A Review of From a Distant Star, by Karen McQuestion

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When Lucas Walker inexplicably recovers from a terminal illness, everyone is astonished –except for his girlfriend Emma, who never gave up hope. However, as friends and family celebrate the miracle, Emma becomes alarmed: Lucas has changed. He speaks haltingly, can’t recall past events, and even his own dog doesn’t recognize him. Emma begins to suspect something is terribly wrong. What happened to the Lucas she loved? Does his strange behavior have something to do with the shooting light that fell into Lucas’s backyard the night he recovered?

As the two set off on a road trip in search of the truth, the journey takes an unexpected turn. First they’re shot at by unknown enemies and then helped by unlikely allies. Before long, Emma and Lucas are plunged into a desperate life or death race against time.

Packed with intrigue and emotion, FROM A DISTANT STAR is a riveting novel about loyalty and the power of love.

– – – – –

Rating: 3/5 Stars
Quick Reasons: too “teenage romance”; I had a hard time suspending my disbelief at points; Emma’s absurd and adamant belief that Lucas was “the one” didn’t work for me; the story was interesting, though cliche; the characters were flat and hard for me to feel for

Huge thanks to Karen McQuestion for the free copy in exchange for an honest review of this book! This in no way altered my opinions or review.

Also, I read this as an audiobook. It was an interesting experiment; the narrator put a TON of personality into the characters that might have been missed otherwise. I’d definitely recommend it, if you like listening to your books.

“This is a very confusing planet. People believe things that aren’t true about other people just because of how they look and what kind of vehicle they drive. Why can you not wait and see who they are inside before you make a decision?”

“Because we’re afraid,” I said. “If I had trusted them and they turned out to be bad people, they might have robbed us or attacked us. It’s better to be cautious.”

“That is a sad thing,” he said. “Always thinking the worst of other people.”

I think it’s safe to say this book is just not the book for me. Which is depressing, because I recently read another book by Karen McQuestion and I LOVED it. This one, though? No such love. I just… Ugh.

So let’s dissect this a little bit, yes? First off: the characters. While there’s some interesting play going on with different forms of strength and different types of handling stress…most of the characters fall very, very flat. I mean paper flat. And the characters that are a bit rounded? Pretty much annoyed the snot out of me. Also, there’s quite a bit of emotional abuse directed toward Emma from Lucas’s mom–in fact, this is carried through the entire read. Even when Lucas finds his miracle cure, the mom still tries shunting Emma to the side with unnecessary cruelty. It was confusing, to be honest–though maybe spurned on by a type of jealousy? The only character I really felt anything for is Scout. The alien. That’s a bit depressing, in my opinion.

Maybe it’s just that the story had SO MUCH potential, but fell short in the end. A lot of what did happen in this book was rather cliche, and the fact that I felt nothing for the characters meant I felt nothing for the plot. Also, Emma’s absurd and ADAMANT belief that she and Lucas were “for life, forever, happy shiny made for each other soul mates” just didn’t work for me. After about the tenth time of her assuring readers he was THE ONE…I stopped caring. After the fifteenth, I began to get really annoyed.

I’d never been one for prayer, but when things got serious, I put it into overdrive, imagining God on the other end thinking, hmmm . . . Emma doesn’t usually pray. This must be serious.

The audiobook leant a good deal of character and personality to characters that might otherwise have been no more than paper. Which I appreciated–so much! The narrator had a way of breathing life into the characters, and while I was still thoroughly annoyed with Emma, Scout really jumped off the page for me. The fact that the narrator included the stilted, awkward way of speaking into Scout’s character was just–I adored that so so much!

The writing, also, isn’t bad. While the plot is a bit cliche and the characters are sort of flat, the action scenes were mildly entertaining and the action was fast-paced. If I had been able to more fully connect with or feel for the characters, my rating for this read would be MUCH higher, so take the 3 stars with a grain of salt here please–most of my dislike fell on the characters, after all, not the story or the writing.

Overall, though, I couldn’t find much I personally liked about this book. Of course, this isn’t a bad book at all–it just wasn’t the right fit for me. I’d still definitely recommend to younger readers and lovers of aliens or ever-lasting, true loves. Just because I didn’t like it, doesn’t mean YOU won’t, so you should definitely give it a shot if it seems the type of book you’d enjoy!

2 thoughts on “A Review of From a Distant Star, by Karen McQuestion

  1. Pingback: Sunday Post (#4) – betwixt-the-pages

  2. Pingback: January Wrap-Up – betwixt-the-pages

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