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