Set against the backdrop of intergalactic politics and war, Dawn Among the Stars follows the stories of three Humans as they struggle to understand the universe on a cosmic scale.
Kayin has a rough start when the Shielders, a potential alien ally for Earth, come out of hiding and into the public consciousness. Not only does their very existence cause her trouble, her panic attacks threaten to derail her everyday life. Can she overcome her mental health issues or will she be swallowed up in a political mess?
As for Henry Rickner, he wishes he could take back all of his mistakes in life, starting with his choice to leave Kayin. Yet he finds himself within the chaos of war as he tries to reunite with those he holds dear.
Melissa Pebbles only has one goal: to keep her family safe during the attack. She will do anything to make sure she and her family make it through whatever challenges are thrown their way. While Melissa fights to keep her family alive, she learns that family is more than just blood.
Can these three work with the Shielders to save Earth or will they lose the only home they’ve ever known?

The Review

Dawn Among the Stars by Samantha Heuwagen

Published on May 21, 2018 by Trifecta Publishing House

Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian

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Dawn Among the Stars focuses a lot on relationships in this dystopic story of an alien invasion on Earth. We follow the paths of three humans as they deal with the devastation  the invasion had brought on the planet.

Whenever I read fantasy or science fiction, the story-line tends to focus on an individual and their coming of age story, but rarely do these books focus deeply on relationships between families, friends, or even with other worldly beings. Because of this, Heuwagen’s book stood out for me. It was interesting to read of how differently people handled the invasion on their planet; in fact, I would say, the book is also a portrayal of immigration and dysphoria. Dawn Among the Stars moves at a pace that allows readers a chance to understand how the world has changed and from different perspective. We meet a variety of people and aliens, and are shown how the initial appearance of the Shielders on Earth had changed their lives.

Since I don’t read much science fiction, it was a bit hard for me to judge the book. While Dawn Among the Stars felt a bit lacking in its world-building, I thought the book was a perfect fit for someone new to the genre. There wasn’t any information overload, in fact, the characters felt very ordinary and relatable. I’m glad Heuwagen allowed for a positive portrayal of mentally ill characters; I say this because I don’t often come across books that deal with mental health, especially those set in a fantasy world. The Shielders are a peaceful race of aliens who tried to save the Earth from the invasion but unfortunately failed. Interestingly, we meet a few Shielders who have been greatly impacted by guilt, and one who suffers from PTSD. So it feels almost an affirmation to have this positive portrayal; to show that a mental illness does not make us inadequate during moments of crises. Dawn Among the Stars is an exploration of human emotions and actions that make this book a comforting read. The characters are genuine and significant in their ordinariness.

I’d like to thank the author, Samantha Heuwagen, for sending me a review copy of her book. However, this has not influenced my opinion in any way.

Book Review

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  1. CG @ Paper Fury says:

    Ooh this does intrigue me a lot! I mean the lack of world building…eh, that’s disappointing. 😭😂But I LOVE it when scifi or fantasy focuses on characters and emotions and also depicts mental health in leading rolls. It shouldn’t be so rare but it kind of is right?! Anyway, I’ll keep an eye out for this one!


  2. Adri @ Little Fox & Reads says:

    Ever since I fell in love with the tv show Expanse, I’ve been looking for more political sci-fi books. This
    fits perfectly! I love character and r/ship focused stories and I’m glad to hear there’s discussion of mental illness. Adding to my TBR 😀


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