Book Review: It Takes Death to Reach a Star

Calling All Sci-Fi fans! This story is not for the faint of heart. So grab your jumpsuit and prepare to launch.


• Paperback: 324 pages
• Publisher: Vesuvian Books (May 22, 2018)

It’s been a while I’ve read a truly SCI-FI story and It Takes Death to Reach a Star was so much fun. It’s non stop action, a kickass female MC and quite the motley cast of characters. It takes place in the not too distant dystopian future. World War 3 and the New Black Death have left the world in ruins and what’s left of humanity is divided into the elite Graciles living far above the earth dwelling Robusts.

This story certainly did not pull its punches and hits the ground running from page one. I absolutely loved the world building and dystopian society. It takes place in what was one Siberia and it was easy enough to see and understand what happened to the many people post WW3. It’s a little crazy how unbelievably haunting parts of this story are. The slums, the lack of a moral governing body, the fear these characters live with is truly palpable. Especially given the state of our world these days. ⠀

In typical dystopian fashion there is violence, drugs, slavery and the like. There is a lot of racism between the different cultures that are left. Some of the derogatory terms used are offensive to minorities but they’re supposed to be in the books political climate. To me it felt a bit unnecessary but the reality is that these terms are a reality for people and that just because it’s offensive doesn’t mean it isn’t real. Consider yourself warned!!
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This book also touches on faith and belief. As someone who constantly struggles with this, I felt like it was not over done and handled so very well. I was left with a lot to think about. I did find myself picking this back up and rereading certain passages. I cannot wait for the second installment. I’m hoping one of my favourite villains gets some page time.  I hope all you sci-fi fans will check this one out! It’s a great summer read!




The epidemic struck at the end of the Third World War. Fighting over oil, power, and religion, governments ignored the rise of an anti-bacterial-resistant plague. In just five years, the Earth was
annihilated. Only one city survived—Etyom—a frozen hell-hole in northern Siberia, still engulfed in conflict.

The year is 2251.

Two groups emerged from the ashes of the old world. Within the walled city of Lower Etyom, dwell the Robusts—descendants of the poor who were immune to The New Black Death. Above them, in a metropolis of pristine platforms called Lillipads, live the Graciles—the progeny of the super-rich; bio-engineered to resist the plague.

Mila Solokoff is a Robust who trades information in a world where knowing too much can get you killed. Caught in a deal-gone-bad, she’s forced to take a high-risk job for a clandestine organization hell-bent on revolution.

Demitri Stasevich is a Gracile with a dark secret—a sickness that, if discovered, will surely get him Ax’d. His only relief is an illegal narcotic produced by the Robusts, and his only means of obtaining it is a journey to the arctic hell far below New Etyom.

Thrust together in the midst of a sinister plot that threatens all life above and below the cloud line, Mila and Demitri must master their demons and make a choice—one that will either salvage what’s left of the human race, or doom it to extinction…

“One-of-a-kind, richly imagined and vividly portrayed. And that action! [The] sense of pacing, especially in the action scenes, is exquisite. Readers are going to love this book.” ~ Jason Kirk, 47North

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About Gareth Worthington

Gareth Worthington BSc PhD is a trained marine biologist and also holds a doctorate in comparative endocrinology. Currently, Gareth works full time for the pharmaceutical industry helping to educate the world’s doctors on new cancer therapies. His debut novel, Children of the Fifth Sun, won in the Science Fiction category at the London Book Festival 2017. He has a number of passions, including: martial arts (he trained in Muay Thai at the prestigious EVOLVE MMA gym in Singapore), studying ancient history, and most of all writing fiction. Born in England, Gareth resides in Switzerland.

Find out more about Gareth at his website, and connect with him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

About Stu Jones

Stu Jones has served full time as a law enforcement officer for twelve years. Over the course of his career he has worked as an investigator, an instructor teaching SWAT close quarters and defensive tactics, and as a member and team leader of a multi-jurisdictional SWAT team. He is also trained and qualified as a law enforcement SWAT sniper, as well as in hostage rescue and high-risk entry tactics. He is an Eagle Scout, a lifelong martial artist, and an avid outdoorsman.

Find out more about Stu at his website, and connect with him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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