About Melanie McFarlane
Melanie McFarlane is a passionate writer of other-wordly adventures, a little excitable, and a little quirky. Whether it's uncovering the corruption of the future, or traveling to other worlds to save the universe, she jumps in with both hands on her keyboard. Though she can be found obsessing over zombies and orcs from time to time, Melanie has focused her powers on her upcoming YA debut There Once Were Stars, and her YA urban fantasy Summoner Rising.
She lives with her husband and two daughters in the Land of Living Skies.
Connect with Melanie
Twitter: @McFarlaneBooks www.twitter.com/mcfarlanebooks
Goodreads Author Page: www.goodreads.com/melaniemcfarlane
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Review by Suze
Life in Dome 1618 is structured. People are living in a protected environment because of high radiation levels. A terrible virus and the aftermath of it made life a lot more complicated and the domes are offering security and protection. Nat is eighteen and she has to start working. She's especially good at getting in trouble and she has no idea what she wants to do yet, but there also isn't much time to think about it as someone has made the decisions for her. Her parents were famous scientists who died under suspicious circumstances. Suddenly it is assumed she will work at the same department and Nat doesn't have a say in the matter.
There's an outsider in the dome. His name is Evan and he's a few years older than Nat. He comes from a different dome and is there to gather information. There are a lot of things he isn't telling her and Nat doesn't know if she can trust him. He needs her to work with him though. They're trying to uncover a big secret that the high officials in the dome are trying to hide at all costs. Will they be able to find out what it is and is there a price to pay?
Nat has lost her parents at a young age. She isn't happy, she wants freedom, but instead she's being confined. There are many rules to follow and nothing in the dome really appeals to her. Her eighteenth birthday changes everything as she has to start working. With some help she gets a job at the department her parents were working for and she has the chance to work alongside an outsider. They instantly have a connection, but life in the dome is complicated and Nat can't do what she wants. She's defiant and headstrong and she isn't afraid to speak her mind. I liked that very much about her. She's a great main character and I loved her impulsiveness.
Melanie McFarlane is a good writer. I loved the world building and the setting of the story. Her descriptions are precise and creative. There are creepy tight rules and I could feel Nat's uneasiness and stress. She isn't good at following orders and often makes a mess of things. I liked that she's far from perfect, but whatever happens she keeps going and fights for what she believes in. Bit by bit she discovers what killed her parents. I was intrigued and couldn't wait to find out more. The ending is fitting and I loved it. There Once Were Stars is a great dystopian read. If you like the genre, you will definitely like this book.
Five lucky winners will receive a digital copy of There Once Were Stars.