Saturday, April 9, 2011
Review of "Across the Galaxy" by Heather Hildenbrand
Most teenage girls have teenaged problems, like what to wear to prom and did I remember to shave my legs before gym? Seventeen year old Alina has all those problems, and a whole lot more. The list does tend to get longer when you’re an alien. An alien empress, to be exact.
Number one on Alina’s problem list is her desire to fit in and feel accepted, without having to hide any part of her true self; something she’s never quite been able to do on Earth. Also on that list are the Shadows, a race of dark and ugly monsters that attacked her home planet ten years ago, killing her parents, and still search for her now, to wipe out the last survivor of the royal family.
A moonlit walk in the forest changes everything. She is discovered, by more than one being from her galaxy, and has to run for her life with a Shadow close on her trail. Her new protector – a talking wolf – whisks her to the safety of his planet, to regroup and maybe figure out a way to destroy the shadows. Unfortunately, Alina soon finds she’s only traded one danger for another.
I have found myself typing and erasing my opening sentence over and over. Why? Because I love Across the Galaxy so much, I didn't quite know where to start. I want to enthuse how much I enjoyed this book, but I don't want to sound like a blabbering idiot. So, I'll do my best to control myself. But I can't make any promises!
Across the Galaxy is a beautifully descriptive book. Author Heather Hildenbrand does a terrific job of placing the reader into the scenery. While reading of Arizona, I felt myself visualizing the terrain, the orange and red of the sky, the heat. As I was taken 'across the galaxy' into each ensuing world, the imagery given made each planet feel real. The animals, trees, grass, water; every detail was given its due. True escapism at its best.
Each character in the story, beginning with Alina, is set up in a realistic way. Their emotions, reactions, the conversations were all believable. I felt as if I got to be a part of the characters getting to know one another. There wasn't any of the "insta love" I've read in a lot of books. When Alina meets Ander, also a native to her home planet, they actually take the time to get to know one another in a real way. That was very, very refreshing. But as they do get to know each other, that chemistry is smoking hot!
The plot of Across the Galaxy had an excellent pace. I never felt as if it was rushed. The story was layered. Each new turn of events was a nice, new piece to add to the puzzle. The plot kept building, bit by bit, throughout the book. I felt as if Hildenbrand was constantly weaving the threads of the story together. Little things that I didn't note as tremendously important throughout the story would wrap back into it later. I constantly found myself saying "Oh, that's why she/he said or did that!" I love that the author didn't just lay everything out in a neat row.
The editing of Across the Galaxy was excellent. I'm a bit of a "grammar freak", driven insane by poor spelling or word usage. The writing was clean and conversational, never redundant.
What I loved the most about Across the Galaxy is that I never guessed exactly what was going to happen. I was just going along for the journey and where that would take me. I hope each of you take that journey, as well. You won't regret it.
"But sitting here in the daylight, staring at the most gorgeous guy I had ever seen, I thought two things. First, I was kidding myself to even think the whole 'never left alone' rule would just wear off with Peter, and second, if my babysitter looked like this, maybe I didn't mind so much."