Dancer’s Review of When Planets Fall by Abby J. Reed

I’m excited to be a part of the tour event for Abby J. Reed’s novel, and would like to extend my thanks to Rockstar Book Tours for letting me share this review with you today! And I’d also like to thank Soul Mate Publishing for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. If you’d like to see the names of everyone involved in the tour, please click on the banner above. =^.^=



Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing

Release Date: April 12, 2017

Series: Stars Fall Circle #1

Goodreads Description:

Breaker’s home is cleaved by blood. The three tribes on the planet Scarlatti, whose only difference is their blood color, each want to exploit Breaker’s valley for themselves. The feudal tension has already claimed red-blood Breaker’s leg and his older brother. Now all this 18-year old wants is to maintain the tenuous peace in order to keep his little ‘stroid of a brother alive. Malani, a red-blood raised blue, is a kidnapped POW and only wants to return to her adoptive home with her dangerous blue secrets. Luka, a red-blood stewing for trouble, wants to right wrongs done to his family and bathe his home in justice.

All three intersect when Breaker discovers a wrecked starship and is given seven days by the green-bloods to fix and hand it over as a weapon. Breaker must decide if aiding his enemies is worth the home he knows and his family’s life. War is coming. And war respects no boundaries. And war leaves no survivors.


I will be the first to admit that when it comes to science fiction, I’m hit or miss with the genre mostly because it is difficult for me to envision space technology and such, but when I read the description of this book I knew I had to give it a try. As the first in a series, I was pleasantly surprised with how enjoyable the story was, and am looking forward to seeing what happens to everyone in the next book. This is one of those titles fans of young adult novels and science fiction will want to check out. It’s unique, filled with unexpected twists and turns, likeable characters, and will leave you on the edge of your seat in suspense.

I liked Malani the moment I met her. She’s been dealt a hard life, passed from one family to the next never knowing what a true home or acceptance feels like. She’s also experienced torturous pain at the hands of her enemy, so it’s no surprised that she has a lot of problems when it comes to self-worth, trust, etc. While she may come across to some readers as being a jerk, I saw her as vulnerable, but with a strong internal spirit. It was hard not to feel sympathy for her after everything she’s experienced in life. Breaker, on the other paw, was a jerk in my eyes. He’s demanding, unwilling to see the other side of issues, and got on my nerves a lot while reading. While I understand his goal is to protect his family and people, his behavior throughout much of the book left much to be desired, and his initial treatment and feelings toward Malani were horrible. I didn’t start to really like him until the final chapters of the book, which is sad when you consider the fact that he’s the primary character. This isn’t to say that other readers won’t enjoy his character, I can easily see why others would appreciate and gravitate toward him rather than Malani, I just personally struggled with my feelings toward him. Having said all this, Luka was probably the most genuine character out of the three for me. His motivations are clear, he doesn’t sugar coat his behavior, what you see is what you get. This isn’t to say that I liked him, but I had more respect for him than I did Breaker because I at least knew what to expect from Luka, and the fact that I could respect him made him a character I could appreciate in the end. I’m curious to discover how these three will develop and connect in the next book. I don’t know as if I could see them becoming fast friends, but I would love to see them reach an understanding and respect for each other as the series plays out.

I really enjoyed how Reed set up the chapters to be told from alternating character point of views. Rather than have the story centered solely around Breaker and told through his eyes, we’re given the story through Malani and Luka’s as well, which allows us to learn more about the people living on the planet Scarlatti and experience the world and events in greater detail thereby creating a richer, more memorable story. It also keeps the reader invested in all three characters lives, you want to keep reading in order to discover what happens to everyone and experience their internal growth as events progress. I would say my only complaint was there were not as many chapters given to Luka as there were Breaker and Malani, but that could be simply because he is that clear cut a character and so doesn’t need to have as much time devoted toward explaining his motivations as the other two.

The overall pacing of the story was good. There weren’t that many places where it felt like things were dragging, if anything I felt more of a desire for the story to progress faster simply because I wanted to know what happened next. I felt Reed did a great job creating a sense of urgency, both with the deadline Breaker had to repair the starship and the unrest between the three cultures. Likewise I enjoyed the plot of the book and felt it was a unique concept.

Honestly, what kept me from loving this book, aside from my frustration with Breaker, who really was the primary focus, was Reed’s word usage for the passage of time and for swearing. I wasn’t sure at first if the words used were actually what she meant to say until I started seeing it happen often in the book, so at first I thought it was an error while writing that would end up being fixed later on. When I first began reading I found myself pausing every time I came across words like dia and cycle whenever a character talked about time. Yes, it is more than obvious what is being conveyed every time you read a sentence discussing time, but the changes in words used to convey it caused my mind to stop simply because they are not the words I expected to see in these moments. I actually ended up substituting houryearday, etc. just so I could read the sentences at a smoother pace. And Reeds use of words like banging to convey swearing really put my mind in a tizzy. It took me a few times to realize what she was doing in those moments, and I will give a nod of admiration to her for finding a way to swear without actually swearing,  but it pulled me from my reading enjoyment just enough each time to make me a bit frustrated with the novel.

On the whole I feel this is a great start to what promises to be an engaging and intriguing series. Just when you think you know where the book is heading and think you know what will happen next, Reed adds a twist that will leave you flipping to the next chapter in order to find out how it all will be resolved. And just when you think you have your answers, a whole new set of questions arise toward the end, which will leave you asking, how long until the next book? Yes, the book ends on what some might call a cliffhanger, but I tend to think of it more in terms of the adventure finally starting, and the journey ahead the mystery we get to explore at a later point in time.

About the Author:

Abby J. Reed writes young adult science fiction and fantasy novels that ask what if. She has a degree in English Writing and is drawn to characters with physical limitations due to her own neurological disorder called Chronic Migraine. Her debut novel, WHEN PLANETS FALL, will be published in April 2017 by Soul Mate Publishing.

Abby lives in Colorado with her husband and two fluffy pups. If her hands aren’t on the keyboard, they are stained purple and blue with paint.

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If you would like to enter for your chance to win a signed copy of When Planets Fall and assorted swag, please click on the Rafflecopter link below. This giveaway is open to US Residents only.

Posted on April 4, 2017, in Book Reviews. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Dancer’s Review of When Planets Fall by Abby J. Reed.

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