Title: Justice Buried
Author: Hilary Thompson
Series: Starbright #1
Publication Date: January 2014
Isn't this cover just gorgeous? I won't lie. I totally chose to read this one because of the cover. I couldn't help myself. Thankfully reading this one did not end up being a mistake. The story contained within is truly worthy of this beautiful artwork.
Imagine yourself in a future world where everything is dictated by what astrological sign you are born under. Your vocation, the colors you are allowed to wear, who you will eventually partner with, it is all decided by what your zodiac sign is.
Now imagine yourself in a city that is underground. No one alive and living in the city has ever seen the sky, the moon, or the sun. They have only experienced life living in a city that exists in a cave. History tells you that at least two other cities have existed outside and above ground, but no one alive knows if they are still there - as your city was created to save humans from dying for a horrible sickness.
This is the world Astrea has grown up in. However, she has even fewer choices than normal girls her age. Astrea is part of a prophecy. Her birth, and the birth Lexan the boy she is told she must partner with when they are old enough, was a sign that it will soon be time for the citizens of Asphodel to come out from their cave city and explore the world above. To top it off, Astrea is expected to be the leader of this new world. Astrea really hates not having choices and she really hates that one day she will be partnered with Lexan.
As the day Astrea and Lexan are to officially "choose" each other as partners for life, Astrea's world starts to unravel. She isn't sure who she can trust. She isn't even sure if her own parents are there to help her or not. All she knows is that her life is in danger. Then to top it all off, she meets a boy from the outside world. Can she at least trust him?
This world was brilliantly crafted. I had absolutely no trouble imagining it as I read along. I thought the Zodiac idea was excellently executed and very creative of Hilary Thompson. She did really well showing the personality traits of the signs into their owners. Astrea definitely felt like an Aries.
Like many YA books, there is a love triangle. I thought it was done well. I must say though that at this time I still do not trust either boy. I like Astrea as the head strong female she is and I hope her character never fully develops into one that constantly needs a boy to help her.
One of the things that irked me the most about Justice Buried was that I felt Astrea went a little backwards in her development. She is a very head strong, dependent female. She ended up losing herself a bit at one point. This would be fine if she found herself again, but I don't feel that she ever really did. I hope this problem is rectified in the sequel.
This book was very engrossing. I enjoyed the world immensely. I definitely recommend people pick this one up.
4 out of 5 stars
This review is based on an eARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.