I am just.
This was terrible and heartbreaking and ten levels of crushing, but it was also . . . pretty perfect for this series.
It’s the type of book that makes me want to write fanfiction. I just need more of these characters, this world, this story. Even though it’s a perfect ending, I WANT THAT FLUFF.
I was definitely nervous that Eclipse the Skies wouldn’t live up to how Ignite the Stars wowed me, but I should not have doubted Maura. It totally lived up to expectations and I was sucked in from the very first chapter, desperate to continue reading. Tearing myself away from the book was Hard.
If you haven’t read this series, you need to start. Now. Go do that, and stop reading this review. Ignite the Stars was one of my favorite reads of last year, and I absolutely adored everything about it. You can find my review here.
This entire duology is perfection. For a rapid-fire space adventure with well-developed characters, tons of endearing moments, and ALL the feels, pick this up.
Now, continue on for some very minor Ignite the Stars spoilers!
The ending of this book just kind of . . . obliterated me.
I’m honestly low-key haunted by it.
This is the second and final book in the series, technically, and wow. I was scared to see how it’d wrap up, but the ending was both the greatest and worst thing I’ve read.
I think the ending was really perfect for the series. No spoilers, but I felt like a lot of the characters got the arcs they deserved. Brinn, Ia, Knives, and others. We definitely weren’t left hanging and it was pretty satisfying.
But also . . . I’m pretty devastated. (Actually, very devastated.) It’s the perfect mix of hopeful and tragic and it’s like a tiny weight in my chest. I choose to believe in the best, but knowing that the series is over is another reason why the ending hit so hard. It was perfect, but also absolutely devastating.
Maura really knows how to pull at our heartstrings.
The character arcs were so different from the first book, yet still so strong.
I love how dynamic the characters continue to be, despite this series being very action/adventure focused with its fast-paced space opera story.
Sometimes the character development happening was really subtle and just gently woven in, but I loved seeing how they differed from the first book and the characters continued to grow—both in the scope of the single book and the whole series.
Brinn remains my favorite, and although the cover suggests it’s Dark Ia, it’s actually the time to see Dark Brinn and I lived for this content. I loved how she not only struggled with the contrasting idea of fighting for a cause and having faith in her government, but she also really delved into the dark side, and it was so delicious and interesting to see, and I really loved how Maura explored that.
Ia remains such an awesome character and now that she’s actually trying to work with her friends and achieve her goals, she learns and struggles a lot along the way. (Like, a lot. She goes through things.) As well as the fact that she and Brinn have this really interesting friendship dynamic going on.
And Knives, Knives has to face his father’s shadow and the death of Bastien as he steps up as the role of headmaster, and that poses a lot of struggles as well.
I found all three of these to be really balanced throughout the points of view and really enjoyed reading these subtle character growths while the characters moved through the physical portions of the story.
I also loved some of the newer more vague elements Milan pulled in.
No spoilers, but we get to see some pretty cool things that were lightly referenced in book one. I’m just gonna say, if you like ramen, keep your eyes peeled for some of the best in the galaxy.
We got to see a little more of a hypothetical and less tangible side to the sci-fi in the story which I really loved. Fantasci is some of my favorite and although things were still solidly sci-fi and felt real in that aspect, we also got a little bit more unsubstantiated content, which was very fun.
Overall, I’d highly recommend this duology!
And not just because I hope a third book gets to be published, heh! It’s a really great series with characters you’ll fall in love with and a really fun story full of action and adventure.
For space, fantastic relationships, and toeing the line of good an evil, please please check out one of my favorite series of all time! Great for fans of Illuminae meets Throne of Glass, but better.
Ia needs to catch her brother Einn and end the war—a war not everyone knows is happening. With tensions high across the galaxy and Einn and his supporters behind it, she’ll do whatever it takes to stop her brother, even if it means pairing up with her former enemies.
Knives has taken the position of headmaster after Bastien’s death, and as tragedy after tragedy strikes, he must learn to take a stand and assume responsibility—without Ia by his side, fighting or not.
Brinn is struggling as her people continue to be persecuted and violence breaks out. Combined with Ia’s appeared lack of affection, Brinn has to make some very hard decisions on what she wants to do.
TW: murder, drug addiction, genocide
Thank you so much to Albert Whitman & Mike Lasagna for the advance reader copy to review!