Review, Excerpt & Review: Fallen Star by Allison Morse, a NA

I signed up after reading Kate was a feminist in the blurb. I don’t think there’s enough out-feminist characters in fiction and I was excited to see it. Sadly, Kate’s feminism was off-putting and the most annoying aspect. I should’ve paid more attention to the 1970s part of the blurb because this is before-my-time less progressive white feminism.

I get Kate’s struggle with traditional femininity and sexuality after being raped. That was me growing up. I still have the scars. However, even I was annoyed with Kate over this. It felt heavy-handed and overdone, like a caricature.

And sorry, not sorry, but the idea that Kate was objectifying the starlets more than the men is absolutely ridiculous. #NotBuyingIt

Fallen Star

by Allison Morse
GENRE: Psychological Mystery with Strong Gothic Elements

Who killed 1940s screen goddess Gloria Reardon? Her unsolved murder hypnotized the public with its scandalous details and shocked two generations.

In this coming of age gothic tale, avid feminist and aspiring filmmaker Kate Bloom discovers long lost footage that holds the key to who murdered her grandmother. Legendary movie star, Gloria Reardon, may be dead, but friends and lovers from the Golden Age of Hollywood’s heyday are still very much on the scene, and it seems everyone has something to gain or lose from Kate’s discovery. Enlisting the youthful and brash film restorer Dylan Nichols as her closest ally, Kate becomes haunted by Gloria’s glittering past. Caught between glamorous Old Hollywood and the gritty, exciting New Hollywood of the 1970s, Kate is determined to find out what really happened to her grandmother and in the process, becomes the killer’s new target.

Kate returned to the sealed box and ripped off the tape and flipped the lid open. Light bounced off a container with a shiny handle on top. The premonition of what it might be now solidified into something more than fantasy. Trying to remain calm, she told herself that it couldn’t possibly be what she hoped it was. It had been lost…destroyed…right?

Her heart pounded as she used both hands to lift the metal container. She undid the latches. Inside were two round 35 mm motion picture canisters.

“Lillian!” she shouted.

As she pried off the top of the first canister, she was assaulted by the pungent smell of vinegar. The film appeared brittle. She was afraid to touch it in case it turned to dust in her hands. But she had to know. With the tips of her fingers and holding her breath, she unwound a small piece of film and looked at it. There, captured in the frame, was Gloria––the costume, the set behind her…there was no mistaking it. These reels were from Emperor Smythe. It was the infamous missing footage from the day Gloria was murdered on that film set.

“Lillian! Quick, Lillian!” Kate returned the footage to the canister and closed it up.

Her great-aunt hurried back to her. “What? What is it?” Her eyes widened as she gazed at the canisters. “Is that what I think it is?” Lillian asked.

“The footage. The missing footage.”

The Good The Bad & The Other
The Ending Kate was annoying until late/td>
Romance conclusion is sweet Push and pull romance was meh until later
Climax was phenomenal Didn’t like the muddling paranormal
Enjoyable, easy read Slow to get into
Epilogue was cute
Liked the characters
Didn’t see the important twists coming

Fallen Star is a mish-mash of historical, mystery, family drama, and paranormal. Sounds great on paper and I’ve read other like this that made it work.

Sadly, I would’ve preferred the paranormal being left out, to be honest. The ghost aspect muddied the waters and was meant to amp up Kate’s personal stakes. Instead of “OMG what is happening?” it fell flat and bogged down the novel.

I wish she could’ve found the clues herself instead of being handed to her via paranormal intervention. It made it hard to believe and connect. Plus it weakens Kate as protagonist.
Eventually, Kate gets her act together and she’s much more proactive. It was very enjoyable to finally see her grow as a person. At this point, the story solidified as a murder mystery with a side-romance, casting away the paranormal unreliable narrator until nothing was left except a spiritual-believing young woman in control.

I was actively cheering for her and made it all worthwhile. If only it ended there and didn’t cap it off with that epilogue…

I wish I could say it was a good thing, but the way it happened, I just rolled my eyes. How was that pulled off? Why not just deliver it like a normal person? *sigh*

Oh well. It was worth reading for Kate’s progression and the twisty, satisfying climax. The epilogue was nice to catch up with them, but the mysterious appearance at the end was ridiculous.

Morse’s other novel The Sweetheart Deal sounds narrower and focused in scope and genre: cute with a 1950s feminist romance. If you’re looking for Something straightforward, I think that’s worth a shot.

For something clean yet bloody and a great conclusion to a murder mystery, Fallen Star fits the bill. It’d probably also help to REMEMBER IT’S SET IN THE NINETEEN-SEVENTIES!

However, if a scatter-shot novel that jumps around with a work in progress protagonist doesn’t sound worth it, trust your gut.

About the Author:

Allison is the author of two novels: The Sweetheart Deal and Fallen Star. She lives with her husband in a house in the hills that’s filled with books.
For book club resources and to learn more about Allison and her new fiction, please visit her Website at

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Allison Morse will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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