BOOK REVIEW - Starla by Terrilynn Moore and Quade B. Smith
Book Title: Starla by Terrilynn Moore and Quade B. Smith
Category: YA Fiction (Ages 13-17), 434 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Laurel Elite Books
Release date: May 2023
Content Rating: PG + M: Mild profanity and the lead character lives in a mental and verbally abusive household. The theme of living in an unhealthy household and getting help is a theme in the book.
High school is stressful enough without having to save your town from evil incarnate.
But Starla never really had a choice in the matter.
Starla, an aspiring artist, lives an uneasy life with her mom after the sudden loss of her dad. She seeks refuge at the home of her grandmother, Ma Mère, where she feels safe. As a teenager, Starla begins to demonstrate magical abilities. Among them, she discovers her hands glow with purple light and she can understand the squeaks of her pets.
Her new abilities are no surprise to Ma Mère, who reveals a long-hidden family secret of power and magic. Starla's new abilities have been passed down for generations and were awakened by the shift in power when Hel, an ancient evil being, escaped containment.
Hel and those under its power are determined to gain possession and control over the citizens of East Pine and the magical dimensions concealed there. Starla and her friends refuse to let that happen.
If she hopes to thwart Hel's insatiable quest for power and regain control over it before East Pine and all of the dimensions of existence are destroyed, Starla will have to trust her instincts and find the courage to harness the ancestral magic she was born to wield.
Starla is the story of an aspiring artist who is living an uneasy life with her mother after the recent death of her father. No longer feeling safe, Starla moves in with Ma Mère (her grandmother. Now feeling safe, Starla begins to demonstrate magical abilities. She experiences her hands glowing with purple light and can understand the squeaks of her pets.
Ma Mère is not surprised and reveals a long-hidden history of the family’s secret power and magic. Starla’s powers have been passed down by generations and were awakened by the shift in power when Hel, an ancient evil being, escaped containment.
Hel and those under its power are determined to gain possession and control over the citizens of East Pine. Starla and her friends vowed that wouldn’t happen. To do this Starla will need to trust herself and find the courage to harness her ancestral power she was born to wield.
The premise of this book was interesting to me. Fall is my favorite time to read books about magic and this one had been engaged from start to finish. The writing is good, I didn’t expect there to be as much horror in it as there was, yet I felt the horror was warranted and added to the depth of the story. The characters are well developed, and I found the villain character to be both entertaining and scary. I rooted for Starla the whole time because I wanted good to overpower evil.
The illustrations are creepy and do an excellent job of setting the tone of the book. They are deliberate with a lot of attention to detail, and full of life. They truly brought this book to life.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It wasn’t what I was expecting and that was a pleasant surprise! I look forward to reading more form this author and would love to see Starla become a series.
Overall Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Terrilynn Moore is a retired police officer who now lives as an artist and storyteller. She expresses her passion through her words and art. The book, Starla, was largely written but not completed until after she reconnected with Quade B Smith after a high school reunion. Quade has prior experience as a co-author of a non-fiction book called, The Bark of the Cony.
connect with the author: website