The Brighter the Stars by Bryan Prosek

Caught between love and revenge, Jake has one chance to live up to the man his uncle was.

Earth crashed into interstellar politics as a lightweight, lagging so far behind other planetary weapons systems everyone feared they wouldn’t survive first contact with other worlds without quick action. By 2185, Earth had united itself into five geographic sectors and developed a defense system powerful enough to keep aggressors at bay—for now, at least.

Jake Saunders became a Legion soldier to honor the memory of his war hero uncle, who was brutally murdered in front of him when he was still a young teen. Fast forward a few years, and Jake and his best friend Cal have been tasked with escorting Cal’s older sister Diane to become Earth’s ambassador on a far-off planet. It’s the opportunity of Diane’s career, very likely a lifetime post. But for Jake, that could mean a lifetime’s heartbreak. He has loved Diane since they were kids, and every step closer to that ambassador assignment is a step closer to goodbye.

But somebody is after more than Earth’s defense, and Jake, Cal, and Diane are on a trajectory to crash headlong into that dangerous plot. Somebody wants to play Earth against its most immediate threat, Craton, and convince both to develop super weapons—and he’s working with the person who killed Jake’s uncle all those years ago. When he reappears on Jake, Cal, and Diane’s journey to the ambassadorship, Jake is faced with difficult choices to look out for his friends and honor his uncle’s memory.

The Brighter the Stars has an interesting concept and has taken inspiration from pop culture. It is a YA Sci-Fi / Fantasy book but is based around a future Earth and intergalactic treaties between other planets.

The world that Prosek built is believable in the sense that I can imagine that it would maybe look like that in the future.

Jake is such an interesting character. He went through so much as a kid which has shaped him into the man he becomes. He wants to honour is Uncle and find the person who helped murder his Uncle.

The friendships between Jake, Cal and Diane were lovely and I loved seeing the grow and change.

The pacing of the book is somewhat fast but not overly so. I didn’t feel like it was taking to long to find action.

The ending of The Brighter the Stars left it open for a sequel which would be interesting to see what would happen.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC


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