SING DOWN THE STARS
by L.J. Hatton, Josin L. Mcquein
Series: The Celestine Series #1
Paperback: 372 pages
Publisher: Skyscape (October 6, 2015)
When they arrived, they spread across the sky like a sea of jellyfish—silent, unknown, alien. When they left, a year later, it seemed as if nothing had changed. But soon, certain girls were born with peculiar abilities—inhuman abilities. An international commission was formed to investigate…and fear began to spread. Families were swept from their homes and, one by one, any girl that was different disappeared.
Penn Roma’s four sisters were born with these dreaded powers: they control the elements of fire, water, earth, and wind.
Penn is the unimaginable fifth child, one with the power to call down the stars.
Her father has hidden his daughters’ powers for sixteen years. Then, one explosive night, Penn loses everything: her sisters are taken, her family destroyed. Now, Penn must do the unthinkable and use the power she’s spent a lifetime suppressing. To save her family and herself, she must travel to the very heart of her world’s darkness and discover the truth about her terrifying gift.
So far this has been the most unexpected and jewel of a find for me. When asked if I was interested to review it I thought the concept sounded interesting and I can't remember the last time I read an alien story. What I found was an outstanding and most imaginative story I have read in a long time. Most surprisingly it doesn't focus on the alien beings at all, just the results of what their visiting caused on the humans. I am unsure if this is a book that will appeal to everybody, but for me it is one of my favorite YA stories ever.
Penn and her family have been on the run since before she was born. To hide his daughters from the Commission who want to capture them, he builds a magical circus around them. He puts them in plain view, under the guise of magicians and technology that cause magical illusions. They travel the country and all live in the train so they are never too long in one spot. Penn herself is disguised as a boy, but everything she has ever wanted to be is on stage along with her sisters becoming the true Penelope inside.
Very early in the story one of the Wardens has taken notice of the circus and in his quest to capture Penelope destroys everything in his path. Her whole family is now on the run trying to make it a safety point. The Warden believes that Penn is a Celestine, the strongest and rarest of magical beings to have been born. He uses everything in his power to try to capture her and other magicals from the now destroyed circus.
There is a lot of traveling in the story as everybody has gone their separate ways during the escape. Penelope discovers some of her powers during these times, she has always suppressed her magic because her family did not want to be found out. Very odd things begin to happen around her, and because of her. With the help of some very entertaining and fun technical gadgets her father has made they find their way across the countryside, finding both danger and safety in very unusual places. She finds family members she didn't even know existed and strives on the strong desire to rescue her family and friends, no matter what it takes.
For the second half of the story she finds herself battling the Warden face on when she is taken captive, she is held in a kind of ship high above the ground and with her burgeoning magic, it affects the way the ship. She is a bomb waiting to explode and with some help learns how to harness her powers a bit. She tends to anger almost everybody her path crosses, but seems to find some companionship and the information she needs to try to escape.
Instead of reading this book in one sitting I really took my time with it, digesting every page and really letting myself get lost in this world. I really enjoyed every minute and found it extremely creative and unique. I highly recommend it.