old Iris Lei, a young viola player in a prestigious arts school, who is trying to make it in order to finally meet her mom. However, this is no ordinary art school. In Papilio, artist compete to become the best in their art in order to get sponsored by an Adryil, an alien race from Adryil. Late one night, while wandering the hallways of Papilio, she meets an Adryil boy named Dámiul and soon learns that not everything is what it seems.

It only
Review also posted on Samodivas

I received a free copy from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

2.5 stars

Iris Fei attends the prestigious performing arts academy Papilio, where she’s perfecting her viola playing in order to attract a rich patron to take her into their employ. One day, Iris crosses paths with an infiltrator in the school – an Adryil boy, member of the telepathic humanoid race that made contact with Earth a century prior. He slips her a foreign device
Fay Tannerr
Starswept was a really fascinating novel filled with adventure, music and romance.

I loved the plot of the novel and how part of the story was on Earth and the other part on Adryil. The story was well written and absolutely mesmerizing.

Iris is determined to find herself a patron to support herself and reunite her family but is certain her skills aren't good enough. She then meets Damiul, an Adryil that broke into her school.

The characters were really captivating and unique. I really liked Iris. S
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This YA novel was impressive! It delved into such complex themes as conformity and success, with romance along the way. This book provides much needed commentary about our world.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy from Netgalley and Snowy Wings Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Starwswept by Mary Fan is a romance science-fiction that blew me away and stole my heart. It is not without its weaknesses; however, there are numerous strengths found in the author's characters as well as her world-building that more than make up for them.

Iris Lei, in particular, is the heart of this story. She is a young violist who holds a deep love for the a
Julie Smith
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some melodies reach across the stars.

In 2157, the Adryil—an advanced race of telepathic humanoids—contacted Earth. A century later, 15-year-old violist Iris Lei considers herself lucky to attend Papilio, a prestigious performing arts school powered by their technology. Born penniless, Iris’s one shot at a better life is to attract an Adryil patron. But only the best get hired, and competition is fierce.

A sudden encounter with an Adryil boy upends her world. Iris longs to learn about him and his
KarenJo Custodio
5 Stars - Beautiful and Unforgettable

Starswept is absolutely beautiful through and through. I mean the book itself is ridiculously gorgeous! The cover, the design, and the interior chapter spreads… I seriously don’t think I’ve ever seen such a pretty book. And you know the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover," well you can just throw that out the window right now because Starswept is stunning and undeniably mesmerizing.

I’m a bit of a sci-fi nerd and have always been fascinated with the conc
Sissy Lu {Book Savvy Reviews}
For someone who isn't a fan of sci-fi fantasies with aliens, this is a book to consider, why? I went into this book knowing it was not something that normally grasped my attention and found myself blown away.

Mary Fan did a wonderful job depicting this complex world as well as its laws. I favor well-built worlds that allow me to understand and become submerged. She did this in an eloquent and gripping fashion. The how and the why come into the light without dropping it before us abruptly.

If tha
Hannah Michaels
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't really sure what to expect from this book when I began, but I am so, so happy that I did. The characters all meshed so well together and there was such a great chemistry between Milo and Iris, even as just friends, that I cherished with each page I turned. Granted, I may be biased because I had a huge crush on him, but still. I also SUPER enjoyed the way that music and art was basically everything their lives were based around. This book accomplished so much in a standalone that I'm hon ...more
Mar 26, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: freebie
🎁 FREE on Amazon today (3/26/2019)! 🎁

Some melodies reach across the stars.

In 2157, the Adryil—an advanced race of telepathic humanoids—contacted Earth. A century later, 15-year-old violist Iris Lei considers herself lucky to attend Papilio, a prestigious performing arts school powered by their technology. Born penniless, Iris’s one shot at a better life is to attract an Adryil patron. But only the best get hired, and competition is fierce.

A sudden encounter with an Adryil boy upends her
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes when you read a book you wish it came with a soundtrack to accompany it. This book brings music to life with words to tell the story of Iris Lei a viola player who wants nothing more than to play her instrument, and find a patron to allow her share her passion with everybody. Until one night she meets Dámiul who sweeps her away to a world she has only ever dreamed of. The twist is what if that world you always wanted to be part of was a lie! Jump into a world of lies, deception, music, ...more
Banal Girl
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book, Mary Fan introduce us to an incredible and dystopian world where exists a prestigious perfoming arts school. In this school, called Papilio, kids and teenagers compete to be the best and to attract an Adryil patron in order to have a good future. Adryil—an advanced race of telepathic humanoids— establishes a relation of partnership with Earth: They power the school and then they can choose the best artists and hire them to play in their parties and etc.
Iris Lei, born penniless, is
Josh Pritchett
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Starswept Review

In her latest novel, “Starswept”, Mary Fan takes us to a dystopic Earth future in which young people are forced to compete with one and other. But in this story, the weapons are not bows and arrows and poisonous bees, but violins and ballet shoes.
In the future, Earth has a trade relationship with an alien spices called the Adryl. The Adryl are a telepathic race with no cultural history of things like music and dance. Ballet dancers and classical musicians quickly become the Eart
Amanda  Dana
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Iris Lei has struggled with her gift as a musician. What makes it worse is that she must raise her standing at her art school or she'll be kicked out; living a life of a common laborer and barely making enough wages to live once her stipend for her school fees have been deducted. The musical compound should be helping her to flourish, but she feels as if she's treading water, desperate for a breakthrough.

Adryils are an alien species that have contacted earth, their weakness is the arts, somethin
Suleika Santana -All About Books
Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of this gorgeous book in exchange for an honest review. *This is no way influenced my opinion*
Sooooo good! This one definitely makes it into my top reads for this year. This book is not only a beautiful story with a gorgeous cover, this book is incredibly good! Definitely one of (if not the best) sci-fi books I've ever read.
Did I fall in love with an alien? Yes, most definitely! You might also fall in love with the music like I did, all the d
Mary Fan’s latest sci-fi novel, Starswept, follows the journey of a young violinist as she navigates cut-throat professional competition, inter-planetary scandals and – of course – a breath-taking first love. Split into two distinctive parts (and planets), the novel explores Iris’ internal journey to self-acceptance as she pursues a career as a violinist and learns a disturbing truth about her university and career path. Riddled with questions of identity and thoughtful critiques of both capital ...more
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Mary Fan is a YA and SFF author hailing from Jersey City. Her books include STRONGER THAN A BRONZE DRAGON (YA steampunk fantasy, Page Street Publishing), the STARSWEPT series (YA sci-fi, Snowy Wings Publishing), the FATED STARS series (YA fantasy, Snowy Wings Publishing), the FLYNN NIGHTSIDER series (YA dark fantasy, Crazy 8 Press), and the JANE COLT trilogy (space adventure, Red Adept Publishing) ...more

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Starswept (3 books)
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