Right, first things first, this is likely to only be a short review. I finished Starborn yesterday afternoon and am already a good way into the sequel, Heartland. Also yesterday, I was offered a Netgalley 'treat' review copy of the final volume, Firestorm. (Needless to say I fair snapped the publisher's hand off). For this reason I plan on doing a short review for each book and a more in depth look at the series as a whole after.
So, Starborn... as the first in a new series by a debut author it certainly ticks all the right boxes
Young person living in the middle of nowhere ✔
Mysterious strangers in town as a pivotal day approaches ✔
Lead character leaves home with strangers ✔
Adventure and discovery of Destiny ensues ✔
Yes, as a storyline it feels like nothing new at first, but be patient...
Where a story or series like this can stand or fall is on things like characterisation, world building and the magic system and on these 3 points Lucy Hounsom stands tall.
The Characters - this was a strange one for me. All came across as realistic, believable etc but none stood out. By which I mean, all were equally (ish) effective. I was interested in all but none really above others.
The World - I do like a good map, which this book has, to follow the journey but I also like to be able to 'see' the places visited in my reading mind and not every author can quite pull it off. Lucy Hounsom does - really well.
The Magic - I like my magic to be a bit different to usual, or a new twist at least and I thought LH pulled this off quite well with her Solar and Lunar magic.
So, yeah, I really enjoyed this and, as I say, am already well into book 2.
For this debut I am giving 4/5 stars. I would have gone higher but I expect Heartland and Firestorm will be even better so I have to give myself room to mark up.