By Anna Bright
Published June 2022
I chose this book strictly by the title and its cover. Both are gorgeous but beyond that, I had no idea what it was about, except that I suspected it was a fantasy. (I’m sure I read the synopsis at some point, but by the time I get to a book, I’ve long forgotten it.) So I was pleasantly surprised when the initial setting was in DC and the book was obviously going to incorporate astrology. Both are high on my list of loves, so I was in.
Here’s a brief overview: There are strange things happening on Earth, to the tune of mountains shrinking and ocean levels falling. On a more micro level, Rora is struggling with anxiety after being mugged, and her best friend Claudia is struggling to accept the absence of her twin, exiled to their grandmother’s house in Italy. In an attempt to ground herself, Rora (with Claudia in tow) goes to a concert at The 9:30 Club, where they meet Major and Amir, boys their age from other planets (not a known concept on Earth – we’re always kept in the dark). They are looking for the answer to disastrous occurrences across all of the planets.
Hoping that discovering what is causing the celestial problems can also help Rora with her fear and anxiety, the girls jump into the unknown to help. But this may be beyond their capabilities when they discover that the music of every sphere/planet is out of alignment.
I love the premise and the world-building. Tying in the love story between Dante and Beatrice, the author weaves a history where magicians discovered how to cross through space and inhabit every planet in the solar system (except for Pluto; he didn’t get any love). The people who live on these planets now inhabit the planet that rules their astrological sun sign, no exceptions are allowed. Each planet has its own music, which has gone haywire and threatens the entire solar system. It’s discovered that Chiron, an asteroid that orbits between Saturn and Uranus, is out of alignment. There’s the set-up.
The astrology here is pretty basic and never strays much beyond the energies of a sun sign. Which is fine, it’s a young adult book and works well enough for the purposes of the story. That said, the author never delves into why some people don’t resonate with the music/planet of their sun sign, but it’s an important overarching theme that I’m glad drove the story, because a person is more than just their sun sign. I did wish this was explored more in depth since I never understood WHY Rora resonated with Mars and the entire treatment of Chiron made me cringe. Chiron was a convenient scapegoat for explaining the problem but I think the author missed the mark on that one.
Granted, most people reading this aren’t going to do an analysis on how the astrology was presented, like I did. I guess it just needs to be accepted and it is presented on a good level for people with no astrological knowledge to grasp it. As for the magic system, apparently it works because the author says so.
Beyond that, the book provided a great meet-cute that turned into insta-love and everyone’s problems were resolved, except for Dante’s, and Beatrice wound up screwing up the entire universe for several hundred years but hey, it all worked out in the end.
Final words – a great premise and a cute story with a convenient ending. 3.25/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐+
Until next time, thank you for visiting.