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Above the Star

(The 8th Island Trilogy #1)

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  176 ratings  ·  65 reviews
When Archie goes in search of his missing son, Arden, in the Spanish Canary Islands, he stumbles upon a higher mission: to save his ailing fourteen-year-old granddaughter, Ella. Using a portal-jumping device called the Tillastrion, Archie and a strange creature, a Bangol named Zeno, are transported—along with a cruise ship full of people, including Ella and her mother, Tes ...more
Kindle Edition, 369 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by SparkPress (first published 2018)
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Average rating 3.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  176 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, teen-novels
I received this book for free from the publisher (SparkPress) as part of a promotional blogger unboxing campaign.

I give this book 3.5 stars which rounds up to 4.

This is probably the most unique book I have read so far this year.

Up until I got about halfway through the book I thought it was weird. It was odd and bizarre, kind of in a Roald Dahl way, but stranger. It took me a while to get used to it and the world. I’ve never encountered a world quite like this one before, so there was definite
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian, giveaways
I received this book through the Goodreads giveaways. While the premise and description were intriguing this wasn't for me, i'm not sure if that was because its not a genre I really read much or because I couldn't get into the writting? None of the characters really kept me interested or invested either and the romances were so instant and seemed built on nothing. I probably won't continue the series.
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you Iread Book Tours and Alexis Marie Chute for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

Above The Star
8th Island Trilogy #1
By: Alexis Marie Chute

Isn't the cover of Above The Star fabulous? I love the font and the color combo. Alexis Marie Chute begins her 8th Island Trilogy with a wildly inventive and utterly unique fantasy story about family, hope and embracing whatever comes your way. I've read my share of fantasies, but this
Martin Gil
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book somehow manages to be off-puttingly quirky and intriguingly delightful at the same time. It took me a while to figure out whether I kept on reading because I was desperately trying to decipher how the storylines had any cohesion or purpose, or whether I was actually enjoying reading it. I think I finally settled on it being both--I was enjoying reading this book precisely because it is just so odd. I mean that in the best way possible. This is one of those stories where the joy comes f ...more
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
From my review at

"As soon as I read the summary for Above the Star I knew I wanted to read it. It gave me ideas of Neil Gaiman, The Princess Bride, and plenty of other great fantasy tales. I loved the idea of the triple perspectives of the different generations and was fascinated by Jarr-Wya. So, when I was given the chance to read the book I leapt at it. And I’ve never been happier about anything. The book was utterly captivating from the first page onwards. The characters
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED THIS BOOK!! It is a rich tapestry of characters, plot and unique inhabitants of a mystical place that exists “Above the Star”. You join the family of Tessa, Ella and Archie who are simultaneously looking for a cure for Ella who has lost the ability to speak, while looking for her father who has disappeared. After boarding a ship they are magically transported to the island of Jarr-warr and encounter unique inhabitants of the island whom play different and surprising roles as they are enc ...more
Margie Timmermans
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Alexis Marie really throws her readers into a captivating new world with this book! The first half of the book is very detailed in description and it takes a while to understand this odd new world. However the cool thing is that the reader is joined on this journey by a group of very regular, relatable and likeable characters.
This book is a real page turner and it didnt take long before I was swept up in this exciting story! I highly recommend this book and am excited for the release of the sec
Jun 19, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: freebie
🎁 FREE on Amazon today (6/19/2019)! 🎁
Brooke Gander
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Above The Star is a thrilling adventure for a wide variety of ages! The story is filled with action, adventure, love, and sorrow. The strength of the Wellesley Family is tested by forces both natural and magical and their journey will keep you on the edge of your seat! The different ages of the main characters: Grandpa Archie, Mother Tessa, and young Ella give a wonderful variety of perspectives on the events that transpire on their mission to find their missing Father Arden and the mysterious m ...more
I just got notified I won this book in a giveaway! can't wait to receive it so I can start reading!
Jul 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley
*I received an e-galley from Netgalley in return for an honest review.*

Had a bit of a hard time getting into this fantasy novel, but could have been due to reading the e-galley on my computer. Once the story gets going then there is more action to move it along.
Ella has cancer and the outlook is not good. Her professor father then disappears, leaving behind journals of his research. Separately, Archie (Ella's grandfather) and Ella read the journals, but Archie actually goes in search of followin
Leah Ison
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a fun read! I went on a little adventure with this. I love how the main character and one of the most outstanding heroes of this story is Ella's grandfather. How refreshing to see this. The love between Ella and her grandfather is beautiful and a driving force in this story.
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The imagination for this book is amazing. I felt I was right along for the adventure. Ella and Duggie Sky are easily my favorite characters. The ending was a cliffhanger but I have a idea what may occur. This is a book soon to be a classic and should be treasured!
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
**Read Book #1 because I won Book #2 in a Goodreads giveaway**

Ok, so concept-wise, it’s not a TERRIBLE story. However, delivery of said “story” is underwhelming (and that’s an understatement).

From the very first page and continuing all through the book, it felt like I was watching a collection of stills from a movie. This author reallllly digs her descriptions (although she’s not all that great at that either).

The action was lacking, and even when something major was happening, I was so lost a
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a sweet, compelling read as the first book in The 8th Island Trilogy by Alexis Marie Chute. I have had the pleasure of being a part of the "street team" although my opinion is my own. I received this book from the author for an independent review, but I had previously purchased it from Amazon for myself. I am a reluctant middle-grade/young adult reader, meaning that it really depends greatly on the topic and writer as to whether I will stick with it or not. This is an engaging story abou ...more
Susie Dumond
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Teenager Ella is grappling with a brain tumor diagnosis and yearning for her missing father. To get through the difficult time, she goes on a cruise with her mother and grandfather to the Spanish Canary Islands. But soon, they find themselves on a trip to a much different destination: an island on a different realm, where a strange creature promises a cure for Ella.

This YA portal fantasy is quite the adventure, and Chute has created a rich and complex world. The stakes are high and there's a lot
Kathy Brickert
Jun 29, 2019 rated it liked it

His was different concept from anything I've read in a long time. There was so much completely unknown that it made it difficult to follow who was who and what was what. It it was well written and once you get into it, it starts to fall into place. Not a light read! And I hate waiting for re rest of the story in book two!
Kerry Fine
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This one intrigued me from the beginning. It reads a little like a classic, so it doesn't have the same easy-read flow as some fantasy books, but it was so well imagined that I didn't find it tedious. The only issue I had was the proofreading - it needs a little more love in that area. But even in spite of that I'm looking forward to reading the next one.
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
I won the second book in this trilogy so naturally had to buy the first. Not something I would normally seek out to read but it's a good little story line and I will likely have to get book 3.
Kimmarie Pozar
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jarr and Earth

Family dynamics, planetary travel and lots of loss of characters. Not for the faint of heart. Interesting world concepts and how earth and Jarr fit together.

Okay for Mid to older teens and adults because of the amount of death in it.
Jul 20, 2019 rated it liked it
The plot and characters are all really interesting, but the writing is on the weaker side. Hopefully it improves within the next two books.
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was terrific! I couldn't put it down. I loved being taken on this magical adventure. The characters and the lands are so wonderful. I am excited to read the next book in the series, Below the Moon!
Reader Views
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (02/19)

“Above the Star,” is the first in a new fantasy series by Alexis Marie Chute, following Fourteen-year-old Ella who is suffering from a terminal brain tumor. Ella lives with her mother and paternal grandfather; her beloved father disappeared without warning, two years ago. When Ella’s grandfather offers to take the family on a cruise to create one last happy memory, the two ladies have no idea that he has been reading journals about another world t
Ian Mathers
Jun 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: rt, 2018
According to my shelf here at goodreads, and I have no reason to think it's wrong, I reviewed 99 books for RT. I didn't realize that until looking tonight, and I guess it's kind of funny I just missed three digits. I started writing reviews there, almost all fantasy and sf, right around the start of 2014. Unfortunately (but not unsurprisingly) this year RT closed. It lasted 37 years, mostly focused on romance novels (which I didn't review because I didn't feel qualified to, not because of any di ...more
Jun 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
I found myself not able to fully get into this book. I really liked the idea of it, but it just wasn't great for me.
Jun 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
Sorry, I hated this. Full of violence, after 90+ pages I still hadn't found enough redeeming features to keep me reading, hoping for whatever it was that made me pick up the book in the first place. Never found it and gave up.
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Goodreads giveaway
Jan 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
The style of writing lackluster.
Katie P.
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
Blog ✍ | Facebook 👩 | Twitter 🐦 | Instagram 📸

Above the Star is the first book in the series and what an introduction it was! This book is weirdly quirky in the best way! You will be confused about the premise of this book until about a quarter of the way through. Essentially, Ella lives with her mom and grandpa. Her father mysteriously disappeared and hasn't been heard from since. Ella has been battling cancer, which has taken her voice. She communicates largely with sign language, homemade hand
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it


Wow! I did not expect this book to be such a wild ride. What starts off as a family cruise turns out to be a fantastic fantasy adventure.

Firstly, I loved the characters. My favorite character is Archie. It is SO refreshing to see an older man be one of the leads. Arden/Ardenal is also wonderful and I loved the sacrifices he makes for his family. The romance between Nate, Tessa, Arden and Valerie was also intense. In fact, Val
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Free Book Giveaway: International Giveaway - Above The Star 1 18 Jan 26, 2018 09:09AM  

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Alexis Marie Chute is an award-winning artist, author, photographer, art curator, and filmmaker. She has received over 40 noteworthy distinctions for her visual and literary work.

Her award-winning fantasy series The 8th Island Trilogy includes, Above the Star, Below the Moon, and Inside the Sun. The series has been described as “A WRINKLE IN TIME meets THE

Other books in the series

The 8th Island Trilogy (3 books)
  • Below the Moon (The 8th Island Trilogy, #2)
  • Inside the Sun (The 8th Island Trilogy, #3)

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