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Heather Hildenbrand was born and raised in a small town in northern Virginia where she was homeschooled through high school. (She’s only slightly socially awkward as a result.) She splits her time between coastal Virginia and the island of Guam and loves having a mobile career and outrageous lifestyle of living in two places. Her most frequent hobbies are riding motorcycles and avoiding killer slugs.
Heather is also a publishing and success coach bent on equipping and educating artists who call themselves authors. She loves teaching fellow writers how to create the same freedom-based lifestyle she enjoys. For more information visit www.phoenixauthorink.com and find out how to create your own Outrageous Life.
She is represented by Rebecca Friedman. You can find out more about Heather and her books at www.heatherhildenbrand.com.
A Book Vacation
on Sep. 24, 2011 :
Originally, I thought this book was going to be like I Am Number Four, but it’s not. It’s better. Hildenbrand has created a great novel for all ages, and I was captivated from the very beginning. It is obvious that a lot of time and energy went into creating this novel, and it flows so perfectly that it’s impossible to put down.
I really liked the character of Alina; I highly enjoyed watching her come into herself, finally able to make friends and fully discover her potential as the empress of her galaxy. She is a well-rounded character with a wonderful disposition, and I feel like I’ve made a friend through her. Likewise, Ander is to die for. He is a beautiful character, and the romance between Alina and Ander was fascinating to watch. Though at times I feared the worst for the budding couple, Hildenbrand did right by me in the end, though that’s as much as I’ll say about that…
I really enjoy novels that create separate worlds and galaxies, showing the creativity of the author, and here Hildenbrand has done just that in Across the Galaxy. Her descriptions and explanations are vivid and entrancing; part of me wants to move to Alina’s world and leave my world far behind… all in all, this is a wonderful novel, and I highly recommend it to all readers. Four stars.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on June 01, 2011 :
There’s not that much YA sci-fi novels mainly meant for the female audience, so this was a refreshing find. The story does have a very fantasy feeling to it though, so I wouldn’t say it’s strictly sci-fi.
The story is quite straight forward and doesn’t bring any major surprises, but the book is still very enjoyable and doesn’t really seem as long as it is. When I finished I could have easily continued reading.
I thought the heroine in the book, Alina, was very likable – and a coffee lover. The coffee addict part makes me smile, since seriously – every YA heroine I read about LOVES coffee and NEEDS it to wake up. I think coffee drinking is the most common part writers bring about themselves into their characters. It’s not a bad thing though! If a character hated coffee, I’m not sure how I’d feel about it.
Ander is the main love interest (I don’t think this is too spoilery, since it’s quite obvious very early), and I did think he was nice enough, he did seem incapable of having a real conversation with Alina if it wasn’t at night, when he woke Alina from her sleep. And I got really mad at him at one point, when he keeps quiet about a think I would’ve thought to be quite important to Alina to know. It made him very ‘human’ though, and thus much more believable, so I think it was a good move from the author to make him stay quiet. I wasn’t that understanding about Alina’s understanding though – or why the ones who knew it decided it was more important to keep Ander’s secret than tell Alina. (This will make more sense when you read the book!)
I would have wished more depth on some of the characters and I think we got introduced quite many by name, that wasn’t really needed. One of these was Alina’s human friend, who we got to know quite well in the beginning of the book, but isn’t really mentioned after that.
There was some weaknesses in the plot, but nothing that would have wanted me to toss the book away or scream “that’s stupid!” – just some things that I think was a bit easy way out of the tricky place. Also other thing when Alina had done something earlier, but didn’t do it again in a similar situation and we don’t get explained why it wasn’t something she could do there also.
I love how Hildenbrand manages to create whole new planets and races, and how she makes it all so alive and vivid. I could sense the green coolness of Bardawulf and the scorched dead environment the shadows had left behind them. I loved how we got introduced to a race, that they don’t like outsider, and they act like it instead of being something totally different just because the heroine is there. I love how Gliese is described and I really hope I will get to read a future book about it, to witness it’s glory.
This book is a great read to all YA readers. If you’re not into sci-fi, do not let that scare you! This book has a very fantasy feeling to it and anyone into YA urban fantasy would love it. I suggest you go get yourself a copy right away!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)