Monday, June 25, 2012

Ethos: Morning Star - An Unordinary Book Review

There's a reason I don't read much fiction anymore. When I start a good book, I simply can't put it down. It consumes me until the last page. My husband thinks I'm distant, my 3 kids clamor for my attention and my house ends up in disarray.

That is precisely what happened when I read Ethos: Morning Star by Desiree Finkbeiner. The author's voice is unique, compelling and the story gripping. It is the first of a series of three, written in the first-person voice of a college student named Brianna. Huge, beautiful dragonflies appear setting off a series of events that change her life forever, including the appearance of a handsome stranger.

It's got romance, adventure, and plenty of supernatural drama, but what makes this book stand out is its message, which is gracefully delivered by Finkbeiner. Essentially, it is about choice. To take action or remain complacent in a world that needs every person to stand up and do their part. It's about being responsible for the effect of our actions (or inaction).

My children are a bit too young for this material, it's PG-13 and they're 2, 5 and 7, so I got to curl up with this one on my own. When they are old enough, it will definitely be on their reading list. This book and its message matter. It teaches without preaching in a way that teens and young adults (and even older ones) can appreciate. They may not even realize how profound the message is for some time.

When I finished this book I had the same feeling as when I finished Clan of the Cave Bear nearly 20 years ago. That book had the most impact on my life, my outlook and my spirituality than any other piece of literature ever. Ethos has a similar potential to impact a person's life, helping them to take responsibility for the choices they choose to make. That sounds redundant, I know, but it isn't really. It isn't redundant because in my experience, most people aren't conscious that every single action is a choice. We say, "He made me," or "I had to," but the truth is, "I chose to."

It's a very important lesson I'm trying to teach my children. There's a space between action/event and reaction/non-action. That space equals our human gift of conscious choice. So, when one of my kids hits the other and tells me their sibling "made" them do it because they grabbed a toy or pushed them, I have to gently, and age appropriately, explain "choice."  Those behaviors of my children don't "make" me yell at them, but sometimes I "choose" to, simply because I haven't exercised my patience-muscle enough to make a better choice.

The reason the "choice lesson" comes through so naturally in this book is likely because of the wonderful character development. The reader quickly comes to care about the two main characters and I found myself drawn into their emotions very easily. I was invested in them.

I loved this book and I'm grateful to Desiree for contacting me for a review. If she hadn't, I probably would have missed out on this new favorite of mine simply because it's listed as Sci-fi - not the genre I typically lean toward. I honestly can't wait to read the next installment!!

Do yourself a favor and read the first book of Ethos, Morning Star. You won't regret it. Then come back and tell me what you thought.

Available for Kindle for just $2.99 and in print for $14.99 (nothing beats a paperback, in my opinion)!

You can learn more about Desiree Finkbeiner and her books through these links:

Author website:

Author Blog on Blogger:

Author facebook fanpage:
Author G+:
Author twitter:
Action Adventure Fantasy Book Trailer #1:
Paranormal Romance Fantasy Book Trailer #2:


  1. I love it when a reader catches the message of a story and then lets others know the importance! Nice review!

    1. I appreciate your comment, Dianne. Anyone can tell potential readers what a book is about. I like to take a step further. Thanks so much for visiting my blog!

  2. This was such a good book. I think you did a great job of capturing my own feelings about it--you're exactly right in the discussion of choice.

  3. Thanks, Gwen! I appreciate your visit and I'm always open to doing more reviews. :)

  4. This book sounds really interesting; I love a good book with a good story! Do you think it's okay for a 10 year old to read and understand?
    I know you said it's PG 13, but I was just wondering what you thought...?
    I'll definitely check this book out, thanks :-)

  5. Hi Raquel,
    Depends on the child, I think. Ages 12+ is probably better, I think. You're going to get a whole lot of questions from a 10-year-old, because they aren't really to the point of understanding the complex emotions that the characters go through both because of how they feel about each other and what's happening in their worlds.
    I suggest you read it and then decide whether your child should. You know your 10-year-old best!


Go on, tell me what you think!