Dec 16, 2022

Review--When Stars Come Out by Scarlett St. Clair


Anora Silby can see the dead and turn spirits into gold coins, two things she would prefer to keep secret as she tries to lead a normal life at her new school. After all, she didn't change her identity for nothing.

Hiding her weirdness is just one of many challenges. By the end of her first day, she's claimed the soul of a dead girl on campus and lost the coin. Turns out, the coin gives others the ability to steal souls, and when a classmate ends up dead, there's no mistaking the murder weapon.

Navigating the loss of her Poppa, the mistrust of her mother, and Roundtable, an anonymous student gossip app threatening to expose her, are hard enough. Now she must find the person who stole her coin before more lives are lost, but that means making herself a target for the Order, an organization that governs the dead on Earth - and they want Anora and her powers for themselves.

From the brilliant mind of A Touch of Darkness's bestselling author Scarlett St. Clair comes a crossover reimagining of Orpheus and Eurydice, in a darkly unique fantasy world. 


Scarlett St. Clair's YA novel, When Stars Come Out is a mesmerizing tale filled with magic and secrets! The world building is very vast in this one as I sunk into a new story filled with new concepts that I had yet to encounter. While I had a few difficulties with this one, I did overall enjoy the story and the characters and I cannot wait to see where this story will go!

Anora and her mother just moved to Oklahoma for a fresh new start and to escape an "incidence" that happened where Anora was involved. Things are looking mostly up, except Anora is not too thrilled about starting at a new private school. Anora has a gift, you could say. She can see dead people, spirits and ghosts who have remained in the mortal world. She has the ability to turn them into coins afterwards, what this means in the long run isn't clear in the beginning but soon the story will reveal just where Anora got her abilities.

Shy is a Valryn, a sort of raven shifter who is sworn to protect the Eurydice. The entity who will basically help souls to crossover into the afterlife. One hasn't been seen or "around" in many years. But then when Anora comes to town, strange things begin to happen.

When Anora encounters the school "ghost," she more or less turns the ghost into a coin from fear. But then she loses it. She's always kept the coins she's "made," even her grandfather's. Her grandfather died shortly before they made their move and the incident. It was seeing something terrible happen with her grandfather dying that she learned of her ghost seeing abilities.

As Anora tries to navigate high school and the bullies that come from starting a new school and attracting the attention of the high school football her, Shy Savior, more trouble continues to find her. There's a death at the school and Anora believes she may have somehow caused it when she lost the coin of the school ghost and what is soon to unravel is a very dark and seeded history with the Valryns.

This book was definitely mysterious, but not quite in the mystery sense, beyond the whodunit happenstance. There was a lot we didn't really know about the Valryns and their Order. Shy is first sent to watch Anora, as they believed she could be dangerous and naturally things start to develop between them. Throw in a forbidden love kick and you have the makings for one amazing story!

I think one of the things that kind of held me up was the timing? I guess just in the way we slowly learned about who the Valryns were and how they were connected to Charon and the Underworld--themes that were brought up what with the ghosts and everything. It was just a little hard to grasp the reasoning behind what this particular group was doing or trying to do.

I did really enjoy the characters! I loved Anora's ferociousness, how she was brave and didn't let others keep her down. Shy was another great character and I was glad that we got his perspective (third person wise) on things as he was always acting very strangely in the beginning before we were let "in" on the secrets and all.

The story ends in a semi-conclusive way. What I like to refer to as the best way to end a book in a continuing series. You get answers and a nice conclusion, but there's still more to come on the horizon which makes me eager to see what the next adventure will be with Anora and her new friends. There's still plenty of possible mysteries yet to be solved and I can't wait to see Anora shake things up with this Order group! 

If you're looking for a magical kind of mystery read involving creatures of another feature mixed with romance and suspense, then this is the read for you! When Stars Come Out was a fascinating and entertaining kind of read that leaves this reader eager for more!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

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