All the Stars on Fire
by Beck Medina
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: December 20th 2019
Natalia Morales has a secret…she’s kind of a superhero. Natalia dreams of joining the Action Team, the newly banded and young heroes that protect Angel City, and just may stop at anything to make it happen.
Alyse Morales knows her sister’s secret, and wants Natalia to give up on her dangerous dream. When Alyse gets hurt one night while Natalia is crime fighting, Natalia promises to end her run as a hero. But when the Sorceress appears in Angel City, and Captain Force, the leader of the Action Team, enlists in Natalia’s help, she may have to break her promise in order to protect her family and friends.
Will Alyse ever forgive her? Is Natalia actually capable of saving the day? All the Stars on Fire is the story of following your dreams, what it truly takes to be a hero, and leaping into the unknown.
Damnit, I overslept. I wake up to the sun hitting my face and a text from my best friend Boston asking where I’m at. Boston’s going out of town for two weeks to celebrate his birthday with his dad and sister, and I was supposed to meet him in his treehouse to give him his present and say goodbye.
“Be there in ten,” I write back.
“Knock, knock,” my brother Max says, opening my bedroom door gradually until half his body is in my bedroom. “You got a minute?”
Still half asleep, I close my eyes and let my head fall back on my pillow. “I’ve got ten.”
Max takes a seat on the corner of my bed. I can feel him watching me, and my suspicions are confirmed when I pop one eye open. He laughs.
“Man, you’re a wreck,” he tells me. “What’s keeping you up at night lately?”
I don’t know why, but I’m always so certain that he must know about my moonlighting as Empathy. He has a good intuition about these things. But if he did know, it would be met with so much opposition. Max is too logical. Becoming a hero is considered reckless to him. He didn’t shut up for months about how foolish the Action Team was for working without the city’s consent. He finally came around to liking them as soon as they teamed up with the Angel City Police Department.
So yeah, he’d be pissed that I’m doing this without anybody’s consent.
“What do you want to talk about?” I yawn.
“It’s about the Academy,” Max starts. He adjusts himself so he’s facing me. “Natalia, something really important is about to happen. And I need you to know what it is so that you’re prepared.”
Okay, now I’m awake. I know Max has kept in touch with some of the researchers on Project 451, I think out of hope that the government would give them more funding so they could continue the project. I’ve been dreading the day that Max informs me that we’re going back to basecamp. Please tell me today isn’t the day.
“I’ve been in touch with a few of the scientists, and it looks like–”
“There you two are.”
Max and I turn to Alyse, who’s standing in the doorway with her hands on her hips. She hates it when we “twin up without her,” as she refers to it. She already feels like the outcast since she’s the only Morales sibling that didn’t get accepted into Project 451. She was too young to apply, though. If I could go back in time, I’d gladly switch places with her. While I’m grateful for my abilities, I hated Academy. It was too competitive and strict. Eventually, I got the sense that we weren’t being trained to protect our country, but rather, to control it.
Max sighs, probably upset that our conversation has been interrupted. Despite his disappointment, he gives Alyse a cordial smile. “What’s up, Alyse?”
“Aunt Rosa’s wrangling us for breakfast,” she says, stepping further into my bedroom and plopping herself down on my bed beside Max. “She’s polling everyone on where we want to go. Prima already said, ‘wherever you wanna go is fine, Mom.’”
I laugh as I get out of bed. Alyse is really good at impersonations, I feel like I should be paying her to hear them. She used to do a flawless Mom and Dad, but we don’t do those impressions anymore.
She eyes the magazine on my nightstand and says, “Oh, the new issue of Teen Pulse came in.”
I got a yearly subscription of Teen Pulse for free when I ordered some clothes online a couple of months ago. I should have addressed it to Alyse, though. I’m not even the one who reads those silly things. But she devours gossip magazines the way bookworms read novels.
Max, always the considerate sibling, shifts toward Alyse to loop her into the conversation. “Ten bucks Aunt Rosa will want to take us to that Thai place she loves so much. For the third time this week,” he says, his eyes bulging at the thought of another night of white rice.
“The problem with Simply Thai is that it is simplyThai,” Alyse says, flipping through the advertisements in the beginning of the magazine. Every couple of pages, she’ll pause to open the perfume flap and sniff it. “Plus, it isn’t a breakfast spot at all. I mean, why can’t they have burgers and fries and boba and doughnuts like Top Burger? Now that is a restaurant.”
“Doesn’t that place have a B health rating?” I say.
Max snorts. “That is so bougie of you, Alyse.”
“Conventional is boring and you know it, Max.” Alyse gives Max a big whack on the hip with her foot. “Besides, a B is still passing.”
“Tell that to Aunt Rosa,” Max scoffs.
Alyse rolls her eyes, but she remains mum. Any talk about Aunt Rosa and grades shuts her up real fast. “So what were you guys talking about?” She looks up at us with curious, puppy dog eyes.
“I was just briefing Natalia about the future of Project Four-Fifty-One.” He nudges me and says, “We’ll pick up later, okay?”
Alyse groans. “I never get to be a part of the peace officer talk.”
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About the Author
Beck Medina is a California born and raised author and podcast host. Beck’s work includes 2016’s A Fantastic Mess of Everything, 2017’s Or Best Offer, and her highly anticipated fantasy novel All the Stars on Fire (December 2019).
When Beck isn’t writing, she’s the host of the My Best Life Podcast, a health, wellness, and business podcast for creative entrepreneurs. A few of Beck’s favorite things include pop music, iced coffee, teen dramas, and her two cats, Olivia and Dupree.
I’m curious to see how Beck portrays superheroes in this one because it sounds very different from your typical superhero novel.Are you a fan of superhero books? Let me know in the comments below!
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