Dec 5, 2018

ARC Review--Navigating the Stars by Maria V. Snyder

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 involved in discovering why the Warriors were placed on these planets. And, more importantly, by who.

I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Let it be known that Maria V. Snyder is one of my all time favorite writers and I was positively ecstatic when she told me she was writing a new book! Imagined my devastation when I heard that her US publisher didn't want it, luckily there's the Aussie and New Zealand one that helped to bring this story to life! She is having the book printed in the US, so never fear my friends!

We all know and love Maria for her amazing fantasy reads but this time, she's returning to the Sci-Fi realm! And yes I said, returning! Her first YA series, Inside Out was of a similar genre, but her newest release, Navigating the Stars takes that Sci-Fi element to new levels! This isn't your ordinary space book! I'm usually hesitant with space books because they tend to involve a great deal of science that I fear will be beyond my levels of comprehension, but for Maria I was willing to take that chance and I was not disappointed!

Lyra is just you futuristic average computer hacker living on Planet Xinji with her parents, that is until they've been given a new job assignment on Plant Yulin with a great research opportunity. While her parents are thrilled about the archaeological finds, Lyra isn't happy about leaving another planet and another group of friends. But since she's not eighteen yet, she has no choice to follow her parents.

While on the spaceship to their next home, Lyra is quite miserable. To make matters worse, for being underage, she's forced to participate in a socializing hour filled with everyone underage. There she meets, Niall, who's a grumpy sullen teen her age. She tries to make friends with him, since he's really the only one on the ship her age, but he proves to be too grumpy for her tastes. Which naturally means, a friendship is bound to form later on...and Maria does not disappoint!

One of the other things that made this one a teensy bit hard to comprehend at times--mostly because new world settings with a new spacey world to understand--there's also a bit of time lapse spread over the galaxy. While it took her only 90 days to get to her new home, years have passed on her old home planet. Her best friend is an adult with children and life has moved along. It makes things hard, but Lyra needs her friend's help with translating a strange tablet that she was piecing together for her parents.

When the discoveries on the planet Yulin prove to be so great that they require extra security, Niall's father decides to take his team down to the planet as well and since Niall is just weeks shy of being eighteen, he's forced to go along as well when he wants nothing more to stay on the ship and essentially be an explorer.

Soon the discoveries that Lyra continues to uncover prove to be too great. Her hacking skills get her into trouble and the trouble she uncovers is even more dangerous.

That's all I'll get to on the plot. It's a very detailed and far-reaching one too! The twists and turns the events take is mind-boggling! Again, I will say that things aren't too complex with the plot. For me what got just a tad confusing was all the time jumps and whatnot. How it had been decades for her friends on their home planet and only months for her. It does get explained somewhat in the beginning that I followed easy enough, but later on there were just other things that were related to the whole traveling around time aspect that kind of just went over my head a bit. But naturally, when it comes to that I just rolled with it! Lol. I didn't remain lost for very long, so it didn't impede my reading.

The pacing was pretty spot on! It was well balanced with heart-racing moments with the downtime moments that were great for character building and growth! And of course there was still the deeply ingrained mystery that was brewing that grew in strength as the story went along.

What I did enjoy was the relationships that Lyra had! Not only did she maintain a good relationship with her parents, I loved the romance that was slow to develop between her and Niall! I always love a good slow burn romance and Maria excels at these! Yes, they fall in love within the first book, but so much happens with those short 400+ pages that you can't help but root for them during those flirtatious moments!

Lyra is an unbelievable character too! I love that she has a snarky kind of attitude and a slight problem with authority! She definitely grows over the course of the novel and you see her mature a bit, not that she was immature, but you know, the whole going against authority only to end up working with the authority!

The ending was probably one of the most shocking ones! I admit, I started to make a small suspicion at one point, but really it had no foundation or merit, but in the long run, my gut instinct was right! Lol. What it will mean for future books remains unclear at this point, but it's definitely a groundbreaking kind of ending that will set up an exciting and exhilarating plot-line for the future! I know I am most definitely looking forward to that one!

Navigating the Stars is a page-turning kind of read that you can't help but devour in one sitting! If it wasn't for the holiday I started this over, I would've had this done in a day or two. Real life always gets in the way of the great reads! This is definitely a book you will want to enjoy in one or two sittings as it's simply unputdownable! I cannot wait to see where Maria will take this series next! 

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars

1 comment:

  1. I saw this one on NG but decided to not request it, now I regret it! Hopefully my local library will buy this one. I love the idea of time in space. If you've ever seen teh 2014 movie Interstellar, they deal with that. The first times I've seen/read that plot device I was a little confused. Hopefully by the time I read this one I'll understand it a little better. :)


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