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Starlette Paperback – July 3, 2012
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Whether or not you agree with this goal (and I'm not sure even the author does), you will find yourself rooting for Starlette and her cast, including Girl Next Door, Wacky Best Friend, and Heartthrob among other clichéd Hollywood characters. How best to categorize this humorous yet action-packed tale? I would call it part thriller, part comic book, part satire, and part melodrama, but that still doesn't cover it. This book was first released in installments, so each chapter reads like a novella. A good, long book for your money, totally unique, compelling yet entertaining. I laughed out loud between the brutal (but fun!) hand-to-hand combat scenes. I emphatically recommend "Starlette" if you're in the mood for something different, satirical, action-packed, and uniquely entertaining.
A psychotic villain orchestrates the destruction of the entire entertainment industry in one horrific night; completely annihilating the most beloved faces of the big screen. The few that survive the bloody night are determined to try to rebuild and reclaim the main stage. Andrews' calculated set up of every "scene" captures the reader in this suspenseful page-turner. I enjoyed the unexpected, witty, and carefully crafted way each Chapter seduced me into the next.
Andrews had no problem building up likable characters then making them disappear in the blink of an eye leaving me crushed yet intrigued. For me, I think the most enjoyable aspect of Starlette was the comedic depiction of Hollywood from its swanky entertainers to the political mockery of the industry. I always appreciate the inclusion of a little humor in an action-packed thriller.
Andrews has a brilliant way of reeling the reader into the plot and creating characters that you can't help but love or hate...or even both. There was never a predictable moment in the entire novel; keeping me on the edge of my reading chair until the finale. I can't recommend this book enough for its unexpected originality...a completely entertaining read.
The novel starts off with a seeming joyous occasion... a large award show honoring the Hollywood stars. Everyone loves a good award show, right? Without giving away the plot, the evening ends much differently than expected. The story that follows is a creative (if somewhat satirical) take on the studio system, the industry professionals that make up the bulk of a production, and the stars themselves. It reminded me in many ways of a well crafted graphic novel. The author explains that Starlette began it's life as a Serial Novel, and that makes total sense. Each chapter was an episode, and like any good TV show, you wanted to come back for the next. I would have loved to see a bit more of certain characters that were mentioned in passing... or other aspects of this world that Andrews has created but only briefly touched upon, however at 600 pages it is quite a long novel as is. I suppose I will have to wait and see if he plans to release a follow-up. I hope he chooses to do so.
Kyle Andrews has certainly created an interesting concept, and one that I believe could sustain a series of novels if he so chooses. Action, intrigue, and satirical humor... two thumbs up.