Every Star a Song – by Jay Posey (Review)

The Ascendance #2

Scifi, Space Opera

Skybound Books; October 19, 2021

448 pages (ebook)

GoodreadsAuthor Website

4.3 / 5 ✪

I was kindly furnished an advance copy in return for a fair and honest review. Many thanks to Gallery Books and NetGalley for the ARC! All opinions are my own.

Please beware minor spoilers for Every Sky a Grave—Ascendance Book #1

Every Sky a Grave Review

Elyth was once of the House of Ascendance—but that was a long time ago. She now lives her life as an Exile, constantly on the run from the Ascendance and Hezra agents trying to capture her—or worse.

For a while, she is able to keep one step ahead, but those times are over. Cornered on a backwater planet at the galaxy’s edge, Elyth is taken, but not as a prisoner. Instead, the Empire offers her a choice.

A planet has appeared out of nowhere, following Qel like a shadow. This planet has no mass, follows no orbit, and one day simply popped into existence with no warning. In short, it shouldn’t exist. But it’s very much real. This has been verified by a prior Ascendance team sent to the world to investigate. A team which never returned.

And herein lies Elyth’s bargain: help the Hezra explore the new planet and unravel its mystery and all her past sins will be forgiven. She can rejoin the Ascendancy, or return to her quiet life, but with no more fear of capture. The Empire will leave her alone, for good or ill. Or… she can refuse the mission and will be given a day’s head start.

Reluctantly Elyth agrees to accompany the team, but the mission appears doomed from the start. Upon touching down on planet at the scene of the last mission’s disappearance, they are confronted with… nothing. No sign anyone has ever set foot on the planet, let alone a spacecraft has landed there. Shortly after, the noises begin. Strange knocking from all around. Then the creatures appear; creatures that have never been seen before. And then expedition begins to lose members—in the most horrific ways possible.

It soon becomes clear that the planet knows they’re there, and it means to kill them.

This book takes place three years removed from the events of Every Sky a Grave, but as if those years had passed in the blink of an eye. Other than an offhand comment that she has spent the years on the run from the Ascendancy, there’s nothing about how Elyth has spent the time. Indeed, after the first few chapters, everyone seems to forget that it’s been three years at all. It could’ve been yesterday for all that the story is concerned. I would’ve like to see a flashback of her on the run, a memory, a lesson, a thought—something. But we don’t. Every Star a Song begins a new adventure and—while we continually come back to the events on Qel that brought us to this point—isn’t interested in revisiting the past. Not any more of it, at least.

There are some holes; some flowery writing that serves no purpose other than to fill space; not to mention a few contradictions. Mostly though, Every Star a Song tells an immersive, thrilling story that just drags the reader along for the ride kicking and screaming. I spent more than a few nights planning to cap my reading at the end of a certain chapter, only to carry on through it when something exciting or mysterious or unforeseen occurred at the conclusion of the one prior. Then I’d end up staying up way too late and be bleary-eyed in the morning. And do it all over again the next night. This story is not a hard one to read—nor fall in love with—despite my gripes with how it started.

The mystery is well explained in the end, and thoroughly mysterious and exciting every moment on the way through. Up to the final pages it still kept me guessing, and even delivered a final twist at the very end (not a cliffhanger, just a surprise). It’s a bit reminiscent of the first in the series, yet Every Star a Song blows that away in terms of pace, action, and excitement. Where Every Sky a Grave had some trouble deciding what it wanted to be, this knew the whole time. It’s an excellent read, despite its flaws. I’ve no problem recommending it!

5 thoughts on “Every Star a Song – by Jay Posey (Review)

  1. Nice! I’d have to read the first book first, but this sounds like a great read. Did it have a horror, or maybe chilling or suspenceful feel in parts? Your mentioning of the noises beginning, and then monsters appearing had me wondering (and of course how they began losing members in the most horrific ways possible!).


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