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Steal the Stars

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Steal the Stars, a debut novel by Nat Cassidy, is based on the science fiction podcast from Tor Labs, written by Mac Rogers.

Dakota “Dak” Prentiss guards the biggest secret in the world.

They call it “Moss.” It’s your standard grey alien from innumerable abduction stories. It still sits at the controls of the spaceship it crash-landed eleven years ago. A secret military base was built around the crash site to study both Moss and the dangerous technology it brought to Earth.

The day Matt Salem joins her security team, Dak’s whole world changes.

It’s love at first sight—which is a problem, since they both signed ironclad contracts vowing not to fraternize with other military personnel. If they run, they’ll be hunted for what they know. Dak and Matt have only way to be together: do the impossible. Steal Moss and sell the secret of its existence.

And they can’t afford a single mistake.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

403 pages, Kindle Edition

First published November 7, 2017

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About the author

Nat Cassidy

8 books207 followers
Born in North Carolina, raised in Arizona, and currently residing in New York City, Nat Cassidy in an award-winning horror playwright, horror novelist, actor, and musician.

His debut novel, MARY: AN AWAKENING OF TERROR, was published by Tor Nightfire in July 2022 and was named one of the best horror novels of that year by Esquire, Paste Magazine, Harper's Bazaar, CrimeReads, and The Lineup. His follow up novel, NESTLINGS, is due out by Nightfire in October 2023.

As an actor, Nat has guest starred on television shows such as "Law & Order: SVU" (NBC), "Bull" (CBS), "Blue Bloods" (CBS), "FBI" (CBS), "Quantico" (CBS), "The Following" (Fox), "The Affair" (Showtime), "Red Oaks" (Amazon) "High Maintenance" (HBO), "The Last O.G." (TBS), "The Iliza Shlesinger Sketch Show" (Netflix), as well as on stages Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, and across the country. You can watch him battle giant mutant cockroaches and twentysomething malaise in the horror-comedy film "They Will Outlive Us All," available for streaming on this very site.

As a playwright, Nat is known as "one of New York City's rising playwrights, with numerous productions and awards, critical acclaim, and a reputation for producing intelligent, bold, darkly comic plays with one foot in horror and the other in literary allusion" (Usher Nonsense). He writes thrilling, emotionally compelling horror stories about demons, zombies, Old Gods, ghosts, serial killers, werewolves, cannibals, mutants, and all kinds of ends of the world, and his work has been produced and/or developed at places such as The Kennedy Center, Washington National Opera, Primary Stages, The Flea, and numerous other companies throughout New York City and regionally. His scripts have been published by Samuel French, Broadway Play Publishing, Smith & Kraus, Applause Books, NYTE, and Indie Theatre Now. Nat is an alumnus of Primary Stages' ESPADrills and was commissioned by The Kennedy Center as part of the inaugural American Opera Initiative to write a libretto with composer Scott Perkins, which the Washington Times called "brilliant" and "remarkable." Nat was named one of NYTHEATRE.COM's People of the Year in 2011 and is an inductee in the Indie Theater Hall of Fame.

Nat is also a member of the multimedia production company, Gideon Media, whose hit podcast STEAL THE STARS, was co-produced with Tor Labs (an imprint of Tor Books). Nat played the character of Lloyd in the podcast and also wrote the novelization of Mac Roger's audio scripts, which was published by Tor Books in November 2017 and named one of the best books of the year by NPR.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 101 reviews
Profile Image for Sentranced Jem.
1,061 reviews569 followers
November 14, 2017

steal the stars1

Title: Steal The Stars
Author: Nat Cassidy
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance, Young Adult, New Adult


I love anything science fiction.. and I grew up watching X-Files etc so I was really intrigued to read this book. Aliens, extra terrestrials beings... who wouldn't want to read about it right?!
I have a confession to make, I waited a while to review this book..... why? because I wanted to listen to the Podcast. Steal The Stars in based on a Podcast by Mac Rogers and I really wanted to listen to it first before I reviewed it.Why? Cause I got bored half way reading the book. If you really want to read this book, i'd suggest you listen to the Podcast instead.
Don't get me wrong.. This book wasn't bad... I love the whole concept of the book- The secret facility, the love story between Dak and Matt... I loved it! But I just found the whole book to drag on ..and I found Dak's 'inner-monologues' to be ...hmmm...how should I put it? I just wanted to roll my eyes.

This whole review is sounding so weird but I am torn.. Loved the Podcast... the book?Not so much. which is weird cause it's basically the same thing (almost) but the experience was entirely different for me. That being said, I wouldn't have loved the Podcast as much if I hadn't read the book first because the Podcast does leave some information hanging (But if you've read the book, you know it all).


Note: The whole narration is done by Dak.. and I have a love/hate thing going on with all her "You said's". It a different style of writing for me and I'm not sure whether I like it or not. I also gave it 4 stars because of the Podcast.

For more reviews and giveaways follow my blog at www.jemimajamir.com

Profile Image for Lana Reads.
440 reviews173 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
February 10, 2021
The podcast was awesome, but I couldn't really get into the book. Maybe because I already knew what was going to happen? I donno. Might get back to it at some point.
4,768 reviews53 followers
February 13, 2018
I won this book in a goodreads drawing.

At a super-secret military base guarding a crashed alien space craft, two of the guards fall in love. They plan to escape, and the only way they can see to do that is to steal the alien.

There's the usual Twilight Zone twist.

The book is based on a dramatic podcast, and it does feel like it when read. I would say it's more Roger Corman than SyFy Channel, if that makes any sense.
June 27, 2018
Steal the Stars was conceptually interesting given that it started life as a podcast produced and released by a book publisher (Tor). I like the idea of book publishers getting into the world of podcasts, as narrative storytelling has a lot of cross-platform potential. But, I would have liked to see the two platforms working together to create something new and really unique, rather than just telling the same story.

The reality is Steal the Stars was a lot more convincing as a podcast than it was a novel. The first person, spoken narrative delivered better. While there were some interesting elements in the way the book was written (it's a mix of first and second person), it was very slow moving and lacked the drive of the podcast. When you hear the character's own voice it is easier to forgive the logical inconsistencies in their development than when written. As soon as words are on the page, there has to be a lot more development of character, motivation and world to convince a reader. The act of reading is slower than audio. There is more time to take in the nuances of a text, and that is something that the novel sorely lacked. The main character's decisions already felt a little incongruous in the podcast, so I was even less convinced by them in the novel.

I fully recommend the podcast, but the book was nothing more than OK. It's not good. It's not bad. It just exists. I am, however, looking forward to seeing if Tor decide to release any more podcasts, and if they do, it would be great to see them really get creative with the cross-platform potential.
Profile Image for Laura Thomas.
1,311 reviews78 followers
November 23, 2017
When I realized this was based on a podcast series I thought I’d listen to them first. Glad I didn’t so I can compare them now.

This is a very different take on discovering aliens exist. They’ve had Moss, the alien, hidden away for a long time. If you are chosen to work at the facility, you are an employee for life. No quitting allowed. And just going to work each day is a whole bunch of weird, complicated check points.

Dak won me over right away. She’s something else. You wouldn’t want to get on her bad side. But she’s also vulnerable, lonely. When Matt, a handsome, eager younger man joins her security team, she’s immediately smitten, as is he. But fraternizing between employees in any way is expressly forbidden and could get them sent to the far corners of the planet, or worse.

I know, sounds like insta love. Sure, they fall for each other quickly, but working for such a secretive project doesn’t allow you many opportunities to connect and the mushy stuff isn’t a focal point in the story.

Their decision to run away and take Moss with them isn’t as simple as it sounds. I got nervous just reading how they had to plan and sneak and lie. I felt for sure one or both would trip up.

Very suspenseful reading. And the ending isn’t anything I was prepared for. All I could think was I liked how it concluded and, it figures.

Great science fiction and now I must listen to the podcasts.

I received a complimentary copy. My review is voluntarily given.
Profile Image for Antonio Diaz.
321 reviews62 followers
March 28, 2018
Esta reseña se refiere a la versión en audio dramatizada de Tor Labs.

El argumento más o menos clásico de ciencia ficción se ve aderezado por un interesantísimo plantel de personajes. Particularmente la protagonista te atrapa con su personalidad y la fantástica actuación de la actriz de doblaje.

La historia se beneficia de su brevedad (son sólo 13 episodios de media hora, mucho menos que un audiolibro al uso), el acertado uso de los efectos especiales y una narración que tiene muy en cuenta que el oyente no está viendo la acción, pero que tampoco desea una voz de narrador de fondo.

Además, tiene un par de giros argumentales muy bien traídos que mantienen la intriga sobre el argumento centra pero que, incluso sin ellos, seguiría recomendado Steal the Stars. ¡Y es gratis! ¿Qué más se puede pedir?

La verdad es que escuchar esta maravilla me ha hecho animarme con otras radio-ficciones (audiodramas en inglés). Es una alternativa interesante a los audiolibros para escuchar mientras uno hace las tareas de la casa o la compra.
Profile Image for Amanda.
288 reviews76 followers
August 19, 2017
Hey! Fair warning, the publisher gave me access to the first five episodes ahead of time in exchange for my review, BUT the podcast is free and available at your podcast location of choice. I use Pocket Casts, and the first three episodes are already up. A link to get to them is here.

Steal the Stars is part of a new project by Tor, Tor Labs, which will apparently be putting out serialized fiction -- basically audio drama -- podcasts in the future. Think about stuff like The Truth, Limetown, The Bright Sessions -- this one belongs right in those hallowed halls right alongside them.

Steal the Stars begins with a mystery -- what the hell is this weird alien thing? It's huge, and seemingly mostly dead, and covered in moss, and in a crashed ship, with a thing.... but that's honestly not what the podcast is about. It's more about the human drama of the people surrounding him in the secret paramilitary base trying to figure out their own lives -- and figure out the mystery going on at the center of it.

This is slightly more romantic in nature than I really expected it to be, but I'll tell you what -- I loaded this thing up on a four hour driving trip, and my husband, who isn't really into my fiction podcasts, kept asking for the next one. We listened to all five episodes we were provided in one sitting, and I'm dying to listen to the rest of them now.

Very diverting and very worth listening to. Five stars.

Profile Image for Shannon.
474 reviews56 followers
August 5, 2018
This review is for the podcast.

I thought the presentation was fantastic, and it was really fun to listen to while I was taking some long drives, but the story kind of lost me in places. The whole idea of Moss was really cool though.
627 reviews116 followers
December 7, 2017
Actual rating: 4.5/5.0

Note: This is my review of the audiodrama (not the novel) as serialized by Tor Labs.
Profile Image for Katie.
295 reviews56 followers
November 7, 2017
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an open and honest review

That ending….wow… I can’t actually decide if I liked the last chapter, but the rest of this book was phenomenal.

Steal the Stars is the novelization of a podcast of the same name from Tor Labs. To clarify, I have not listened to the podcast, but after reading the book, it’s certainly being added to my podcast list. I can’t say how close the book is to the podcast in terms of plot and narration, but by from the rather atypical narration style and pacing, I’m going to guess it’s pretty close.

This book is about the lives of Dak Prentiss, chief security guard of Quill Marine, and Matt Salem, a recent hire. Quill Marine, which disguises itself as an innocent marine research base, is actually one of many top-secret research laboratories owned by the Sierra Corporation; Sierra being a vague yet menacing corporate entity that may or may not secretly run the US Government. The overall mood of this book is rather morose and pessimistic and feels like a painfully accurate reflection of today’s political climate. However, unlike many science fiction stories, the spotlight of this book is not on Sierra and the happenings in Quill Marine, but on Dak and Matt themselves. This story follows their lives, their emotions, and their relationship as they live in a science fiction backdrop.

Dak and Matt are not your normal protagonists. Dak is portrayed as a solitary and aggressive person who does what she needs to, regardless of consequences. In the first chapter, we see her getting into bar fights. She uses (and occasionally abuses) her authority, manipulates her connections, and flat-out lies her way out of situations. Matt we only see through Dak’s perspective. While he’s portrayed as the perfect man, given his job description and previous career choices, there’s likely more than one skeleton in his closet. Together, they make an interesting duo of very flawed people existing in a very flawed world.

The narration is done in an interesting combination of first- and second-person. Dak is narrating the story, but while doing so, she’s often addressing Matt, using ‘you’. It’s a very intimate way of story-telling and given how emotional this can book get, a very successful one too.

The pacing is also VERY slow, perhaps the slowest I’ve read in terms of plot. The events in the summary don’t actually happen until more than half-way through. However, because the focus of the first half is on the development of Dak and Matt’s relationship, I never found the slowness frustrating. It also helps that as their relationship develops, the world does too. We’re slowly introduced to all the interesting technology and aliencraft inside Quill Marine, as well as a very accurate depiction of scientists floundering while trying to decrypt alien tech and xenobiology. The pacing does pick up significantly in the last third, and by the end, the action comes at a rapid-fire pace.

My one problem with this book was the ending. While I don’t want to give too much away, I thought the final chapter largely destroyed the set up of the rest of the book. To me, the second-to-last chapter would have made a fantastic ending that would take the story on a path not often tread for endings. This is not to say I didn’t find the revelations in the last chapter interesting, but just that I didn’t think they fit with the rest of the story.

Overall, I rate this book a 4.5/5. It would have been a 5 without the last chapter. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in a very character-driven science fiction novel.
Profile Image for K.
293 reviews25 followers
April 18, 2022

I think my heart rate has come down enough to review this now.

This was fantastic. The premise and key story elements alone are great. A Bonnie and Clyde love story. A secret military facility. A 20-minutes-into the future overly-corporatized America. A real Area 51 complete with alien. But it’s the intrigue and pacing layered over the top of these that really lifts this story into five-star range.

Steal the Stars is a story in two parts. Where the first part is interesting, with lots of questions and world building, the second half hares off into the desert and over a cliff. It’s a fairly stark turn and it might put some readers off, but I loved both parts equally and I was surprised at how nicely both story elements synced up in the one narrative.

I started listening to the podcast version of Steal the Stars before switching to the novelisation, so I feel I can comment a bit on both here. The podcast is really well produced. The acting and audio production are excellent. I can find radio plays a bit disorienting, but Dak’s first person perspective really helps to guide the listener through what’s going on. The voice actors bring a lot of charisma to their roles and set up emotional connections with the characters a lot faster than could be done in text. Lloyd, for example (fun fact: voiced by Nat Cassidy who wrote the novelisation), I loved from his first sentence. There’s a warmth and charm there that you can get from 30 seconds of conversation that takes a bit more to convey on the page.

Having said that, Cassidy has done an excellent job with the novelisation. The prose style retains the feel of Dak’s narrative voice in the podcast, while providing the description and background information required for transitioning the work to text. I found in some ways the text was more comprehensive, and more clearly conveyed some actions and world building elements which were less clear in audio cues or weren’t able to be included in the podcast due to space.

It would have been easy to go bare-bones on the additional information and fleshing out in the novel and stick to just what was required to convert the story to a text version of the podcast. But I was pleasantly surprised at how much additional material Cassidy slipped in without losing the tone, pacing and sequence of the podcast. Special shout out specifically to how well Cassidy worked in ‘Dak-style’ metaphors and similes.

Dak herself is a different strong, female protagonist which I appreciated. Middle aged. Stocky. Physically competent. Practical. Her trajectory and character arc over the course of the story is fascinating to watch. It’s internally consistent and yet quite extreme. Each step of the way felt inevitable, but in a way that felt driven by Dak’s choices and as if it could never have gone any other way. Particularly the second half had this increasing tension and pace to it that felt like it was hurtling headlong into a doom with only a slim chance of survival and the window just kept getting narrower the further you went.

The romance and chemistry between Dak and Matt was intense and well-depicted. This wasn’t a slow burn or a coy young love. This is two consenting adults in one of those once-in-a-lifetime crazy chemistry encounters.

I found the ending strange, but not problematically so. Without spoilers, I enjoyed the reinterpretation of well-known facts in a way that was logical in hindsight but not obvious as you went through. I found it a bit abrupt and in some ways unsatisfying for it, but overall I think I liked it. I like the questions it raises about what happens next. I like the neatness of some elements of the ending and the significant can of worms opened by it as well. I liked having some answers - but not all of them - and getting to see a glimpse of the next story to come.

Whatever format you check this out in, Steal the Stars is a worth experiencing. It’s different to a lot of other scifi out at the moment. It’s punchy and fast. The style and tone are unique and vibrant, and it’ll leave you wanting to rant and debrief with your friends.

An advance copy of this book was kindly provided by Tor Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for CR.
2,796 reviews27 followers
December 8, 2017

Noteworthy experiences while reading this book: I thought it was an interesting idea that this was based off of a podcast. That I will now have to listen to!

Check out author's other books or related books? O yes I hope that there is a book two to this one.

Recommend this book? Yes fans of aliens and science fiction will love this one.

Notes and Opinions: I didnt know this was based on a podcast series until I noticed we had done a promo post for this title a little while ago. I thought that was fairly interesting. This was a very different take on the whole alien thing and it was done very well. I thought this one was slightly funny at how many complicated check points you had to go through to get to work. The characters were great Dak, Matt, and Moss were wonderful as a cast and this one was a very quick read. This one does have some insta-love in it but for this story it worked out well. It wasn't the focus of the story at large so that might have had something to do with it as well.

This book will keep you on your toes as you travel along with the gang as they try to help Moss get free of the government. I couldn't help but hope for a book two!

Go Into This One Knowing: insta-love but it works.

664 reviews23 followers
November 12, 2017
This review was originally posted on my review blog Deanna Reads Books
Earlier this week I featured the podcast Steal The Stars here on the blog for my podcast feature, Deanna Listens. I was also able to get my hands on an advanced reader copy of the novelization thanks to Netgalley that was written by Nat Cassidy. If you listen to the podcast, and I really think you should, you may know him as Lloyd.

I wasn't sure if the novelization was right for me. I liked the podcast a lot, and I love that stories are being told in this medium, so I wasn't sure if the novelization was just going to be a complete rehash of what I just listened to. At times it is pretty identical to the podcast itself, but there are also these really great similes that I don't remember being in the podcast. I think Cassidy did a really good job of giving us more insight into the characters. I think the novel also give us a little more background on the Sierra Corporation, and why they suck! I don't recall finding out why the character only known as X is in prison, but this is told pretty explicitly in the book. It really hammers in why Sierra is the worst!

I still have so many questions. Like how did Sierra come to take over the world so quickly? I think these are questions for the reader to ask, and are not necessarily something that is answered within the story. This story is a sneaky dystopia, it's so very subtle and looks like our world right now or the not too distant future that you don't realize what has happened to the world until much later in the book.

One thing that is different about the podcast vs. this novelization in the tense that it's written in. Dak our main character is telling the story again to Matt, with all the "you saids." I thought this was an interesting writing style, and I don't think I've read a book that employs this before. We also find out right off the bat that Dak's life took a turn for the worst, when in the podcast we are left in suspense and are not really sure what is happening yet.

I liked this book a lot, but I also wonder if I liked it so much because I liked the podcast too? I don't think you need to do both forms of this story, but you can if you want. Podcasts aren't for everyone, so if that medium doesn't work for them I think it's great that there is a book out there that they can read. The book tells the same story, so you are not missing anything if you don't listen to the podcast first. I am very interested to see what people who haven't listened to the podcast feel about it this book. I enjoyed it a lot, and if you like subtle dystopia and military sci-fi I highly recommend it!

*I received an ecopy of this book in exchange for my honest review via NetGalley.com. This in no way influenced my review.
Profile Image for Richard Haines.
Author 1 book7 followers
March 10, 2018
Ok, I don't often stop to write reviews. But I thought maybe I'd give myself a little closure by typing out my thoughts about the book.

I definately liked the book, but there is something missing right now.

No spoilers, but there are questions that arise from the ending that I feel need answers. I don't mind twists, in fact, I love twists, especially when I don't see them coming (which is a little rare) BUT, there are certain twists that conform to an internal logic within the narative. You look back, and questions you didn't know you had fall into a kind of clarity.

The ending did solve a few mysteries, but it left a gaping hole in our understanding of the universe that no amount of rereading can fill. A sequel would solve the problems, but a sequel should never be required to feel closure at the end of a novel.

So that's a problem for me.

Other than that? This was a good piece of noir science fiction. I was intrigued by the machinations of the protagonist as she tried to find a way to have a happy ending. I kept reading waiting to see how her plans would turn out, and I loved the relationships between characters as presented....hmmm.....that no doubt affects my feelings about the ending.......

Should you read this? Yes. Especially if you like conspiracies mixed in with your science fiction. This is a story that fis right into the libraries of X-Files fans.
Profile Image for Marlene.
2,847 reviews192 followers
November 30, 2017
Steal the Stars is a novelization of the Tor Labs podcast of the same title. The story fits neatly into two well-known categories of the genre. The most obvious for much of the story, is in its setting in a very-near-future of our world where government has been completely privatized. All government functions are performed by large corporations that are much more efficient at most governmental operations - but also much more mercenary and considerably more invasive. It takes place at a research lab funded by one of these mega-government companies as the corporation decides to monetize its investment in studying the first alien known to have landed on earth, just as one of its team members decides to make one last reach for freedom, for herself, her lover, and the alien who is about to be vivisected. However, things twist in the end from a flight from corporate greed to an entirely different type of story, one where the humans discover that everything they have thought about the aliens they have been studying has been utterly and radically wrong - that nothing is as it has seemed.
VERDICT: Recommended for SF readers who like stories where the protagonists fight against seemingly impossible odds, and/or those who enjoy stories where the ending forces the reader to re-think everything that has gone before.
Profile Image for Jeannette Hartman.
156 reviews2 followers
December 24, 2017
If all science fiction was this character-driven and well-plotted, I'd be a fan. Dakota Prentice (known as Dak to her friends and colleagues) is chief of security for Quill Marine. Like most of her colleagues, she is a veteran of numerous top secret and highly dangerous missions. As she realizes toward the end of the book, she's never stepped out of line in her life; she's always followed orders; but now, she's following the orders of her own heart. This book has all the suspense and high stakes of a thriller; the sexual passion of a romance -- and the other-worldly context of science fiction. To say more would be to begin giving away story.
Profile Image for Miz.
1,345 reviews37 followers
January 31, 2018
I started listening to the pod but gave up when the romantic nature overtook the screenplay. However, I decided to pick the book up and see if I like it more. As a general rule, I'm not a fan of sci-fi though this was easy to understand and I enjoyed the book a lot more than the podcast. I think my brain creates it's own picture sand sounds whereas an audiobook loses dimensions for me.

This book was okay - 3.5 stars. I'd recommend it but the ending happened very fast and was unsatisfying to me. Dak as a character was amazing almost all the way through; and I loved the imagery of Moss and THE moss.
Profile Image for Anne girl  .
34 reviews1 follower
November 23, 2017
I didn't want to put this book down. And so I didn't and greedily polished it off, nom nom nom.
Really so much about this book is a treat--female protagonist narrator who's got it bad for You; a great bunch of human and otherwise characters surrounding her; vivid settings like The Hangar and The Walnut. The prose was sparkling overall, so fun, great pace. But then I did need to go back and re-read a few passages because: hang on, I think that was a beautiful, capital T-truth back there-yes it was! Highly recommend this read!
Profile Image for Amy.
841 reviews91 followers
November 1, 2017

This blew me away. I know it's not an "actual" book yet, but I'm pretty sure the story finished in podcast format yesterday, and OH MY GOD. This was one of the best stories I've ever encountered in a long time. The actors were excellent, and the story was fast-paced and fascinating. Find this story in its podcast form STAT. You need this in your life.
Profile Image for Angelina.
385 reviews46 followers
September 7, 2019
I love this book and the narrating is AMAZING! I could see what the characters were doing and where they where without it being described to me.

I don't really like the reason for the heist, it felt too romancy and a little too easy for them. I also technically DNFd at 89% xD it just became too stressful (thanks to the amazing voice acting) and too horror for me.
Profile Image for Suzanne Earley.
236 reviews22 followers
January 13, 2018
The book is just as bonkers (in a good way) as the podcast. The additional details made it worth reading, even though I knew how it was going to turn out. And I could “hear” it in the voices of the actors from the podcast, so that was even better.
109 reviews7 followers
January 23, 2018
I loved the audio drama series of Steal the Stars. I was a little leery of a novelization, but this book is so much more than that. I was so glad to get an insider's view into Dak's brain. It adds a whole new dimension to the story.
Profile Image for Carolyn.
19 reviews
December 21, 2017
Great sci-fi

I listened to the podcast before I read the book so nothing was a surprise but it was still fun to experience this in a new medium.
Profile Image for Alyisha.
683 reviews29 followers
February 3, 2020
Between 3 & 4 stars (again, rounding up).

Oh hey! I liked a sci-fi book! 😱

Not only were (most of the) characters well-developed with strong, individual voices — but there was lots of commentary upon what happens when a person is starved for love & freedom. While it’s true that the story rests heavily upon a severe case of insta-love, I think the fact of that was actually, thematically essential (it wasn’t just happenstance or poorly-written). The full-cast audio performance was largely what made this for me. I don’t know if I’d have enjoyed it quite as much in-print (though I still think I’d find the dialog quick & entertaining).

In terms of audio production, I almost stopped listening at the beginning because it reminded me too much of a play (& I can sometimes be a theater-hating Philistine). But I’m glad I stuck with it. It “grew” on me (that’s a Moss pun). I do wish that the dialog & sound effects had been more balanced; I had to constantly fiddle with the volume. Oftentimes, voices were much too soft while gunshots, alarms, & screams were deafening.

If I were a re-reader, I’d go back & look more closely at how certain mechanics worked, now that the mystery’s been revealed. But I have a feeling they all line up.

Profile Image for Bryce.
1,224 reviews31 followers
October 10, 2022
I never listened to the podcast, but had seen Mac Rogers' Honeycomb Trilogy before, so I went in knowing very little about the plot but expecting some sci-fi weirdness.

What I liked about this novel (and also The Honeycomb Trilogy) was that the sci-fi elements were just a way to showcase the darker, more secretive parts of the human condition. Also, the tragic love story elements were just a way to showcase a character's slide into the Dark Side.

Because, let's face it, Dak is a piece of work. She's trapped and angry and resentful about it, but she's also pretty selfish and put herself and her desires over everything else, including the literal safety of the human race. And I love it as a character trajectory. I love a good descent into villainy, especially when the villain thinks they're a good guy the entire time.

I can't say more without spoiling the good stuff. But it's definitely a trip worth taking.
172 reviews3 followers
June 8, 2018
Listened to the podcast version and was impressed by a lot of the choices made. This one felt superior to other podcasts in the same style. Mr. Rogers is improving! The actors are top notch with great direction/production. Everyone is distinct and interesting.
Profile Image for Lacie Jordyn.
3 reviews
September 22, 2018
I read this because I really enjoyed the podcast. It took me awhile to read but I think I just have a hard time finishing a story when I know what’s going to happen already. I was very impressed with the ending and think it was done even better than it was in the podcast. Nat Cassidy definitely had a way of bringing Dak and her emotions to a new dimension which I think was needed from the podcast. I got exactly what I wanted out of the novelization which was a better understanding of Dak and her motivations.
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