Hold Back The Stars by Katie Khan || Book Review

July 27, 2017

Looks like this book may be my favourite of the year so far. I hold high hopes nothing else I read will top it. With it being my 32nd book of 2017, there's still plenty of time for me to read more, but NOTHING will compete against Hold Back The Stars.

Hold Back The Stars is a fantastic story, marvellous, wonderful. It's a peculiar love story set in a future utopian world called Europia. Involving space too. Khan's world-building is so convincing I felt like I was living there too, which means it works. Her world-building is successful. HBTS would make an incredible movie. Citizens of Europia are to move through different communities (Voivodes) every three years. The ideals of the world are individualism, with every man responsible for their own actions. 

Carys and Max meet whilst on the same Voivode when Carys enquires on the Mindshare (Cool technology) about goose fat. Quirky! Their friendship quickly blooms despite the Couples Rule stating citizens are not to engage in permanent relationships until the age of 35. Carys and Max are in their twenties, but there's a strong, undying connection between them they cannot ignore. 

At the start of the book, Carys and Max are in space and have 90 minutes left of oxygen. We don't know how they came to be there just yet. Another delightful plot point from Khan. Wait for the story to unfold! The chapters are divided by scenes in space as they panic and logically make a plan for survival, and scenes on Earth of their relationship before. I liked this structure, I was watching the characters reminisce their relationship as they floated closer to time running out.

HBTS is emotional and hopeful, a story of friendship, survival and love. Doted with interesting science and space facts. Khan has developed their world with fascinating technology; the Mindshare is a futuristic Twitter sharing thoughts and queries; the Voivode Games where citizens can connect their wrist chip to an athlete and feel everything they feel as they experience the games.

A perfect sci-fi romance novel with a gorgeous cover!

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