A Wilderness of Stars: Review

About the Book:

Title: A Wilderness of Stars 

Author: Shea Ernshaw 

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Release Date: November 29, 2022

Pages: 320

Genre: YA Fantasy, YA Romance, YA Dystopian


In this magical romance from the New York Times bestselling author of The Wicked Deep, a mysterious illness cursing the land forces a teen girl astronomer to venture across the wilderness in search of the stars’ message that will, hopefully, save them all.

If magic lives anywhere, it’s in the stars…

Vega has lived in the valley her whole life—forbidden by her mother to leave the safety of its borders because of the unknown threats waiting for her in the wilds beyond. But after her mother dies, Vega begins to see stars falling from the sky. It’s an omen she can no longer ignore, forcing her to leave the protective boundaries of the valley. But the outside world turns out to be much more terrifying than Vega could have imagined. People are gravely sick—they lose their eyesight and their hearing, just before they lose their lives.

What Vega keeps to herself is that she is the Last Astronomer—a title carried from generation to generation—and she is the only one who carries the knowledge of the stars. Knowledge that could hold the key to the cure. And so when locals spot the tattoo on Vega’s neck in the shape of a constellation—the mark of an astronomer—chaos erupts as the threats her mother warned her about become all too real.

Fearing for her life, Vega will be rescued by a girl named Cricket who will lead her to Noah, a boy marked by his own mysterious tattoos. On the run from the men who are hunting her, Vega, Cricket, and Noah will set out across the plains in search of the cure the stars speak of. But as the lines between friend and prisoner begin to blur, Vega must decide whether she will protect the sacred knowledge of an astronomer. Or if she will risk everything to try to save them all.


* I received an arc for review. All thoughts are my own*

A Wilderness of Stars is a compelling read from start to finish. I didn’t know too much about the story going in, but it is definitely a departure from Ernshaw’s previous YA books, and I loved that about it! It was just the escape that I needed.

Vega has never left the shelter of the valley. She has been expressly told by her mother to never leave the safety of it’s borders due to threats that await in the wilds beyond. But after her mother dies, Vega sees twin stars in the sky. She finds she can no longer ignore the omen, and must leave all she has ever known and venture outside the valley and journey to the sea. The outside world turns out to be more horrifying than she could have imagined, as the people beyond are very sick and are losing their lives.

Vega holds onto to a secret. She is the Last Astronomer, a title that has been passed down from generation to generation, and she is the only one with knowledge of the stars. This knowledge could be the key to the cure for all those who are sick. When locals spot a tattoo of a constellation on Vega’s neck, the mark of an astronomer, she finds herself in danger as all that her mother warned her about has become reality.

Fearing for her life, she meets Cricket and Noah on her travels, who vow to help her on her mission to get to the sea. Vega must decide if she will protect the sacred knowledge of the stars she possesses, or if she will risk everything to save them all.

An enticing and atmospheric tale, I found myself enjoying following Vega’s journey and learning things about the world as she did. I loved trying to guess what was going to happen next, and I loved the twists and turns along the way. I felt like the story would have worked well without the romance, but I definitely enjoyed it. I’m always a sucker for love! I highly recommend this one, I loved it, and I hope that you’ll preorder it. It’s releasing in November 2022.

About the Author:

Shea Ernshaw is the #1 New York Times, USA Today, and Indie Bestselling author of the YA books: THE WICKED DEEP, WINTERWOOD, A WILDERNESS OF STARS, and LONG LIVE THE PUMPKIN QUEEN. Her debut adult fiction novel, A HISTORY OF WILD PLACES, was an Indie Next Pick and a Book of the Month selection. She is also the winner of the Oregon Book Award.
She often writes late, late, late into the night, enjoys dark woods, scary stories and moonlight on lakes.

6 thoughts on “A Wilderness of Stars: Review

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