IGNITE THE STARS - by Maura Milan

IGNITE THE STARS - Maura Milan
Published: September 2018 - Albert Whitman
Genres: Young adult / science fiction /
Pages: N.A
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence
Format: eBook.
Source: Netgalley.

Everyone in the universe knows his name. Everyone in the universe fears him. But no one realizes that notorious outlaw Ia Cocha is a seventeen-year-old girl. A criminal mastermind and unrivaled pilot, Ia has spent her life terrorizing the Olympus Commonwealth, the imperialist nation that destroyed her home. When the Commonwealth captures her and her true identity is exposed, they see Ia’s age and talent as an opportunity: by forcing her to serve them, they will prove that no one is beyond their control. Soon, Ia is trapped at the Commonwealth’s military academy, desperately plotting her escape. But new acquaintances—including Brinn, a seemingly average student with a closely-held secret, and their charming Flight Master, Knives—cause Ia to question her own alliances. Can she find a way to escape the Commonwealth’s clutches before these bonds deepen?


OK so please just do yourself a favour and read this book. It's only publishing later this year so I guess that explains why it hadn't been hyped so much yet, BUT I'M TELLIN' YOU IT SHOULD BE HYPED because it is amazing. It is easily one of the best sci-fi novels I have ever read. Just read it.


The writing is excellent. The book might be a debut, but the writing does not feel like that of a typical debut's. It's absolutely genius. It's stellar.

The plot is insanely good. There's tons of chilling, adrenaline pumping action, but also a fair amount of beautiful, quieter scenes, and the whole sorry is so exciting, fun, and fast-paced.  I also adore the humour, which lends itself to some awesome laugh-out-loud moments, too. Overall, the plot is just amazing.
Oh! And I also have to mention the ending/climax! Without giving spoilers, let me just tell you how absolutely perfect it is. I cried, I laughed, I didn't think it was possible to love the book more, but I did. The ending is perfect in every way.

But I found the world building disappointing. It is intriguing, but it's a bit confusing too. I wanted more explanations and details. It's quite limited and all over the place. 

This girl was a child of violence. She had suffered and survived. That was a part of her, but what about the girl who had teased him five minutes ago? Where did she fit in? Was she a mirage, a mere trick of the eyes? Did that person really not exist at all?

His eyes traced the elegant line of her neck as she swiveled around to face him, her eyes sparking like collapsed stars swallowing up the surrounding light. She was a dark star, a black hole in the endless sky, and if he got too close, he would surely disappear. He knew all this, but even then, he couldn’t turn away from her.


The characters are brilliantly written. Everyone is so real and human, with lots of depth and development, and the chemistry between everyone is insane, too. It's just incredible.
I love the three leads: Ia, Brinn, and Knives. They're all so different but all equally compelling, and the depth and development they each get is amazing. I fell in love with all of them.  They're three of the best main characters I've ever read about; Ia's arrogant but she's fierce, Brinn's insecure but she's a whizz with numbers, and Knives is tormented but passionate. I absolutely love and appreciate what they each contribute to the story.

The romance!! Oh my word it's perfect. Knives and Ia start off fighting and trying to kill each other so of course I'm reading it grinning and shipping them hardcore, and the development of their relationship is stunning. I ship them so much.

Female friendship!! Oh my gosh this is a female friendship to rival even Inej and Nina's. Almost. But seriously, Brinn and Ia's friendship is beautiful. They start off disliking and distrusting each other, but soon get to see the heart of the other person and what they're hiding, what they fear, and what they're fighting for. It's lovely and heart-wrenching to watch. And even though I shouldn't really say too much about the climax, it is the perfect example of girls having each other's backs. It's magnificent.




Ignite the Stars is a breathtaking tale of love, friendship, and inner healing and growth. It's exciting and brilliantly written, but its characters give it its invincible heart.