When Stars Come Out by Scarlett St. Clair, the first book in the When Stars Come Out series and a chosen one + fated mates young adult.
Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. This post contains affiliate links. That means we receive a small commission at no cost to you from any purchases you make through these links.
read this book if you’re in the mood for
When Anora Silby moved to Oklahoma and started at her new school, she thought it was a chance to start over. But Anora’s ability to see the dead and turn their wayward spirits into coins has, unfortunately, followed. Now she must balance her particular talents with making new friends, following strange new rules, dealing with a sometimes-absentee mother, and definitely not falling for the school’s star quarterback. As she finds herself on the radar of the organization called the Order, Anora learns she can’t trust anyone, especially those closest to her.
Fans of Scarlett St. Clair’s Hades X Persephone series may struggle a bit with this new YA retelling from the bestselling author. St. Clair has always taken liberty with her mythological retellings, but while When Stars Come Out has been repeatedly billed as an Orpheus and Eurydice retelling, I found it distinctly lacking any true Greek myth outside of St. Clair’s use of names like Eurydice and Charon.
The Eurydice myth – one of faith in love as Orpheus leads Eurydice out of the Underworld, only to doom her there in the end – has absolutely no presence in this story. In fact, the use of Eurydice in When Stars Come Out actually portrays the character in the opposite light, taking her from the one being doomed by others and turning her into the one doing the dooming. While the overall story and plot was interesting and unique, the story itself truly has no comparison to the myth it is supposedly based on.
Outside of the false advertising, I was drawn into Anora’s story right from the start. It’s clear she is struggling; unfortunately, Anora doesn’t find much help in the form of her mother or her new friends. Left to make all these discoveries about herself on her own, only to find out the role she actually plays in the grand scheme of things, the story has all the necessary elements for a classic YA Chosen One trope.
I love paranormal fiction/romance, and there were plenty of those elements in this story. From fated mates to shapeshifting, fans of the paranormal will enjoy the way St. Clair incorporated these elements into her story.
Meant for younger readers, there is a lack of spice or even tension in When Stars Come Out. Likely due to other issues between the main characters, I felt no real chemistry between two characters who I presume will end up together in later books. I do see the potential between them, though, so I look forward to their journey as Anora learns to trust and becomes more comfortable around the male main character.
Overall, When Stars Come Out is a solid four stars from me. The plot was interesting and unique, even while not holding up to the pre-release Eurydice/Orpheus retelling hype. Readers who enjoyed Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Dark Elements, Harbinger, and Covenant series will find something similar to love in this YA paranormal retelling in terms of action, plot development, and Anora’s journey to becoming her true self.