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Tarnished Are the Stars

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  668 ratings  ·  219 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, 384 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by Scholastic Press
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Rosiee Yes! Ebook formats are available for preorder now on Amazon, B&N, Kobo and other ebook retailers releasing October 15th along with the hardcover

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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!!!
Claudie Arseneault
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt, ya, sf, asexual, aromantic
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
Candace Robinson
Lovely writing but I just couldn’t connect with the story. It could also be that I’m hard to please with any sci-fi book! However, there is good diversity and I think a lot of people will like it.
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 ...more
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
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
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.
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. ...more
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 ...more
Feb 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, wlw, aspec-mc, bi-mc
"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,
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
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 ...more
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: friend-books
So excellent on so many levels.
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 and
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 the world
Enne (they/them)
"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
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?

Oct 24, 2019 added it
Shelves: discarded-shelf
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
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 :)
this was amazing go read it what a masterpiece omg
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbt, science-fiction
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
Frank-Intergalactic Bookdragon
"Forgetting was a privilege for boys without clockwork hearts."

A fun little sci-fi romp.

I feel the cover and title are false advertising because none of this takes place in space, it's more a mix of dystopian, steampunk (I think though I am not familiar enough with the genre to be sure), and fantasy. The writing style is easy to digest and the plot moves at a fast pace. The concept is really interesting with a futuristic planet that has banned technology because tech destroyed Earth, yet most
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
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
I’m… really disappointed… I was excited for a queer story featuring badass female characters inside, filled with secrets waiting to be uncovered. And I was actually enjoying the first half of the story...up until the insta-lust f/f romance was introduced… Like hell yea for wlw rep but not if it’s like THAT

I mean, bonus points for wlw and ace/aro representation, but apart from that I don’t really have anything positive to say about this book.


Insta-lust f/f relationship – the romantic
Rec-It Rachel
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
but like...can i have another one?
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 ...more
Oct 15, 2019 rated it liked it
There needs to be more standalone science fiction novels and I was really excited to read this one. It seemed like it was totally up my alley so I was glad to be a part of the blog tour for it. It was an engaging story with great characters and an interesting world.

My favorite thing about this book was the characters and character development. This is one of those books which alternates perspectives. Those can be incredibly tricky because often I like one character more than others, and feel
Vanessa ♛Queen Alchemy ϟ Novel Nerd Faction♛
Disclaimer: I received an Advance Reader Copy at no cost from the publisher/author. All opinions in my review are my own.

I was so delighted with this book! I am always totally on board for a YA Science Fiction novel. This one had the added bonuses of excellent queer representations. I adored the f/f romance and I loved the representation of an asexual character in the story. So much love for that.

The character development in this book was outstanding. It was so easy to fall into the lives of
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tarnished Are the Stars is a lyrical book that discusses right and wrong, the ethics of technology, and loyalty. Told in a multiple POV style, it's electric when they finally come together. They represent a possibility at redemption, a potential escape, and a chance to become something more. As their lives and destinies interact, we are asked what is the price of community? Of family? Secrets are being kept and a dangerous game is being played in the clouds.

Featuring queer character (lesbian and
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Rosiee Thor began her career as a storyteller by demanding that her mother listen as Rosiee told bedtime stories instead of the other way around. She lives in Oregon with a dog, two cats, and four complete sets of Harry Potter, which she loves so much, she once moved her mattress into the closet and slept there until she came out as queer.
“But perhaps all pretty things have thorns. The best things, at least, most certainly do.” 3 likes
“We are made or unmade by our choices.” 2 likes
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