Stella Maris was an interesting book in that it had a completely new premise to add to the angels and demons genre. I have to admit that I was a little bit unsure at first; while I was intrigued by the idea of magical rosaries that can only be activated by a race of beings called Merges (descendants of fallen angels), the start of the book was a bit too slow and repetitive for my liking. I started to wonder if I would ever get hooked on the characters or the story line…I was even considering not finishing it, since it felt like a chore to pick it up each night. But then, something happened, and suddenly I was hooked, and finished the second half of the book in one sitting. The something that happened was a passionate kiss by the lockers between Cathy and Chris, and the revelation that they were supernaturally attracted to each other, but shouldn’t be. It was that moment, when the book stopped focusing on explaining the rosaries, and stopped revolving around the cringe-worthy sexual double speak between the characters, and started focusing on the relationship between Cathy and Chris, that it really took off! Because the chemistry between them is as hot as the fire that Chris can ignite with his rosary.
Stella Maris is a little bit angels vs. demons, and a little bit Romeo and Juliet. Cathy and Chris have a forbidden love, that is too powerful for either one to resist, despite the fact that Chris’ family despises Cathy since she is the bearer of a water rosary, while their family uses fire rosaries. There is also the unresolved question over whether or not someone in Chris’ family killed Cathy’s twin sister, who was found burned almost beyond recognition a few years before the events in the book take place. Chris has several demons in his family (to include his grandfather, and possibly his father), and he worries that he may also be one, while Cathy descended from a mythological race of Merges, the Stella, or pure angels. Quite a lot of baggage for a brand new couple to contend with!
The book ping pongs between Chris and Cathy wanting to be together, then pushing each other away to keep their own families safe, culminating in a choice for Chris in saving his grandfather or Cathy after they engage in an epic battle of magic, despite him pleading with them both not to hurt each other. It ends on a cliff hanger, promising a more action packed second installment, full of teenage angst, star crossed love, and family feuds. I would recommend this book, as long as readers keep in mind that they will have to get through a bit of a rough start, but then it becomes quite enjoyable!