‘It Takes Death to Reach a Star’ Is An Unforgettable Sci-Fi Epic Which Explores Man’s Darkest Fears [REVIEW]

Stu Jones and Gareth Worthington's IT TAKES DEATH TO REACH A STAR

It’s 2251 and the human race is facing extinction. Now it is up to two people from vastly different aspects of society to join forces and save the world in Stu Jones and Gareth Worthington’s It Takes Death to Reach A Star. (Illustration courtesy Vesuvian Books)

The future looks bleak. Mankind has forced itself into a corner and it seems like there is no way out. Between a third world war, incessant fighting over the planet’s resources and a viral outbreak that knows no bounds, humanity has nearly been annihilated. But not everyone has succumbed to death just yet. Two people from disparate factions of society may be able to ensure our ultimate survival if they can only learn to trust one another. Will they succeed? Find out in Stu Jones and Gareth Worthington’s addictive new sci-fi thriller, It Takes Death to Reach a Star.  

Stu Jones and Gareth Worthington's IT TAKES DEATH TO REACH A STAR

Vesuvian Books

Only five short years after World War III, all but one of mankind’s cities have been destroyed—Etyom—a frightening refuge built on the frozen Siberian tundra, where what remains of society has been divided into multiple factions and conflict never ends.

The Robusts dwell in the dark streets of Lower Etyom. Here, descendents of poor survivors of the New Black Death struggle to survive as each new day brings fresh chances for them to die in horrifying ways.

Meanwhile, high overhead, the Graciles, the progeny of the superrich who were bioengineered to resist the plague, reside in a shining platform city that keeps them elevated above the very ones they are taught to despise.

Mila Solokoff is a Robust who risks her life on a daily basis to trade the only thing she can: information. But the wrong kind of knowledge can get a person killed, especially when she is forced to take a dangerous job she doesn’t want and finds herself involved with an organization bent on revolution.

Demitri Stasevich is a brilliant Gracile scientist on the fast track to greatness. Yet even his world high above the Robusts could be in peril if his secret is ever discovered, for he has an illness that could get him Ax’d, unless he can obtain an illegal narcotic produced by the Robusts themselves. But to do so, he has to descend into Lower Etyom, a journey he will risk all to take.

When Mila and Demitri are suddenly caught in the midst of a sinister plot that threatens life both above and below the cloud line, they each have a choice to make. They can salvage what’s left of mankind or doom it to extinction.

With It Takes Death to Reach a Star, authors Stu Jones and Gareth Worthington have raised the bar on both sci-fi and post-apocalyptic dystopian fiction. In fact, this new series has the potential to render popular franchises like the Hunger Games, the Maze Runner, and Divergent as mere forerunners in the genre. When readers meet Mila and Demitri, they’ll quickly marvel at how they outshine characters like Katniss Everdeen and Tobias Eaton. Although they share some similarities, both Mila and Demitri’s stories are more fleshed out, each of them have more at risk, and both find a way to harness the greatness that lays dormant within them.

In addition to creating great characters, Jones and Worthington also deliver a dark but tangible setting that is as vivid as it is terrifying. Etyom is carefully drawn, and despite its futuristic timeline, readers are swept into this fractured city with its towering lillipads above and the Robust’s squalid tenements below. And let’s not forget the Vapid, where the deadliest men reside, outside the walls of society, hungry for blood.

This is not just a story, however, about how the heroes of the tale escape with their lives, or how they fight to bring mankind back from the brink against which it precariously teeters. No, in many ways this is also a parable that forces us to take a long hard look at what it means to be human, makes us examine our biases, and just how far we are willing to go to maintain our place in a global caste system built on our fears and prejudices. It Takes Death to Reach a Star is a novel for our time, when these questions are being asked more than ever. As such, it will linger with readers long after the last page is turned and leaves all of us begging for more and eager to read the next installment. If you love futuristic stories you can sink your teeth into, you can’t go wrong with this brilliant book.


Stu Jones

Stu Jones

Stu Jones is the author of the post-apocalyptic Action of Purpose trilogy, which includes: Through the Fury to the DawnInto the Dark of the Day, and Against the Fading of the LightHe developed his passion for writing during college as he pursued a bachelor’s degree in history.

Since that time, Stu served full time as a law enforcement officer for 12 years, worked as an investigator, taught SWAT close quarters and defensive tactics, and was 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.

Stu currently lives in Alabama with his wife, two children, and a golden-doodle named Gunny who thinks he’s human. Visit Stu’s home on the Web at StuJonesFiction.com, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Gareth Worthington

Gareth Worthington

Gareth Worthington BSc PhD is the author of Children of the Fifth Son, which won the science fiction category at the London Book Festival 2017.  Both his debut novel, and his current title, It Takes Death to Reach a Star, have been optioned for television/film.

A trained marine biologist with a doctorate in comparative endocrinology, Gareth currently works in the pharmaceutical industry educating the world’s doctors about new cancer therapies.

When he isn’t writing fiction, his passions include martial arts (he trained in Muay Thai at the prestigious EVOLVE MMA gym in Singapore), and studying ancient history.

Born in England, Gareth currently resides in Switzerland. Visit his home on the Web at GarethWorthington.com, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

By Stu Jones and Gareth Worthington
324 pgs. Vesuvian Books. $17.99

Purchase It Takes Death to Reach A Star at one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and IndieBound.

It Takes Death to Reach A Star is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

6 Responses to ‘It Takes Death to Reach a Star’ Is An Unforgettable Sci-Fi Epic Which Explores Man’s Darkest Fears [REVIEW]

  1. Pingback: ‘It Takes Death to Reach A Star’ Nominated for Dragon Award | Jathan & Heather

  2. Pingback: It Takes Death to Reach a Star by Stu Jones and Gareth Worthington - #TLCBookTours Review • Bewitched Bookworms

  3. Thanks for being a part of the tour!

  4. Pingback: Stu Jones and Gareth Worthington, authors of It Takes Death to Reach a Star, on tour May/June 2018 | TLC Book Tours

  5. Gareth Worthington says:

    Wow thank you for such an awesome review. It means the world when a reader really get a what we had set out to achieve …

  6. Thank you so much for your review!

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