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Book Review: The Blighted Stars

Table of Contents

She’s a revolutionary. Humanity is running out of options. Habitable planets are being destroyed as quickly as they’re found, and Naira Sharp thinks she knows the reason why. The all-powerful Mercator family has been controlling the exploration of the universe for decades, and exploiting any materials they find along the way under the guise of helping humanity’s expansion. But Naira knows the truth, and she plans to bring the whole family down from the inside.

He’s the heir to the dynasty. Tarquin Mercator never wanted to run a galaxy-spanning business empire. He just wanted to study geology and read books. But Tarquin’s father has tasked him with monitoring the settlement of a new planet, and he doesn’t really have a choice in the matter. 

Disguised as Tarquin’s new bodyguard, Naira plans to destroy the settlement ship before they make land. But neither of them expects to end up stranded on a dead planet  To survive and keep her secret, Naira will have to join forces with the man she’s sworn to hate. And together they will uncover a plot that’s bigger than both of them.”

Title: The Blighted Stars

Series: The Devoured Worlds #1

Author: Megan E. O’Keefe

Page Count: 544

Genre: Science Fiction

Rating: 4.5/5.0

Date Read: February 26th, 2023

I just so happened to check NetGalley recently and noticed a new read from Megan E. O’Keefe. Having recently enjoyed a buddy read for her Velocity Weapon I thought I’d see if I could get my hands on an eARC for The Blighted Stars.
I definitely had similar vibes between the two books or series but this was a very different tale to be told. There are still sentient machines. That may or may not be your thing. I actually kind like these aspects of her books that I’ve read. The other series definitely has a larger role from this side compared to The Blighted Stars. It’s more of a side character in this one.
I really enjoyed the world building that Megan has put together for this one. We have a solid mix of time spent planet side as well as in space whether that is on ships or space stations. There is definitely a grand feel to this world but at the same time we get to learn very small details both from the surface of the planet as well as on the ships and stations.
The character building was fantastic for me. We have a lot of different aspects to our characters both the protagonists and as well as the supporting cast. Without giving too much away even those characters can and some did go through some dramatic changes throughout this read. I really enjoyed the slow steady build up or tearing apart with a couple of our primary relationships. As I mentioned there is definitely some familiarity from previous works by Megan but this was certainly not a rinse and repeat type of book. It definitely had it’s own vibes but keeping in that Megan E. O’Keefe feel to me.
The pacing kept fairly steady throughout this one. We definitely had some action and some suspense throughout. I don’t feel any of these were non-stop but I also never felt like I was slowly trudging through any one part to get to the next interesting bit either.
For me this slid into my good vibes for what I like to see in my reads just in general but especially for science fiction since that isn’t my most commonly read genre. We certainly have plenty of action in The Blighted Stars but I felt the underlying suspense and mysterious to this story is where things really shine on top of the very interesting relationships we have already seen in this series from book one.
Reading the author notes at the back also made me realize that Megan has already written the follow up books to this one. I believe book two is slated to release later in 2023 (October) as of the moment I’m writing this review.
I’d recommend The Blighted Stars to any fans of science fiction that enjoy their action mixed in with that suspense and mystery. There are also some real nods to the science part of this fiction as well. If you’re into rocks you might get that little bit of extra love for this one! I’ll be looking forward to getting my hands on the next book in this series as soon as I can.

World Building 4.5/5
Pacing 4.5/5
Character Development 5/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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    1. I don’t know if you’ve read any other books written by Megan or not. I’ve only read one other from a different series and in both she has very strong female characters! Definitely seems her style!

      1. This is the first time I’m hearing about Megan… really intrigued to check out her back catalogue if I enjoy The Blighted Stars. I love a good strong female character and narrative 🙂

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