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Creative Prayer: Speaking the Language of God's Heart
Chris Tiegreen
Jesus Calling: A 365 Day Journaling Devotional
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And All the Stars - Andrea K. Höst Amazing book. Absolutely amazing. So amazing, in fact, that I have to calm down a bit and pick myself up off the floor before I can sit down and write an eloquent review. It's [b:Tomorrow, When the War Began|71865|Tomorrow, When the War Began (Tomorrow, #1)|John Marsden|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1328867372s/71865.jpg|1253352] meets [b:The Host|1656001|The Host (The Host, #1)|Stephenie Meyer|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1318009171s/1656001.jpg|3328799]. Amazing.Edit, the following day: Okay, I will see if I can be a bit less squee-ful in my review now.And All the Stars is the story of an alien invasion. Madeleine has skipped school in order to paint her beautiful, androgynous cousin, Tyler. However, this put her in exactly the wrong place at the wrong time to be targeted by the mysterious onslaught of an alien invasion.In a world gone mad, Madeleine has to trust the odd group of people, fate has thrown her way, and together with them try to find a way to rid the world of the alien invasion without getting possessed themselves along the way.As I wrote above, this book is a delightful mix of "Tomorrow, When the War Began" (John Marsden) and "The Host" (Stephenie Meyer) in both atmosphere and plot. What I assumed at first would be a fairly straight-forward science fiction novel, threw me with its twists and turns and managed to surprise me more than once.There are three things I especially appreciated about this novel:1) The characters. Both the characters and the relationships between the main characters turned out to be a lot more complex than I had anticipated, and Madeleine's transformation from being self-sufficient to having to trust and rely on other people was very well done and believable. Madeleine and Noi, Madeleine and Tyler, Madeleine and Fish, Noi and Pan... None of them were left for the reader to think up themselves, but eloquently described through their interactions.2) The atmosphere. This is where the comparison to "Tomorrow, When the War..." is most apt. It was just as thrilling, and left me just as much at the edge of my seat. I found myself imagining only too vividly what such an invasion would be like.3) The fact that it - in spite of my original fear - turned out to be a stand-alone novel. There are so many series being published these days, that a true stand-alone novel is a rare treat.For these, and many other reasons, And All the Stars blew me away. I can't remember when I've last had this strong a reaction to a novel, and it's well placed to be labelled my "Best Read of 2012".