TITLE: The Star Child
AUTHOR: Stephanie Keyes
PUBLISHER: Inkspell Publishing
RELEASE DATE: 21st September 2012
SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS: The world is about to be cloaked in darkness. Only one can stop the night.
Kellen St. James has spent his entire life being overlooked as an unwanted, ordinary, slightly geeky kid. That is until a beautiful girl, one who has haunted his dreams for the past eleven years of his life, shows up spinning tales of a prophecy. Not just any old prophecy either, but one in which Kellen plays a key role.
Suddenly, Kellen finds himself on the run through a Celtic underworld of faeries and demons, angels and gods, not to mention a really ticked off pack of hellhounds, all in order to save the world from darkness. But will they make it in time?
I was given my copy of The Star Child as part of the promotional blog tour that Stephanie and Inkspell Publishing have organised for the release of the book this Friday. I had read quite a few of the reviews on Goodreads and decided that I’d like to read this too. I am happy to say that it was a good decision!
There are quite a few characters in the story but only 2 main characters: Kellen and Calienta.
Kellen has recently graduated from college at the young age of 17. His mum died when he was young and his dad and brother neither like him or want anything to do with him. Kellen is a self confessed book lover and is very intelligent, hence the graduating early. From the time of his mother’s death he has been dreaming of a beautiful girl named Calienta and longs to be with her, even though he doesn’t know if she’s real. Just before Kellen graduates his beloved grandmother dies and leaves him both her home in Ireland and a lot of money. Finally Kellen in free to be away from his father’s control over him and to go back to the place he first dreamed of Calienta.
Calienta is hard to describe without giving too much away! Lets just say she has special qualities about her! She has been in Kellen’s dreams since he was six years old. It turns out she’s real and now that he’s going to be living in Ireland she’s able to visit him in person to explain to him about a prophecy that her people speak of, one that he plays a key part in.
I really enjoyed reading The Star Child. It was easy to read and had a writing style that I liked. The author took her time to set things up in the first few chapters so that we could really see how Kellen’s life had been and just how awful, evil even, his father was. I really sympathised for Kellen while reading about the things he’d suffered through due to his nasty, mean father. It was nice to see in contrast just how much he was loved by his grandmother and how she’d made sure that he was taken care of after her death. He was finally able to get away and start living his life the way he wanted before any more of his life was ruined. She may also have known a little something about the prophecy …
Once all the action of the prophecy and the journey to the underworld started the pace of the story really picked up and every page was action packed. A lot of time was taken to describe what was going on, what the surroundings looked like, how the characters felt. It was easy to use all of that to place yourself in the book with Kellen and Calienta and to feel what they were feeling and going through.
I liked the main storyline of the prophecy and the mythology used. I appreciated that a lot of research and planning had gone in to the story. I haven’t read a story before this that had so many different elements in it so it was a pleasure to read it see what the author did with it.
There were some things for me that were left unanswered, maybe that’s me wanting to know too much and they weren’t important, or maybe they’ll be answered in the sequel, I hope it’s the latter one! I’ll definitely be reading the follow up once it’s ready though. I’d like to know more about Kellen and Calienta and what happened after the creepy ending!
4/5 – You should definitely read this book!
Now to learn a little bit about the author of The Star Child, Stephanie Keyes. Stephanie has been kind enough to stop by to answer some questions so we can learn a little more about her writing habits, her favourite books and authors and a few fun trivia things too!
Hi Stephanie! Thanks so much for answering these questions!
Thank you for having me as a guest on your blog today. I’m excited to be here!
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
Sure! Mmmh. What to say. I am a book geek, music addict, gadget addict, mother, wife. Oh and I write books for Young Adults sometimes.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Yes. Everyday, I get up between 4:15 and 5:00 in the morning. Get my coffee and breakfast and sit down at my laptop.
If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
My other career, which is graphic design. I love that very much.
Who are your favourite writers? Do you get a lot of time to read? What genre do you like to read?
Favorite writers are O.R. Melling, Carrie Jones, Melissa de la Cruz, and Maggie Steifvater. Yes, I read quite a bit. In May, I left my insane corporate job, which involved about 50-60 hrs. per week and very often travel. Now, I have the kindle app on my phone and I read books whenever I had a moment. I read mostly Fantasy or YA Fantasy.
Did you like to read as a child? If so, who?
How young are we talking? 🙂 When I was very young, I can still remember reading Corduroy by Don Freeman. When I got older, I read all of the Nancy Drew books, Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, that sort of thing.
What have you found to be the most difficult aspect of getting your work published?
Prior to getting a contract offer with Inkspell, I submitted to quite a few agents. I think the hardest part is the lack of control. You send your work out there and you’ve done everything you can as a writer to make it your best work. After that point, you may never hear anything again, ever, because Publishing Houses and Agents get so many submissions that they can’t always acknowledge them all. That’s the hardest part. The not knowing.
What’s been the most enjoyable part of the journey to be a published author?
I’d have to say the people that I’ve met along the way. Over a year ago, I was selected to take part in a writer’s organization called LoveaHappyEnding.com, which features thirty authors from all over the world. I’ve made so many good friends through that organization just through Facebook and Twitter. Everyone helps everyone else everyday and we work really hard to get the word out about one another. In June, I travelled to England and got to meet many of the members, over half of who are from the UK. It was a wonderful experience.
Another wonderful part was actually receiving the contract offer on The Star Child, but you probably knew that already!
When you’re writing do you plan the book before writing or do you have a vague idea of what you want the story to be about and start from there?
No, I plan. With both The Star Child and The Fallen Stars, which I just finished, I had a very involved outline. I wrote to the outline but often made subtle shifts in the plot. Sometimes, I’ll mix it up if I think it will pull the reader in more.
Where do you do your writing and when? Is there a specific place and time that you’re most productive? Early in the morning when no one else is awake. That’s my time and I love it, though I am definitely not a morning person!
A few fun questions
What’s your favourite colour? Red
Favourite animal? Snow Leopard
Favourite food? Powdered Sugar Donuts
Favourite holiday destination? Ireland
Favourite character from a book you’ve read? Hermione from the Harry Potter series – Ooh me too! I wanted to name by rabbit Hermione, it was a boy though!
Favourite thing to do when you have time to spare? Read – Yep, I agree with this one too!
Favourite candy bar? Snickers! – And this one!
Favourite place to sit and read? The couch in my sunroom
Favourite time of year? Fall
If you could be invisible and “stalk” someone for a day who would it be? Sting
Who would your 5 perfect dinner guests be?
3. Adam Levine – If he’s coming can I come please?!
4. Stevie Wonder
5. JK Rowling
Thanks again for having me as a guest!
About the Author
Stephanie Keyes holds an undergraduate degree in Management Information Systems as well as a Master’s in Education. A seasoned, facilitator, Mrs. Keyes worked in Training and Development for an international telecommunications corporation for twelve years; spending the first eight years of her career as a Software Trainer and Technical Writer and the last four working in Human Resources and Employee Development.
In May of 2012, Mrs. Keyes left the corporate world to focus on her family and her writing full-time. She also operates a freelance graphic and instructional design business, Sycamore Road Design.
Inkspell Publishing will release her first novel, The Star Child, on September 21, 2012. She is now currently at work on the second book in The Star Child Trilogy, The Fallen Stars.
Keyes lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two children, and Riley the dog.