K.M. Alexander’s The Stars Were Right is a story about people getting murdered and other people trying to figure out why.
After three weeks on trail, caravan master Waldo Bell returns to the fantasy city of Lovat. With nothing on his mind but a shower and dinner, he collects his payment and sets out to do his errands. However, a grisly spree of murders begins the same day and Waldo finds himself a prime suspect.
As Waldo fights to end the string of murders and prove his own innocence, he discovers threats larger and more terrifying than he could have ever imagined. With the world out to get him and the odds constantly out of his favor, Waldo works ceaselessly to right the world that has gone all wrong.
I really enjoyed this book. Alexander paints a beautiful world for his readers and delivers a story that is utterly gripping. Do you want to know my favorite part about it? The story just oozes H.P. Lovecraft. “Oozes” is the wrong word, but Lovecraft is definitely in there.
The story is expertly crafted. The plot is well paced, the characters are believable, the world is fantastic and all of these aspects meld together for a seamless result.
“Seamless” is also how I would best describe myself fitting into this story. It’s a fantasy with a variety of non-human creatures in a fantastic make-believe city and yet I was never confused by who or what or where. The who or what or where never felt forced though. Alexander introduces and explains his world so subtly that by the time the detail matters, it’s already been ingrained in the reader’s mind. I read the book feeling as if I’d also grown up in Lovat, and Waldo was simply reminding me about the things I may have forgotten.
My only real complaint is that I didn’t feel like there was much growth in Waldo. It felt like he had an exciting adventure with nothing but a few dead people to show for it.
Warning: So much food. This book discusses delicious food more than some of my cookbooks do. I sat there drooling half the time I was reading, and I would strongly recommend putting a plastic cover over your tablet or laminating your books to keep them dry.
I’ll credit Alexander’s work with a 7/10. It was a fun and immersive read that I can most definitely recommend. Now excuse me, I need to go find something to eat.
Reviewed by Bryce Grant