Title: Last Star Burning
Author: Caitlin Sangster
Release Date: October 10, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster imprint)
Sev is branded with the mark of a criminal—a star burned into her hand. That's the penalty for being the daughter of the woman who betrayed their entire nation. Now her mother's body is displayed above Traitor's Arch, kept in a paralyzed half sleep by the same plague that destroyed the rest of the world. And as further punishment, Sev is forced to do hard labor to prove that she's more valuable alive than dead. When the government blames Sev for a horrific bombing, she must escape the city or face the chopping block. Unimaginable dangers lurk outside the city walls, and Sev's only hope of survival lies with the most unlikely person—Howl, the chairman's son. Though he promises to lead her to safety, Howl has secrets, and Sev can't help but wonder if he knows more about her past—and her mother's crimes—than he lets on. But in a hostile world, trust is a luxury. Even when Sev's life and the lives of everyone she loves may hang in the balance.
Last Star Burning is a layered story, a story of fear and sickness and rebellion. A story about a girl wanting to prove she's more than her traitor mother and the places she's forced to go in order to stay alive.
Sev knows her place in the City, even as she hates it. Hates what her mother did years ago. Hates that no one can look past her name, her scar that marks her as a traitor, her face that looks so much like her mother's. But she's hoping that one day, maybe, she'll prove her place as someone useful. But then there's an attack and Sev's on the run to stay alive, afraid the City will finally punish her like they did her mother. But then she meets Howl, who knows more about her and her mother than she expects, and discovers so many things she thought she knew were lies.
This was interesting to read. I could see where the author drew inspiration from Chinese history and culture, but it's very much set in a slightly ruined futuristic fantasy dystopian setting. I kept waiting for something different to happen, something to happen to Sev because of her illness and her delusions. It's a story that seems to be all about the people in it, their decisions, their plots and plans. Some twists were predictable, but some weren't. There were times when I felt it dragged, where it was slow. It was something a little different than past dystopian books, and I was interested in some parts, but it was a bit too slow for my tastes.
(I downloaded an e-galley of this title from Simon & Schuster through NetGalley.)