Starling (Starling Saga Series #1)

Starling (Starling Saga Series #1)

4.3 8
by Lesley Livingston

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Mason Starling is a champion fencer on the Gosforth Academy team, but she's never had to fight for her life. Not until the night a ferocious, otherworldly storm rips through Manhattan, trapping Mason and her teammates inside the school. Mason is besieged by nightmarish creatures more terrifying than the thunder and lightning as the raging tempest also brings a

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Mason Starling is a champion fencer on the Gosforth Academy team, but she's never had to fight for her life. Not until the night a ferocious, otherworldly storm rips through Manhattan, trapping Mason and her teammates inside the school. Mason is besieged by nightmarish creatures more terrifying than the thunder and lightning as the raging tempest also brings a dangerous stranger into her life: a young man who remembers nothing but his name—the Fennrys Wolf. His arrival tears Mason's world apart, even as she feels an undeniable connection to him. Together, they seek to unravel the secrets of Fenn's identity as strange and supernatural forces gather around them. When they discover Mason's family—with its dark allegiance to ancient Norse gods—is at the heart of the mystery, Fennrys and Mason are suddenly faced with a terrifying future.

Set against the gritty, shadowed back-drop of New York City, this first novel in award-winning author Lesley Livingston's epic Starling Saga is an intoxicating blend of sweeping romance and pulse-pounding action.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Star athlete Mason Starling is practicing with her fencing team at an exclusive high school in Manhattan when a freak storm topples a tree right into the athletic center. The team is startled when unearthly creatures begin to attack them. Just in time, a naked stranger arrives, wielding a sword and saving them all. His name is the Fennrys Wolf and he has no idea where he came from or who he is aside from his unusual name, but bit by bit his memories come back to him. Despite the objections of her teammates, Mason is drawn into a relationship with Fenn. Through their romance, she discovers her connection to ancient mythology (most specifically her family's allegiance to Norse gods of which she was unaware) and Fenn's ties to the Otherworld and his ability to travel between death and life. Mason feels herself becoming more and more attached to the mysterious guy. As an ancient prophecy begins to come true, she is alienated from her friends and former crush, Cal, but finds an unexpected ally in Cal's ex-girlfriend. Fast paced and full of action, this series opener will appeal to teens who are fascinated with mythology and need a story with a lot of action to hold their attention.—Kathy Kirchoefer, Henderson County Public Library, NC
Publishers Weekly
The Fennrys Wolf (last seen in Livingston’s Tempestuous) is bigger and badder than Red Riding Hood ever imagined, and he’s just landed in Manhattan—tumbling naked through a stained-glass skylight, sword in hand. Few recognize him as the harbinger of Ragnarok, the end of the world, but many of those in the know are connected with Gosforth Academy, where the privileged, beautiful scions of the super-rich are expensively educated. Fennrys saves the fencing team from an inhuman onslaught with the timely assistance of Mason Starling, the team’s Olympic hopeful. Each goes away from the encounter feeling a strange connection with the other, but Fennrys doesn’t know who or what he is, and Mason discovers that she doesn’t know herself much better. Livingston chooses action over introspection in this series launch, and lays out the plot in short scenes from various points of view that are kaleidoscopic without drawing readers too far into any one character. Like a stylish TV pilot, there are special effects and eye candy galore, making for a quick, pulse-pounding read. Ages 13–up. Agent: Jessica Regal, Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. (Sept.)
ALA Booklist
Praise for Tempestuous:“Livingston’s artistry at creating imaginary worlds that exist side by side with contemporary New York remains of the first two entries will gulp this one down with gusto.”
Claudia Gray
“I’d recommend anything by Lesley Livingston.”
Julie Kagawa
“Thrilling and intense; pulls you along like the inevitable rush toward Ragnarok.”
Children's Literature - Mary Thompson
Dedication to the fine art of fencing takes on a whole new meaning for Mason Starling during a team practice in the gym of the elite Gosford Academy. A severe thunderstorm erupts in the quad causing an ancient tree to crash through the ceiling ushering in a horde of unearthly zombie-like creatures. Mason and her teammates owe their survival to a mysterious, extremely handsome, and naked guy who materializes out of the rubble to battle the demons. Their rescuer who remembers nothing but his own name, Fennrys, heals the injured, magics them all to sleep and then vanishes. Mason finds herself inexplicably drawn to Fennrys and he to her. Soon they are spending as much time together as possible in order to make sense of the strange events occurring around them and to retrieve Fenn's lost memories. The Starling clan headed by Gunnar Starling has ties to the ancient Norse Gods. The family's greed and ambition release a dark and deadly dangerous prophecy that puts Mason's life in jeopardy. Mason and Fenn are a great paranormal team—equal parts romance and action. There is a fair amount of foundation building with a cliffhanger ending. The youngest of Mason's three brothers, Rory, is an easy-to-hate villain paired nicely with the charming and protective oldest brother, Roth. There is no shortage of sword fighting, with new and ancient weaponry, and a truly hair-raising train ride. This fantasy debut is perfect for fans of Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini.
VOYA - Cynthia Winfield
Mason Starling, high school junior, is the protagonist in a novel doubtless to be the first in a series. Her story opens at the end of fencing practice one fateful evening at the super-elite Gosforth Academy, just before a horrendous storm unleashes unbelievable creatures—draugr—upon the students and coach now trapped in the brand new athletic facility. When Fennrys Wolf, a monster-slaying fighter, is dropped, naked, into the building he leaps to the rescue and saves everyone, including the once-beautiful Calum Aristarchos, now disfigured by the battle. Although Fennrys leaves before the students awake, Mason cannot stop thinking of him. As the story unfolds, Norse mythology and folklore figure prominently, while gods and goddesses from otherworld mythologies populate the sidelines and realms beyond this world loom large. Mason's father has waited a lifetime for the coming of Ragnarok, the Norse epic battle destined to destroy current civilization to make way for a new order. So fixated is he that he would trade the souls of his children to hasten the coming apocalypse. The novel ends at a critical point, leaving multiple unanswered questions and unfulfilled prophecies, practically ensuring a sequel and, likely, a series. Livingston's intense novel will be popular with readers across genres; its incorporation of romance, mystery, intrigue, and magic, as well as the strength of the main characters, will appeal to an audience beyond those dedicated to fantasy fiction. High school and public librarians will want to include multiple copies to satisfy eager readers. Reviewer: Cynthia Winfield
Kirkus Reviews
A less-than-impressive addition to the plethora of mythology-based YA romances. On a dark and stormy night, Mason Starling and her posh, Gosforth Academy fencing mates are saved from an attack of malicious mythological creatures by a handsome, disoriented stranger who only remembers his name: the Fennrys Wolf. Predictably, Fenn and Mason's instant chemistry leads to a romance, which is lackluster at best. Their travels around New York City are recorded in meticulous detail that makes the novel feel more like a map than a story, as they attempt to solve the mystery behind the attack and unravel Fenn's past. Meanwhile, Mason's father and brothers are dedicated to the service of the Norse gods and hellbent on bringing about Ragnarok (the Norse destruction and rebirth of the world), and they plot to place Mason in harm's way in hopes of goading Fenn into fulfilling a prophecy. Though Mason, unlike many of her counterparts, does get to fight, she is, disappointingly, still very much a damsel in distress. And while Livingston's melding of mythologies and the faerie world with ours is interesting, characters with little dimensionality and questionable motives, along with a frustratingly choppy pace and dull romance, leave much to be desired. The cliffhanger ending may convince insatiable paranormal-romance readers to give the next book in this series a try. (Paranormal romance. 13 & up)

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Starling Saga Series , #1
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Sales rank:
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years


What People are saying about this

Julie Kagawa

“Thrilling and intense; pulls you along like the inevitable rush toward Ragnarok.”

Claudia Gray

“I’d recommend anything by Lesley Livingston.”

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