Title: Across the Broken Stars
Author: Jed Herne
I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.
“5/5. If you are looking for an epic fantasy that has a unique setting, this is it.” – Reedsy Discovery Featured Review.
Leon has a secret. He was once an angel – a winged warrior sworn to protect Paya, a realm where people live on discs that float in space.
Now Leon’s a broken man, trying to forget the past. He thinks he’s the last angel. But then a young fugitive stumbles onto Leon’s doorstep. She’s an angel, too. And she has a riddle leading to a place where angels still live. Or so the stories claim …
Desperate for redemption, Leon begins a perilous quest through myth and folklore. But will Leon and the fugitive find their legendary destination? Or will Leon lose his last chance for salvation?
Brutal and gripping, this is a story about a flawed man’s search for forgiveness.
Angel novels have been rampant in the last ten years, especially with Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters. Mentioning stars, I was interested to see how angels would be incorporated into space and how the magic system worked.
I loved the message woven throughout the plot: no matter what wrong you have done in the past, there is still time to right your future. Leon is an angel in hiding, an older man who lost his lover and best friend because of cowardice. In order to fit into the modern angel-free world, he cut off the very thing that made him special: his wings. Used to keeping to himself, a young lady, Elena, asks him to embark on a journey with her to find the lost land of angels. The farther they get along into their journey, the more courage and connection Leon finds himself feeling towards his kind.
I absolutely loved the aspect of riddles and logic. It was so fun to try to figure out how the characters would get past certain obstacles with this history the author provided throughout the novel. It is no wonder how Leon and Elena became so close in such great accomplishments. While most of the novel was predictable, I believe that was partially the intention…mostly because the ending threw me for a ride I wasn’t expecting.
My only suggestions would be to provide readers with a map of the world, elongate some of the high-stress situations, and a little less predictability.
Across the Broken Stars is a fast-paced story of friendship, redemption, betrayal, and hope. This is the perfect read for someone who loves adventure, unique world-building, and the old 90’s show The Hidden Temple.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jed Herne is a fantasy and sci-fi author from Perth, Western Australia. His short stories have been published in The Arcanist, Scarlet Leaf Review, and more. Fires of the Dead is his debut fantasy novella.
In addition to writing, he hosts the Novel Analyst podcast. Each episode, he deconstructs a book to help you become a better writer. On his YouTube channel (Jed Herne – Write), he posts new writing advice videos every weekday.
If you prefer listening to watching, you can hear the same daily writing advice and more writing-related goodness on his other podcast, The Jed Herne Audio Experience.
Outside of writing and reading, he loves board games, indoor soccer, and talking about himself in third person.
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YouTube: Jed Herne – Writer
The Novel Analyst Podcast: novelanalyst.com (or just search on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc.)
The Jed Herne Audio Experience: anchor.fm/jedherne (or just search on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc.)
Email is the single best way to contact him. He reads and responds to every email from his wonderful readers, because he loves us!