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eARC Across the Broken Stars

(4/5⭐️) “Dead heroes and dead cowards both rot in the same grave.” This SciFi Fantasy is an action packed adventure that will have you saying the same thing.

Leon is an angel with a broken past. He’s a coward, a traitor to his own kind, scarred from the decisions he made during the war. All he wants is to forget—everything. He spends years believing that he is the last angel; he’s okay with that. But when a fugitive seeks him out, offering him a chance to find Waverrym, everything changes. Waverrym is a place shrouded in myth, believed to be the home of other angels that escaped the war, a safe haven. At first Leon is indifferent, happy with being the last of a dead race, but he soon finds himself longing to find Waverrym just as much as the young fugitive who seeks him out. And so begins a quest that spans the stars as much as it spans the pages of this book. Will Leon find the mystical Waverrym, and in the process, a road to redemption?

Across the Broken Stars was a great example of how a broken character can still give us reason to hope. In terms of flawed characters, Leon fit the bill perfectly. There were so many times throughout his character arc where he continued to make bad decisions. He made it very clear to me in the first half of the book that he was a coward. Yet, as I grew to understand him more, I began to see the reasons for his decisions. By the end, I was rooting for him to make the correct decision. And when he finally did, I was cheering because I found myself both shocked and pleasantly surprised.

“You’re not a coward. You were, but now you don’t have to be. Forget the past. You’re who you choose to become.”

I will warn you that this book has a very large plot twist near the end. I admit that there were a few foreshadowing moments, but none of it sank in until it was too late. Now that I look back over it, I can’t believe it didn’t see it before! Facepalm! I really admire the way Jed Herne tricked me for the majority of the story, yet, found a way to make me happy with the ending. I felt extremely fulfilled watching Leon’s character arc progress and unfold up to its crescendo, when Leon was forced to make the ultimate decision.

“Let all remember, a full bucket cannot hold more water. Those who seek to know must first forget, and those who seek to be filled must first be emptied.”

The writing of this story was beautiful. The world building was quite creative. It took a couple of chapters for me to find my bearings, navigating “disks” rather than planets. The science aspects tied in for gravity, velocity, breathing in space, force fields, etc. were well thought out and realistic enough (coming from someone who has a PhD in physics) for the sake of the story. It’s easy to get those things wrong but Jed did a great job in setting the stage.

I really love it when an independent author surprises me, and Jed did that. He REALLY took me by surprise with this story. It was packed with action and adventure, moved quickly, with short chapters that kept you wanting more. The majority of the plot was taken up as a quest to find a location that had to be discovered by working out riddles and puzzles. Being a puzzle lover, I found that aspect engaging. Part of me wishes there would be a sequel, but the story ended in a way where that likely won’t happen. However, the ending was so satisfying, that I really don’t need one. I’ll just cherish the story for what it is and be happy that it’s “short but sweet.” Bravo Jed Herne on a wonderful story.

I highly recommend this for anyone who loves Sci-Fi adventure with a dash of fantasy—for anyone who loves to see a character overcome major flaws to a satisfying end. Thank you Jed Herne for giving me an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

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