It Takes Death To Reach A Star – Review

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Thank you to TLC Book Tours for including me on this blog tour!

“The streets are dark and cold, shadows upon shadows concealing the horrors of Etyom. It’s hard to believe this place was once considered a haven.”

We find ourselves in a distant but believable future. One where a plague, powerful, resistant, crept over the world while we fought over things that in the end, didn’t matter. The cold and isolation of a distant city in the Northern reaches of Siberia, the only one to survive.

From this city, mankind has lived, though they’ve struggled. And two very different people emerged. The Graciles, wealthy and powerful, have been genetically modified and bred to be resistant to the plague. They live in towers far above the ground, called Lilypads. And, the Robusts. The rest of humanity left to fight and survive on the ground below.

Within the first two chapters, we get to know our two narrators, Mila and Demetri. The authors manage to provide us with quite a lot of information regarding this world and the people in it, but it isn’t bulky, distracting, or read like information download. Between what we know from the blurb, and the details filled in by our narrators, we are fully immersed in this world seamlessly and quickly.

“The world has changed, but the people in it didn’t. Information is still power–and money.”

This fast-paced transition and immersion are necessary and match the pacing of the entire book. It is intense, with a ton of fight scenes and some spectacular explosions. Many parts read like an action movie. You can see the scenes unfolding as they are narrated, which is something that isn’t always easily achieved. However, it is well rounded with character development, so it doesn’t feel all action all the time.

Mila is my favorite character in the book. She is strong and persistent, smart and adaptable. I really enjoyed every scene she was in. Demetri was a bit hit or miss with me. I didn’t mind him, but his character confused me and felt like he was missing something. He didn’t feel as well rounded, and in many scenes, felt like a contradiction. He was strong but weak, superior but inferior. Normally I love this type of dichotomy in a character, but he didn’t feel complete to me, so I had a hard time getting him solidified in my mind. I did love Vedmak though. I know, he’s not exactly a nice guy, but his lines were sharp and his character was focused, both of which I am very fond of in a villain.

“You think too much and act too little, Vedmak says.”

While this is a really fun book to read, it is going to appeal to readers who really enjoy action elements in a novel. This isn’t a bad thing, but there is a lot of focus on the action, with a lot of explanations rather than letting the characters show the reader what’s unfolding. The action and fighting are vivid and real, but if I had one criticism, I wish the dialogue and character development were just as strong.

If you’re looking to get caught up in a kick-ass book with a strong female character this book is for you. Fans of military type thrillers or books where the action is nonstop will fall in love with the intense fast-pace of this novel.

It Takes Death To Reach A Star is the first in a series. I am looking forward to the next book, especially with the ending we were given! I’m hoping to see much more Vedmak, and maybe start to feel a bit more connected with Demetri. And of course, GIVE ME MORE MILA!!!

Once again, thank you to TLC Book Tours for including me on this blog tour, and for sending me a review copy!

It Takes Death To Reach A Star is out now, links below.

It Takes Death to Reach a Star cover




The epidemic struck at the end of the Third World War. Fighting over oil, power, and religion, governments ignored the rise of an anti-bacterial-resistant plague. In just five years, the Earth was
annihilated. Only one city survived—Etyom—a frozen hell-hole in northern Siberia, still engulfed in conflict.

The year is 2251.

Two groups emerged from the ashes of the old world. Within the walled city of Lower Etyom, dwell the Robusts—descendants of the poor who were immune to The New Black Death. Above them, in a metropolis of pristine platforms called Lillipads, live the Graciles—the progeny of the super-rich; bio-engineered to resist the plague.

Mila Solokoff is a Robust who trades information in a world where knowing too much can get you killed. Caught in a deal-gone-bad, she’s forced to take a high-risk job for a clandestine organization hell-bent on revolution.

Demitri Stasevich is a Gracile with a dark secret—a sickness that, if discovered, will surely get him Ax’d. His only relief is an illegal narcotic produced by the Robusts, and his only means of obtaining it is a journey to the arctic hell far below New Etyom.

Thrust together in the midst of a sinister plot that threatens all life above and below the cloud line, Mila and Demitri must master their demons and make a choice—one that will either salvage what’s left of the human race, or doom it to extinction…

“One-of-a-kind, richly imagined and vividly portrayed. And that action! [The] sense of pacing, especially in the action scenes, is exquisite. Readers are going to love this book.” ~ Jason Kirk, 47North

Purchase Links



Gareth Worthington AP

Gareth Worthington BSc PhD is a trained marine biologist and also holds a doctorate in comparative endocrinology. Currently, Gareth works full time for the pharmaceutical industry helping to educate the world’s doctors on new cancer therapies. His debut novel, Children of the Fifth Sun, won in the Science Fiction category at the London Book Festival 2017. He has a number of passions, including: martial arts (he trained in Muay Thai at the prestigious EVOLVE MMA gym in Singapore), studying ancient history, and most of all writing fiction. Born in England, Gareth resides in Switzerland.

Find out more about Gareth at his website, and connect with him on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.


Stu Jones APStu Jones has served full time as a law enforcement officer for twelve years. Over the course of his career he has worked as an investigator, an instructor teaching SWAT close quarters and defensive tactics, and as a member and team leader of a multi-jurisdictional SWAT team. He is also trained and qualified as a law enforcement SWAT sniper, as well as in hostage rescue and high-risk entry tactics. He is an Eagle Scout, a lifelong martial artist, and an avid outdoorsman.

Find out more about Stu at his website, and connect with him on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.














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