Book Review: Set the Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes

About the Book-

Lucy Clairmont’s family treasured the magic of the past, and her childhood fascination with stories of the high seas led her to become a marine archaeologist. But when tragedy strikes, it’s Dashel, an American forensic astronomer, and his knowledge of the stars that may help her unearth the truth behind the puzzle she’s discovered in her family home.

Two hundred years earlier, the seeds of love are sown between a boy and a girl who spend their days playing in a secret sea cave, while the privileged young son of the estate looks on, wishing to join. As the children grow and war leads to unthinkable heartbreak, a story of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption unfolds, held secret by the passage of time.

As Lucy and Dash journey to a mysterious old estate on the East Sussex coast, their search leads them to a community of souls and a long-hidden tale that may hold the answers–and the healing–they so desperately seek.

My Rating-

Similar Review: Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes

Where do I even start with this review?! I first read Amanda’s other novel a year or so back, and it was INCREDIBLE and so I was really excited to start this one. Amanda is one of my new favorite authors: her books are incredible & the storytelling is immaculate.

As with the first book, the story is told in two separate parts: one set in the past, and one set in the present. As the story progresses, the link between the two sets of stories and characters gets stronger and stronger, until they merge into one. While Dykes’ two novels are not in the same series, the way they are presented are very similar.

In this book, the story is set split between the early 1800s and present time (2020), and there are two storylines. The historical line covered the story of Fredrick Hanford, while the modern storyline covers the story of Lucy and Dashel, the girl within a loving family and the parentless boy they took in. The two stories seemed to be separate for the first half of the book, but by the second half/last third, the way they would come together started becoming clearer and clearer, until by the end, the way the storylines intersected and it’s incredible!

I was personally partial to Lucy and Dash’s storyline, but I also just as invested in Fredrick’s storyline: both were so vividly told, and the relationships, characters, and story so well developed that it was just so good to read. My favorite character was probably Lucy’s dad, who was a watchmaker but who also told stories & encouraged Lucy and Dash to pursue knowledge and to tell stories.

The writing style was also incredible: it was so poetic yet not slow at all (it was a little bit slow to get into at the beginning, but only for the first 3 or so chapters). The imagery is incredible and the writing is so weighty and rich and the whole book was just so good. While it’s a Christian fiction book, I would consider this more an “adult novel” than Christian fiction (at least in my mind, it’s not a “girls on the cover romance” kind of Christian fiction but rather some adult person who reads a chapter or two from a book on their nightstand kind of book if that makes sense lol).

All in all, I LOVE this book, and I also highly highly recommend Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes. The storytelling in them are incredible & they are for sure books worth reading

My Review-

5/5

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

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