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What: Navigating the Stars (Sentinels of the Galaxy #1) by Maria V. Snyder

Who: HQ Young Adult – AU

When: November 19th 2018

How: A copy of this novel was provided by Harlequin Teen Australia for review.

Year 2471. A new discovery. Those three words thrill my parents – the galaxy’s leading archaeologists – but for me, it means another time jump to a different planet. One so big, my friends will be older than my dad when we arrive. And I’ll still be seventeen. Thanks, Einstein.

I really can’t blame Einstein, though. No one expected to find life-sized terracotta warriors buried on other planets. So off we go to investigate, traveling through space and time. With my social life in ruins, I fill my days illegally worming into the quantum net – the invention that allows us to travel in space. Of course the only person close to my age is a hot-but-pain-in-the-neck security officer who threatens to throw me into the brig.

But when one of the warrior planets goes silent, we have bigger problems on our hands. The planet’s entire population might be dead. And now my worming skills, along with a translation of an ancient alien artefact, might be the key to finding out why. But my attempts to uncover the truth lead to the discovery of a deadly new alien phenomenon, and also alert those who wish to keep it quiet. The galaxy is in real danger and time is not on our side…

A page-turning story of courage and determination in the face of the unknown.

Not gonna lie, I screamed a little when my ARC of Navigating the Stars arrived in the mail. Maria V. Snyder is one of my all time favourite authors, and my collection of her work is vast to say the least. So when I had her latest book in my hands I was ecstatic. I thoroughly enjoyed Snyder’s previous sci-fi series Insider, so I was very keen to read the first book in her new sci-fi series, Sentinels of the Galaxy. I’m sad to say it, but I didn’t quite fall in love with Navigating the Stars.

The first reason is that I think Navigating the Stars was most definitely aimed at a younger YA audience. Which is absolutely fine! I think we need YA books that are aimed at the younger end of the YA age range. However it means that for me, as an adult reader of YA, it feels a little juvenile. While I was reading Navigating the Stars I kept on thinking that I would have absolutely adored it if I had read it about ten years ago. I think I would have connected more with Lyra, the main character, because even though she was on the cusp of eighteen, her voice felt a lot younger. I feel like this book would be great for younger teens looking to dive into the wonderful world of sci-fi.

The second reason is probably the romance. When it started off I was keen as a bean. I love enemies to lovers, and I could tell that was what the romance was going to be in Navigating the Stars so I was excited for it. I felt like the progression from enemies to friends was great, but the jump from friends to lovers seemed to happen a little too fast for me. I would have liked some more development of the friend aspect of Lyra and Niall’s relationship, and less of the instant romantic connection. That’s not to say that I didn’t like Lyra and Niall together because I did, I just would have loved to see them form more of a deeper connection over time.

While those two things did hinder my ability to fall in love with Navigating the Stars, I certainly enjoyed the book. I absolutely loved the premise, which revolves around the mystery of how the Terracotta Warriors, originating in China, are now spread throughout the galaxy. Did humans put them there? Did aliens? Also: why? Not much was revealed about this, so I’m definitely interested to find out the answers as the series goes on.

The time travel aspect was certainly interesting, though it took me re-reading the explanation passage about five times before it truly sunk in. I find that time travel often confuses me so that’s not a criticism, really. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the difference between Earth time and Actual time, and how time passes when people are travelling between planets. If you ever read it, keep it simple. Earth time is how much time, as measured by people on Aarth, passes from point A to point B. Actual time is how much time the people time travelling experience. Hopefully that made some sort of sense!

I think the sequel/s to Navigating the Stars will have higher stakes as Lyra and Niall and the rest of the cast find out more information regarding the Terracotta Warriors and their role. I feel like this series will only get better with time and I’m definitely keen to keep reading it.

© 2018, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

trigger warning

use of ableist language, death of friend, physical assault, reference to past non-consensual touching, home invasion, attempted kidnapping, explosions, absent sibling

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Posted on: November 20, 2018 • By: Chiara

8 Responses to Review: Navigating the Stars by Maria V. Snyder

  1. I’d seen the cover for this lovely all over Bookstagram, but I wasn’t really sure what it was about – so thanks for that. Loved the review.
    Sci-fi YA, is my jam! I think I’ll add it to my TBR and keep in mind what you’ve said.
    Here’s hoping the second books even better, cheers :-).

    • Chiara says:

      Thanks, Sarah! I’m glad you enjoyed it :) I hope you like it if you get around to reading it! I’m definitely going to read the second book, and now that I know about the voice I think I’ll adjust more easily :D

  2. It’s a bummer you didn’t love it as much as you’d expected. I’m so excited for this book as well, but I completely get expecting an older voice from the MC. However, it’s true YA needs those younger voices! I remember when I was 16 or so and reading YA, the characters always sounded so mature, and it was so strange XD

    Maria V. Snyder is such a wonderful author. I’m actually planning on finishing the Study series this month. I never read the last three books, so now’s the time to finally read the end of Yelena’s story.

    • Chiara says:

      I think if I’d known beforehand that it was a younger voice I would have enjoyed it more! I just get used to Maria’s older YA novels so I think I went in expecting it to be the same as usual, oops. And we definitely need those younger voices! They’re honestly so rare and yet YA books are supposed to be for teens, sigh.

      Ah, enjoy! I never read the sixth book because I don’t want the series to end. I think I need to re-read and really immerse myself in that world again to finish it!

  3. I’ve been really thinking about picking this one up. I think it sounds like my type of novel. But like you I think it might be a little young for me, I am thinking though one of my younger cousins will love it.

    Time travel and time in novels always confuse me too, so thank you for preparing me.

    • Chiara says:

      I think give it a go if you think it sounds like something you’d like! And at least you know about the younger tone to the novel. I think if I’d been prepared for that I would have been okay with it. I just went in expecting Maria’s usual upper YA voice and it wasn’t there so I was surprised. I think it would make a perfect book for a younger teen looking to get into sci-fi!

      No worries :)

  4. I’ve literally just picked this book up in the last few days and I’m having such a hard time getting into it! I think you’ve definitely hit the nail on the head when it comes to the younger YA voice. I can’t get my head around the Earth time thing either! Lovely review Chiara!

    • Chiara says:

      I wish I had known before going into it because I think I would have enjoyed it better! Hopefully you got your head around the Earth tine thing, Jeann! Thanks, lovely <3

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