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Tarnished Are the Stars

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  1,471 ratings  ·  383 reviews
The Lunar Chronicles meets Rook in this queer #OwnVoices science-fantasy novel, perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer and Sharon Cameron.

A secret beats inside Anna Thatcher's chest: an illegal clockwork heart. Anna works cog by cog -- donning the moniker Technician -- to supply black market medical technology to the sick and injured, against the Commissioner's tyrannical laws.
Hardcover, 372 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by Scholastic Press
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Average rating 3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,471 ratings  ·  383 reviews

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Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
An incredible YA sci-fi book absolutely brimming with heart, understanding, and the power of coming together to defeat injustice. Not to mention it’s queer as hell and I absolutely loved that this book set in the future unapologetically embraces queer identity and the lasting influence of finding a word that helps to explain who you are. Nathaniel is asexual and aromantic, and whether or not he wants to continue using those words is up to him. What matters is the power he gains by having a word ...more
K. Wolf
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So I read an early version of this book and it was GREAT, and basically, everyone should be adding this to their to-read lists because it's a great ride full of lesbians and aces in space with cool world-building. Why are you still reading this, go add this book to your lists!!! ...more
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
CW: parental emotional and physical abuse, stabbing wounds, surgery, blood, illness, graphic death of a child

I'm sorry but....this book is a hot ass mess? I just...I didn't like anything about it. Not one thing. Well, that's a lie, I liked that out of three main characters two are sapphic and one is aroace, but that's it.

The writing was trying too hard, like you know when you can see the author putting words together trying to make the sentence be flowery and have a deeper meaning than they actu
Claudie Arseneault
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt, aromantic, ya, asexual, sf
DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC in exchange for a honest review. I'm also friends with the author.

cw: abuse, parental death (on and off screen), surgery

Finishing books past midnight always messes up with my ability to write proper reviews, but also... it tells you how incapable of going to bed I was!

TARNISHED ARE THE STARS is a beautiful and incredibly queer book at the heart of which lies the power of trust and friendship, especially in breaking out of abusive relationships. It's fast paced but g
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
Jun 30, 2019 marked it as not-released-tbr
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
that cover is so crooked

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Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
Disappointing YA SF with overly simplistic world-building and characters whose behavior comes across as random in many places. A relatively diverse cast does not make up for its other failings.

Humanity has fled an Earth destroyed by humanity with the majority of people living in a space station and waiting to colonize Earth Adjacent. A small community of people are living on Earth Adjacent in "the Settlement" as a sort of pilot program. The Settlement is under the tyrannical rule of a man named
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
"Don't judge a book by its cover" is as well-worn a proverb as any in literature, but of course first impressions of a book are influenced by cover art. The swirl of metallic purples, blues, and the stars in constellation is what drew me to Tarnished Are the Stars, making me want to like the book even before I learned what it was about. Human existence in the 2800s is quite different from that on Earth eight centuries earlier. Abuse of technology led to the planet's destruction long ago, but a n ...more
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sharply characterized and beautifully written, Tarished Are the Stars was a look at a too-close-for-comfort earth-like planet and the way the best of intentions in trying to create a better future can go awry. I loved the complexity of the interactions, motivations, and the machinations--nothing was black or white. The characters were my favorite part of all, and they especially shined in the form of Anna, Nathaniel, and Eliza and their entanglements with each other. I love how they came up agai ...more
"We do not have to use the same words or share the same definitions to be similar, to understand one another."

This quote captures what I think is so important and so wonderful about the LGBTQ+ community. All of our experiences are different, but in a way, we're all the same too.

I do have sort of mixed feelings about this book though. Because I did love the rep. And at the start, I really enjoyed the plot too. But I ended up feeling a little underwhelmed by the story itself.

CWs: death of a child,
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
A solid debut! If you like YA sci-fi with elements of mystery, political intrigue, and has an all-queer cast, then you'll like this!

- Follows three perspectives:
* Anna, who operates under the moniker of 'The Technician', who provides illegal medical technology to help the sick and injured.
* Eliza, a lesbian orphan-turned-spy trained by the Queen, sent on a mission to spy on the Commissioner.
* Nathaniel, aro and ace, the son of the Commissioner, who is betrothed to Eliza.
- The story follows the
caitlin ✶
Jan 18, 2020 rated it liked it
this was a wonderful book filled with so much heart, and i absolutely loved the queer rep 💜 It was just extremely obvious that this book is a debut from the numerous discrepancies in the writing.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
3.5 rounded up. I don’t always love YA so that probably takes away at least 1/2 star in most cases- but the relationships between the three main characters in this book are complex with little of the usual plot lines of romance and/or sexual attraction. Thus the book is more nuanced and I appreciated the author’s ability to explore different feelings between people.
Kathryn Speckels (Metaphors and Miscellanea)
Okay, hear me out. I was so excited for this release, and when I saw the audiobook came out a full two weeks before the physical book, I decided to listen right away. BIG MISTAKE. The narrator just didn't work for me. The voices she chose for the characters felt like caricatures, which made the dialogue feel inorganic (which is too bad because it seemed like there was some good sarcastic banter just didn't come across in the performance) and made a lot of the characters seem more li ...more
Kal ★ Reader Voracious

Tarnished Are the Stars is one of the Reader Voracious Novel19 Books ! You can read my interview with Rosiee here!

This science-fiction debut is so incredibly special, friends. I didn't expect to adore these characters, but here I am, utterly attached and wishing it wasn't a standalone novel so I could go on more adventures with them.
"There was nothing quite like the first tick of a new heart."
The book instantly sucked me in with its opening chapter, situating the reader within t
Lauren Stoolfire
Tarnished are the Stars by Rosiee Thor is a sci-fi novel with so much potential. There's so much about it that I enjoyed, especially the world building. As solid as it is for some reason it never managed to quite hook me. I never quite lost myself in the story. That said, I'm really interesting in seeing what Thor will do next. ...more
I don't think I can describe how excited I was when I was given a chance to read Tarnished Are the Stars. I mean, it's LGBTQ+ steampunk sci-fi with a mechanic as the main character. I was in love the moment I saw the cover and read the blurb (found out the MC is a mechanic and hella gay. I'm a simple gal, people.) And when I read it's a romance between a spy and a mechanic and that it's kinda similar to my rarepair that's literally nicknamed "spy mechanic"? And that Eliza might resemble my favo ...more
Oct 24, 2019 added it
Shelves: dnfed
DNF'ed at pahe 257
I loved how it began, the strenght the book showed at the beginning, but it got dilluted as the book progressed.
When the 3 players are brought together is like all the difficulties kinda got erased: the one who kept secrets suddenly spills them all, the one who cried for a death kinda forgets about ut, and the one who wanted to please his father just stops.
I mean, I would have believed it if there had been some progression, but it felt rushed and just because they had to be br
The idea of this book was really good, but it wasn't thaaat great. Still pretty interesting, however.

It was also really similar to Cinder by Marissa Meyer, soooo.
Dec 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book has so many plot holes and logistical problems I feel like a master of patience and second chances for sticking it out to the end. The story takes place in the year 2892, a future in which technology is banned because Earth is still recovering after having been destroyed by technology. There is a Settlement that is governed by a Commissioner and a council, and they in turn are governed by the Queen, who lives in a space station called the Tower along with a large number of her subjects ...more
3.5 stars. Three complicated protagonists meet and have to work together, and there’s no tropey triangle. Nice. And the relationships that develop become much more interesting, consequently, while they’re trying to figure out political and family mysteries that connect an orbital station and two settlements on a terraformed, Earth-like planet.
The writing is a little awkward at times, and some people and/or situations lack sufficient depth or time to develop convincingly, but there’s some nice s
Aug 03, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Hello lovely readers! I don't spend much time over on goodreads anymore, so if you have any questions, please reach out over on twitter or on my website! Since advance copies are out in the world now, I wanted to share a list of content warnings for anyone who would like to review them before reading:

I hope you enjoy! Happy reading :)
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: friend-books
So excellent on so many levels.
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-releases
Tarnished Are The Stars is a story that revolves around characters who are bearing weights of expectations, who are discussing the good and bad of technology, who are exploring, discovering, or creating their identities, rebelling against the wrong, and building a strong friendship; and are doing all of this on a planet that is not Earth (since it was destroyed by the technology doom) but is filled with something that is toxic to the ones born on there, aka the Tarnished.

The Settlement an
Amanda B
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Tarnished Are the Stars is a story that follows Anna (also known as ‘The Technician’). She is a mechanic that secretly helps people with illegal medical technology. At the beginning of the story, the Commissioner has put out a new law in hopes of finding the Technician. Anna knows what she does is dangerous, but she thinks the risk is worth it because she gets to help people. But when Nathaniel, the Commissioner’s son, finds her booth and gets one of her riddles, her life changes. There’s entire ...more
Nov 14, 2019 rated it liked it
“Just because someone is not who you expect doesn’t mean they are the opposite.”

A secret beats in Anna Thatcher’s chest: an illegal clockwork heart. Anna supplies black market medical tech to the sick and injured, against the Commissioner’s tyrannical laws. Nathaniel Fremont, the Commissioner’s son, determined to earn his father’s respect, sets out to capture the criminal Anna. Eliza, assassin and spy to the Queen, has a new mission: uncover the Commissioner’s secrets… but at what cost?

Gosh. T
katie :)
Jun 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the easiest 5 stars i’ve ever given
"I want you with me on my side. Working with you to' he gestured aimlessly around - 'achieve all this, that's the most alive I've ever felt. I want to keep feeling that way.'
'That's called friendship, Nathaniel. That's what friends do for each other."

4.5 stars
TW: physical descriptions of surgery & medical procedures, childbirth & pregnancy, child death, grief, death, physical violence, parental abuse, physical abuse, ableism, classism
Rep: questioning aroace MC, sapphic MC, lesbian MC

this was amazing go read it what a masterpiece omg
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am a reader who analyzes the story more than the romance between characters. The story caught my imagination and the doctor in me loved it.

A science fiction, a futuristic kind of a novel where the people of former earth now stayed in terra formed new planet. The main city was the Settlement where technology was forbidden by the ruling Commissioner. Mechan was the secret hidden village where technology was used to help people in medical injuries.

Something was infecting the people of Mechan wher
Mari Johnston
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review and many others can also be found at Musings of a (Book) Girl.

Content Warnings: physical descriptions of surgery and medical procedures, pregnancy, childbirth, child death, grief, physical violence, child abuse, physical abuse, ableism, classism

Tarnished Are the Stars is an absolute gem of a book. It’s in a genre I typically wouldn’t pick up, science fiction, but when Taylor from Stay on the Page tells me to read something I’m going to do it. And if a book has fantastic queer rep lik
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Rosiee Thor began her career as a storyteller by demanding to tell her mother bedtime stories instead of the other way around. She spent her childhood reading by flashlight in the closet until she came out as queer. She lives in Oregon with a dog, two cats, and an abundance of bread.

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