Series: Sentinels of the Galaxy #1
Published by Self Published on November 19, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Source: Blog Tour
My content rating: YA (Some violence, Some heavy making out---see note at end of review)
Navigating the Stars is the first book in a new science fiction series.
Terra Cotta Warriors have been discovered on other planets in the Milky Way Galaxy. And Lyra Daniels' parents are the archaeological Experts (yes with a capital E) on the Warriors and have dragged her to the various planets to study them despite the time dilation causing havoc with her social life.
When one of the many Warrior planets goes silent, and looters attack her research base, Lyra becomes
Navigating the Stars is about Terra Cotta Warriors in space. Sound weird? It is a little, but it’s also really enjoyable.
What Fed My Addiction:
- Sci-fi that’s in-depth without being confusing. There’s a decent amount of science in this fiction, but I never felt overwhelmed or bombarded with facts. There are some basic things about the world that you have to understand—for instance, the fact that space travel essentially causes time travel and the fact that they’re universe is run by something called Q-Net, which Lyra hacks into in a very specific way called worming—but I don’t feel like you have to understand the details of how it all works in order to enjoy and appreciate the way it works. I never felt lost.
- The mystery of the Warriors. Usually the mystery aspect of a book like this is my least favorite part, but in this case, I was intrigued and wanted to find out what was going on with the Warriors. We certainly don’t get all the answers in this book, but the ones we did get were unexpected and interesting. I’m excited to find out even more in future books!
- The challenges of making connections when you move a lot. Even though this book is absolutely sci-fi and the characters end up in some uniquely sci-fi universe issues, I thought that Snyder did a great job of presenting them in ways that any teenager could relate to. At the beginning of the book, Lyra is incredibly sad to have to leave her friends behind when she moves. People who move around a lot (like kids from military families) will especially empathize with Lyra’s plight—but in her case, the situation is more extreme because she knows her friends will be aging 50 years while she’s gone for 90 days. It’s a typical teen problem on steroids. Other characters in the book struggle with this same issue. It’s hard to let people into your life when you know you’re not going to be around for long. This book explores that theme fully.
- The romance. This was definitely a case of a hate-to-love romance. Those can be hit or miss for me (especially if the guy is a plain jerk to the girl), but this one won me over. I think Snyder managed a good balance of making Niall a bit unlikable at the beginning without going overboard—and we can understand his disdain for making “friends” who he knows will only be around for three months. I also appreciated that the romance was slow-burning, and the two didn’t fall into instantaneous lovey doveyness even when they got together.
- Focus on family. I loved Lyra’s tight relationship with her family, even though they sometimes fight—and with the friends who basically become family to her as the book goes on.
- The pacing. I flew through this book, even though it’s over 400 pages!
What Left Me Hungry for More:
- The teen genius trope. Okay, so you’ll have to suspend disbelief a bit because Lyra is amazing at so many things. She’s a technical genius and has a special gift for navigating the Q-Net. Sometimes I had to roll my eyes a little at that, but it didn’t stop me from connecting to Lyra or enjoying the ride as she learned new things about the mystery of the Terra Cotta Warriors.
Navigating the Stars might be the first book in a sci-fi series, but the story’s focus on romance and navigating friendships will appeal to contemporary readers as well. The book also might appeal to younger YA readers because Lyra does read a little younger than some of the current typical YA heroines (though there is a scene where the bra comes off while they’re making out, so that should be noted if you’re thinking of giving the book to a younger reader).
Overall, I highly recommend this one, and I’m eager for the next book!
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher and Rockstar Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
About The Author
Maria V. Snyder changed from being a meteorologist to a novelist in 1995, when she began writing to keep her sanity while raising two children. Since then, she has published numerous freelance articles in magazines and newspapers, and teaches fiction-writing classes at the local college and area libraries. The classes give her the wonderful opportunity to encourage fellow writers, and to keep improving her craft.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Maria always had a fascination with big storms. Dreaming of chasing tornados, Maria earned a bachelors of science degree in meteorology at Penn State University. But she discovered, much to her chagrin, that forecasting the weather wasn’t one of her skills. In order to chase tornados you had to predict where they might form. Creating fantasy worlds where she has complete control of the weather was more agreeable to her.
Maria’s research on food-tasting methods with an expert chocolate taster, her husband, turned out to be a delicious bonus while writing Poison Study.
Maria has a brown belt in Isshinryu Karate, and enjoys playing volleyball and the cello. Traveling in general and via cruise ship in particular are her biggest distractions from writing. Maria has traveled to Belize, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal.
Maria lives with her husband, son, daughter and yellow lab, Hazelnut, in Pennsylvania where she is at work on more LUNA novels. She is also pursuing a master’s degree in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University.
Readers are welcome to contact Maria at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. And can find her Blog here.
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