Monday, September 7, 2015

Interview & Review: The Shadow Behind the Stars by Rebecca Hahn

Today on WinterHaven Books we have the amazing Rebecca Hahn with us!!  She is stopping by to answer a few of my questions and I am beyond excited!!  
Rebecca   Hahn
1. The Shadows Behind the Stars was so unique. How did you come up with this story?
I’m glad you think so! The story started with an image of a girl standing at the edge of the ocean, the wind blowing through her dark hair. I started to write in her voice, and soon realized that she was not mortal, but a goddess: she was the youngest of the three Greek Fates, who spin the threads of all human life. I liked the idea of writing from the viewpoint of one of the Fates. Often in fairy tales and fairy-tale-inspired novels, the hero visits a witch or a group of witches for help or information. In one sense, the Fates in The Shadow Behind the Stars function in this way. They live on an isolated island and are only visited by a few humans every century or so. Part of my initial interest came from wondering what a story might sound like from that removed perspective: I wanted to explore what these magical beings actually could or couldn’t do to help the hero, and whether they might be wanting to give more help than they are able.

2. Who do you think you are most like Chloe, Serena, or Xinot?
Hmmm, good question. I think I am the least similar to Serena. She’s effortlessly kind and quick to open herself up to other people. I’d like to be like Xinot: enigmatic and somewhat sardonic. But I think I’m probably the most like the youngest Fate, the narrator of the story. Chloe often keeps her thoughts to herself, but has definite opinions on almost everything. She doesn’t grow close to people easily, but once she does she’s fiercely loyal. And she feels a deep connection to the world surrounding her: the sea and stars, the sun and wind.

3. I feel like there was a deeper meaning behind this story, can you tell us what you hope your readers take away from your book?
Ideally, I would hope that my readers take away exactly what they needed when they opened the book, whatever that may be! I honestly believe that every separate reading is a new version of the book. I do hope there are themes that come across in many readings: the validity of negative emotions, for instance, or the strength women have to make their own choices.

4. There a quite a few scenes that really tore at my heart! Which scene was the hardest for you to write?
Ha, I’m afraid I can’t tell you that without major spoilers! I will say that I rewrote the ending of the book several times, and one reason was that for a long time I couldn’t get myself to write a certain scene, or even convince myself that it was really necessary for the story.

5. Are you currently working on anything new? If so can you share any details with us?
I have a few ideas I am playing with. Nothing I’m ready to share yet, I’m afraid!

Thanks for your questions, Crystal! 

Find Rebecca

The Shadow Behind the StarsThe Shadow Behind the Stars by Rebecca Hahn
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Purchase: Amazon
Heed this warning, mortal: stay far away from the three sister Fates. For if they come to love you, they might bring about the end of the world…

Chloe is the youngest. Hers are the fingers that choose the wool, that shape the thread, that begin it. The sun smiles upon her. Men love her without knowing who she is. She has lived forever and will live forever more. She and her sisters have been on their isolated Greek island for centuries, longer than any mortal can remember. They spin, measure, and slice the countless golden threads of human life. They are the three Fates, and they have stayed separate for good reason: it is dangerous for them to become involved with the humans whose lives they shape.

So when a beautiful girl named Aglaia shows up on their doorstep, Chloe tries to make sure her sisters don’t become attached. But in seeking to protect them, Chloe discovers the dark power of Aglaia’s destiny. As her path unwinds, the three Fates find themselves pulled inextricably along—toward mortal pain, and mortal love, and a fate that could unravel the world.
My thoughts:
The Shadow Behind the Stars was for me a very deep read.  I am not sure if this was intentional, but felt like the author was really trying to go deeper than just the story and you know worked for me.

I will say off the bat that this is a book I had to be in the mood to read.  If I had read this a week ago it might not have worked because (and yes I know this is bad) sometimes I just don't want to think too much when I read.  Other times I crave something deeper and this was one of those times.  I really fell into the whole three sisters of fate world that Rebecca Hahn created and I found myself really thinking about life throughout the whole book.

The synopsis does a good job at describing the plot of the book, but it failed to mention how deep the three sisters go into what is right and wrong.  Chloe, Serena, and Xinot come across a lot of lines that they dared not cross in previous situations, but this time they just can't turn their back.  So many things happen to these characters and my heart broke so many times.  As you know if you know my reviews I stay away from books that make me cry so it came as a huge surprise to me when I felt that emotion while reading this.  I had no clue it would affect me so, but honestly I don't see how anyone can read this and not be affected by the events that happened.

I think Rebecca Hahn did a really job at giving her readers just enough to make them think beyond what was written.  She kept me guessing at what was going to happen and what line the sisters would cross.  It also made me think about what lines I would cross for those I loved.

The characters were a little stiff for me and this is my only negative.  I don't know if I connected with them or the situation they were in and that bothers me a bit.  I am a character driven reader for the most part so I wish I would have felt a little more for them.  I found I felt more for the secondary character and that really baffles me.

Even though I had a slight issue with the characters, this still turned out to be a really good read.  It was definitely unique and something I won't soon forget.  If you start this and it doesn't work for you put it down and give it awhile.  This is one that I promise you need to keep trying because it is worth it.

4 snowflakes


  1. I would love to give this book a try! I just tagged you for the Rabbit Ears book Tag!

  2. I didn't connect with this one at all. I may revisit in the future. The writing is really beautiful, but I felt like the story had a meaning that slipped passed my brain. Great review!

  3. I loved this one! It was beautifully written and it did have some great themes. I also loved that it took place in ancient Greece instead of incorporating the Fates/Gods into our modern world.