Review of Dominion of the Star by Angelica Clyman

See full issue for 2017 01-30

The Rundown

Dominion of the Star by Angelica Clyman is a well-crafted adventure, which revolves around 17-year old Kayla. This story begins with the young women leaving her isolated home in an effort to understand her hidden past. Each character she encounters in this journey carries secrets – and few are what the outwardly appear to be. Against a one part post-apocalyptic and one part fantasy backdrop, Kayla struggles to understand herself, her own supernatural powers and the darkness of the world she was hidden away from for so long.


Angelica Clyman walks an interesting line in her world-building here. Though the plot carries a great deal of biblical leanings, she weaves in an expanded mythos that prevents the tale from becoming preachy. Her reimagining of creatures such as the Nephilim are unique and engaging, while she veers away from prototypical Messiah or Devil roles. As a result, viewers of any religious or non-religious background are welcomed into the story.


Refreshingly, nothing is black and white in the Dominion of the Star. Perpetuating this sense, the ‘bad guy’ presented is complex and enthralling. Meanwhile, none of Kayla’s companions in this text are without fault. This depth of character makes each player relatable and dynamic. Readers easily find themselves invested in what will happen to these individuals.


Though the page-turning quality and well-described imagery in the book are obvious positives, they are hampered on rare occasions. At times, the images become almost too flowery to be clear. At others, the desire to find out what happens next is stifled by overly drawn-out scenes. However, these do not slow the overall momentum of the novel.


To her credit, Angelica Clyman navigates the plot relying heavily on readers understanding of psychological distress quite well. Granting her audience clear windows into these struggles, each character’s mistakes and hurdles are better understood. Among these complex issues is the primary love story woven throughout the piece. Though dark in nature, it is well incorporated without overtaking the book.


In her first novel, Angelica Clyman produced strong work with Dominion of the Star. It presents an interesting and dynamic story, without tending toward pretention. The characters are believable in their humanity as well as their otherworldly selves. Readers seeking adventure will find it here – and look forward to the next chapter in this tale.

The Recommendation

Dominion of the Star is an engaging journey through an intricate world. Readers who like symbolism or mythology in their novels will enjoy this work. Additionally, those in search of complex motivations and unlikely characters will find this a fascinating read.

The Rating Reviewer Rating: 4.5 Stars

4.5 Stars (out of 5): Highly recommended. This book is a great read. It can hold its own against any traditionally published novel in its genre, and surpasses many.

The Pros & Cons

Pros: Characterization, Page Turner, Strong World-Building
Cons: Slow in Places

The Links

More about Dominion of the Star on UBR

The Reviewer

Erin Huestis

Visit Erin Huestis‘s website.

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