Title: A Dark and Hollow Star
Series: A Dark and Hollow Star #1
Author: Ashley Shuttleworth
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Tropes: Fae, Queer, Multi-POV
Edition/Pages: Audibook, 19 hrs and 30 mins
Thank you to Simon Pulse and Netgalley for sending me an e-arc copy in exchange for an honest review.
The most unique urban fantasy I’ve read since Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series!
Oh man I have so many thoughts!! I’m going to break this down into list format to help organize my thoughts.
1. LOVED this unique premise and world. While this world is based in reality (the majority of this is set in Toronto) the magical facets of this world are extensive. There are so many creatures, gods, mythologies, ideas, crammed together that things could have gone terribly wrong. But my some super power, Ashley Shuttleworth made everything work so flawlessly together. I loved the nods to modern culture and RPG tactics. It made this fantasy feel new and fresh and wholly unique. I cannot wait for more in this world!
2. This book has lots of dark and gritty moments and themes but all of it was handled with exceptional care. This story deals heavily with death & grief, familial bonds (and strains), abuse, and suicidal thoughts. So be aware of that before going into this. However, the author balances this was stunning friendships and self-acceptance arcs.
3. Queer A.F. Omg this book is so unapologetically queer and it was wonderful. There are non-binary characters (on page), gay, gender fluid, and more all on page. I loved seeing (or hearing since I listened to this on audio) discussed so directly.
4. Great, full developed, and unique characters. This book is told from quite a few POVs – it takes some getting used to but each character was so fully developed and distinguishable that I never had any issues telling them apart. And with a cast of characters this size, that is an impressive feat!
5. And because the characters were so well developed, I’m wholly invested in their possibly budding relationships. I would protect all 4 of these characters with my life.
Overall I’m blown away by this unique, sweeping fantasy debut. I not only can’t wait to get my hands on this sequel, but I can’t wait to see what Ashley Shuttleworth does next!