Monday, August 20, 2012

The Stars Shine Bright by Sibella Giorello

Welcome to the blog tour for The Stars Shine Bright by Sibella Giorello. Read on for contest information!

Let’s begin with the summary:

Sent undercover to a thoroughbred horse track, Raleigh takes on a double life to find out who’s fixing the races. But when horses start dying and then her own life is threatened, Raleigh realizes something bigger—and more sinister—is ruining Emerald Meadows.

She’s never felt more alone.

Her one contact with the FBI is Special Agent Jack Stephanson, a guy who seems to jump from antagonistic to genuine friend depending on the time of day. And she can’t turn to her family for support. They’re off-limits while she’s undercover, and her mother isn’t speaking to her anyway, having been confined to a mental hospital following a psychotic breakdown. Adding insult to her isolation, Raleigh’s fiancé wants them to begin their life together—now—precisely when she’s been ordered not to be herself.

With just days left before the season ends, Raleigh races to stop the killing and find out who’s behind the track’s trouble, all the while trying to determine if Jack is friend or foe, and whether marrying her fiancé will make things better—or worse.

Raleigh is walking through the darkest night she’s faced, searching for a place where the stars shine bright.

And now, my review:

I haven’t read Sibella’s work before, but I’ve been curious for a while, so I was grateful to get a chance to read this book for review. 

Her novel was very well researched! By her author letter, we learn she isn’t a closet geologist, but she truly had me fooled. Amazing details! Sometimes her passages on rocks and dirt were very, very involved (read: lengthy). But overall, I think they lent realism to the story. Also, since I’ve been reading this book, I’m looking at horses differently too. Great research on the horses involved in racing at Emerald Meadows (obviously representing Emerald Downs near Seattle). 

Speaking of Seattle, I loved the setting of this book.  As someone who spent 23 years there, I delighted in the beautiful setting. I will say I’ve been on a multitude of ferry runs to and from Bainbridge Island, and they’ve never blown the horn for departure or arrival. They make announcements and riders know by when the engines cut back when they’re approaching arrival. Thought that was interesting. But otherwise, her descriptions were great!

Her descriptive passages throughout were delicious! From the afternoon light, to the scent of mud, her wordsmithing deserved many highlights in my Kindle. And I was glad to be reading on my Kindle because I was able to swiftly look up all the vocabulary words. But I liked that too—learning more about geology than I ever planned too. :)

I also liked that she wrote this in first person. I would have loved to see more of a romance between the heroine and her FBI handler since a romance between them was insinuated a few times. But since I haven’t read the other books in the series, I didn’t hold too tightly to that expectation. (It sounded like there was more of a romance in the earlier books.) 

The heroine has to deal with some tough issues where her mother is concerned, not to mention other trials she faces. And though I could see her struggling, I couldn’t feel her pain. The POV, though first-person, wasn’t deep enough, didn’t contain an emotional anchor for readers to connect and feel her emotions with her. But Sibella did a great job of layering the characters, and I did sympathize with our heroine.  

This was a great read—a very enjoyable suspense novel.


For your convenience, links to purchase:

(print version) (e-book version)


Contest info!!
Novelist Sibella Giorello is celebrating the release of the latest book in her praiseworthy Raleigh Harmon series by giving away a Kindle Fire! 

Find out what the reviewers are saying here!

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • The entire 5-book Raleigh Harmon series.
Hurry, the giveaway ends on 8/25/12. The winner will be announced on 8/27/12 on Sibella's blog!

Just click one of the icons below to enter. Tell your friends about Sibella's giveaway on FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

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