Mythology Mix: A Review of STARLING by Lesley Livingston

Starling (Starling, #1) 
Lesley Livington
341 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: August 28th, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating:  LIKED

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.

A combination of various mythology and action on every other page STARLING was one hell of a read, though it failed to meet my sky-high expectations.

When the night zombie-like creatures attack Gosforth Academy, champion fencer Mason Starling world turns-upside down. Enter the mysterious and young stranger, the Fennrys Wolf, a man who knows nothing about himself apart from his name.

As you all know I’m a sucker for books with mythology, and though STARLING wasn’t as awesome as I anticipated, it was still pretty good. It contained a truck-load of mythology, and not only was it Norse mythology, STARLING was a mixture of Norse, Egyptian, and a sprinkle of other myths. The author sure did her research.

One of the things I disliked about STARLING is that there are more descriptions, action, and thinking than dialogue. Don’t get me wrong, I love action and Lesley Livington’s descriptions were great, but I love dialogue more than anything else. Dialogue is what brings a book to life.

I loved Roth, Rafe, and the Fennyrs Wolf – all of them were amazing characters. They made me smile during unexpected parts and had me shaking my head as they went through the book. Mason was a strong female heroine, but there was something about her that didn’t let me connect with her. I can’t place a finger on exactly what, though.

STARLING is told in third-person past tense, so we got to see the story from multiple point of views, which meant I was practically begging the characters to find stuff that the bad team already knew about.

STARLING was still a pretty good read, even with its lack of dialogue and un-connectable main character. There was a lot of action and I loved the plot. Although the ending was a cliff-hanger I’m not exactly dying to read the second book. STARLING could’ve been improved big time, and I hate that it fell low.

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Asma is a cat-loving co-blogger at IceyBooks. She's a 15 year old homeschooler who spends her time blogging (obviously), reading, and whatever else strikes her fancy. She's also a part time pirate and assassin.

August 16, 2013



  1. Reply

    Mary @ BookSwarm

    August 17, 2013

    I think I’m liking that this was told in 3rd person past tense more than the story itself! No, not really but those books are so rare these days. The plot sounds quite intriguing but I’ll probably wait for the next book as there’s a cliffie (and I have so little patience with those these days!).

  2. Reply

    Joy (Joyousreads)

    August 18, 2013

    Ah yes, I tend to get bored with long narratives as well. I don’t think this book will do it for me either.

    Lovely review!

  3. Reply

    Christa @ More Than Just Magic

    August 19, 2013

    I enjoyed this one but like you it didn’t quite meet my expectations. I found that it took a long time for the real story to get started but the ending was so intense that I am looking forward to book 2

  4. Reply

    A Canadian Girl

    August 19, 2013

    I haven’t read this one but I loved the Fennrys Wolf in Livingston’s Wondrous Strange trilogy and look forward to seeing him again in this one. It’s too bad that this one didn’t have as much dialogue as you wanted, Asma, but I liked that there’s a mixture of mythology – I’m a big fan of myths – that you found was well-researched.

  5. Reply


    August 20, 2013

    Yeah, I feel the exact same about dialogue, so that’s too bad that this one was found lacking in that area. I really love that there is a mix of different mythologies though!