Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia
Release Date: September 30, 2012
Come for the apocalypse. Stay for cupcakes. Die for love. Madeleine Cost is working to become the youngest person ever to win the Archibald Prize for portraiture. Her elusive cousin Tyler is the perfect subject: androgynous, beautiful, and famous. All she needs to do is pin him down for the sittings.
None of her plans factored in the Spires: featureless, impossible, spearing into the hearts of cities across the world - and spraying clouds of sparkling dust into the wind. Is it an alien invasion? Germ warfare? They are questions everyone on Earth would like answered, but Madeleine has a more immediate problem.
At Ground Zero of the Sydney Spire, beneath the collapsed ruin of St James Station, she must make it to the surface before she can hope to find out if the world is ending.
Come for the apocalypse. Stay for cupcakes. Die for love.
I’m not going to lie, outside of the amazing artwork for this cover I decided to read And All The Stars by Andrea K. Höst for that line alone. I love me some apocalypse and cupcakes. I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting from a summary line like that, but it definitely wasn’t what I got. Now here me out, I am a huge supporter of indie authors. I love them and feel a lot of indie books are ten times better than the crap being published by publishing companies. But as much as I wanted to, I just could not get into this book.
I don’t know if it was the incredibly slow pace or the fact that I had no clue what was happening that did it, but it took forever for me to read. Madeleine seemed so naïve to me and it was hard for me to picture her as a teenager. I didn’t love her character, but I did love Noi and the boys. Höst does a really great job of bringing her characters out of their shells and showcasing everyone’s uniqueness.
I really like that this novel takes place hours after the disaster because most apocalypse books are set years later, but this one is during and that’s awesome. I really enjoyed the aspect of being in the here and now with the characters dealing with the immediate aftermath of what happened. But this also means that a lot of the beginning is really super slow. I felt like things should have moved a bit faster. There was too much expositions about nothing. There was a lot of Madeleine thinking and looking at her skin and searching for food, just a lot of stuff that didn’t need to be described with such detail.
The book itself was incredibly well-written and the detail to the characters was great, but I felt the actual plot was lacking. When there was action in And All The Stars it was amazing. Well done, fast paced and engaging. But there were very few of those scenes and they felt a bit rushed almost like Höst wasn’t sure of herself while writing them.
The love story was slow building and I can’t tell you how refreshing that was. I can’t stand books that have characters who are in love by the end of chapter one. Madeleine and Fisher were perfection. There were a lot of emotional parts and a few twists I absolutely didn’t see coming. But I still don’t really understand what happened. The whole alien angle was so lost on me, at least I think they were aliens, I’m not even sure.
And All The Stars wasn’t bad, but it’s definitely not something I would read again even with all the parts I enjoyed. I would recommend it if someone is looking for a different kind of apocalypse book and has some time on their hands.
Fight. Always fight. No matter how impossible the odds, no matter who you've lost, how you've been hurt. If there doesn't seem to be a way out, look for one. If you seem to have come to an end, start afresh. Never, ever give up.
Born in Sweden and raised in Australia, Andrea K Höst currently lives in Sydney. She writes fantasy, but wanders occasionally into science fantasy.
Her novel "The Silence of Medair" was a finalist for the 2010 Aurealis Award for best fantasy novel.