Title: Justice Buried
Author: Hilary Thompson
Series: Starbright, Book #1
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, Young Adult
Length: 330 pages(Paperback)
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition
Publication Date: January 15, 2014
The people need Justice, but she’s not listening.
One hundred years before, the Great Sickness reduced the world to three dystopian cities. Now the community of Asphodel is trapped underground, waiting for the prophesied maiden of Justice to rescue them.
Sixteen-year-old Astrea is supposed to be this savior – too bad for them she isn’t a believer. Astrea fights her fate until discovering a power she never knew she had, and a handsome ally she never expected. With her life in danger, Astrea must choose between saving her city or herself.
This thrilling young adult adventure is the first in the richly-imagined Starbright series, which is laced with mystery, mythology, romance, and magic. Justice Buried will have you questioning fate versus free will along with Astrea’s strong female lead, and wondering who can be trusted when everyone is keeping secrets.
Who wants their whole life planned out for them? Well, Astrea is having none of it.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world, a hundred years after the Great Sickness has passed where nearly everything in the world had been destroyed, one of the three surviving communities, Asphodel, is trapped underground waiting to be saved by the prophesied Starbright Maiden of Justice-Astrea.
Astrea is an Arien- an Aries-born, 16 year old, strong-willed girl who’s prophesied to be the new ruler of their underground city Asphodel when she comes of age and usher in a new era by leading her people back to the surface world with Lexan- her prophesied partner/bethroed- whom she absolutely despises. Later on, Astrea finds herself ensnared into a tangled mess of deceit and power-plays as she clashes with Keirna-a power-hungry Arien, who refuse to yield her power and influence as First Leader and will use any means necessary to keep it.
In their society, your fate was decided the moment you were born based on your astrological symbol instead of what you want or of the choices you make and Astrea struggles as she is restricted by the laws and system of her society which go strongly against her Arien nature. Though at the beginning the pace was slow, reading about Astrea’s fierce desire to control her life and make her own choices is inspiring-a strong Arien trait.
“I fight these small battles to persuade myself that my life is still my own.” –Astrea.
This makes her understandably whiny and immature even, but further the story unfolds; I liked how Thompson skillfully handled her character development and matured as Astrea struggles with acceptance of death, betrayal, and the possibility of love. And while I have no complaints about the “compulsory” love-triangle commonly found in YA novels/series, I just can’t bring myself to like Stian, an outsider and a total stranger whom Astrea feels a strong emotional connection with and later being confused for having a sudden and unwanted attraction for Lexan.
Although the plot was definitely fascinating-a dystopia mixed with sci-fi, laced with Greek mythology references and astrology as their religion, the world-building was somehow lacking in some areas so the history excerpts at the beginning of each chapters helps us readers to get a depth look of how their world came to be.
Also, the book cover is gorgeous! I’m in love, it’s so beautiful! The book cover and the blurb was what piqued my interest into reading Justice Buried. It features Astrea and a starry night sky. Justice Buried is a refreshing read and I definitely recommend it.
A 7/10 for me.
Series trailer: books include Justice Buried #1, Balance Broken #2, Lexan’s Pledge- A Strabright series novella between book one and two