Navigating The Stars Audio CD – Audiobook, 1 January 2019
- Audio CD : 464 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1460799364
- ISBN-13 : 978-1460799369
- Publisher : HQ Young Adult - AU (1 January 2019)
- Customer Reviews:
About the Author
Meteorologist turned novelist, Maria's been writing since she was bored at work and needed something creative to do. Over a dozen novels later, Maria's been on the New York Times bestseller list, won a half-dozen awards, and has earned her Master's degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University where she's now a faculty member. As a frequent workshop presenter and speaker for various conferences, Maria enjoys helping other writers. She also has a blast creating new worlds where horses and swords rule, 'cause let's face it, they're cool, although she's been known to trap her poor characters in a giant metal cube and let them figure out how to get out.
Readers are welcome to check out her website for book excerpts, free short stories, maps, blog, and her schedule at MariaVSnyder.com.
You can also follow Maria on Facebook and Goodreads.
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Top reviews from Australia
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None of the characters were terribly realistic. Lyra comes across as a thirteen year old, rather than the supposed 17 she is. She pouts constantly. Everything she tackles she is amazingly good at. She makes more archaeological breakthroughs than her parents, the experts. She hacks the Q-net in a 'unique' manner, getting it to do things that no one else has ever thought to ask it (Say what now????) Oh, and she is pretty much an army of one - much more effective than an entire security squadron - yeah, that's not incredulous at all.
Her parents gave me whiplash. Their complete disregard for their daughter's mental health was breathtaking in their selfishness. But then they play the parent card and are suddenly all affectionate and worried. Not once did they say sorry, or even have a conversation about how Lyra might feel having to leave her friends constantly (because of travel space times in a few short weeks most of them will be dead).
Then there is Niall, the love interest. Actually - he is the only possible choice she has. Not a single other male exists within her age range on this trip so... yeah, what a shocker they got together. They initially dislike each other, but time and circumstances (shockingly) change all that. And Frog and Toad? (I threw up a little in my mouth every time they used those terms of endearment)
Still, this managed two stars, mainly because the terracotta warrior aspect of the story was so cool - but I honestly feel the author could have used that hook for a whole different cast of characters and a way better more layered storyline much more effectively.
Snyder has a way of creating characters that I can't help but love flaws and all.
I found the world building in the first chapter a little slow but now I can't put it down. I will always recommend Maria V Snyder's books to everyone I meet!
Top reviews from other countries
So follow my train of logic and you'll see why I'm baffled. In this universe space travel has a time dilation effect which means that a space ship travels for three months but arrives forty-five years after it departs. As a consequence our heroine when we first meet her is both seventeen (physical age) and one hundred and thirty+ (elapsed years since she was born.) Okay. I can deal with that. It's an interesting twist and Snyder does some interesting things with it. But at the outset of the book, space travel has been around for about four hundred years. So if you assume a space ship is active a moderate 50% of each year with maybe ninety years elapsing for each year (2 x 3month voyages as per the journey in the book) then for Niall to have been born and lived seventeen years on a ship - and never lived planetside - he would need to have been born 17 times ninety years in the past - that's about 1500 years plus change. Around the time of William the Conqueror!
And then there's the economics of running a space fleet which gives you a couple of good commutes per ship per century!
And when our heroine is injured and subsequently has to catch-up with her school work there's no reference to the impact of a forty-five year jump in curriculum content. And the character who left home at 18 to go to Earth and will arrive 95 years later... Is that the equivalent of someone who graduated high-school in 1923 rocking up to attend 2018 university?
And while I'm nit-picking, where does the food and water come from? Forty-five years from re-supply you'd think it would be an issue.
This book drove me crazy for the better part of a day. I don't mind suspending belief but it's hard to suspend basic arithmetic.
On the other hand I finished it because the story is well-paced and I liked the characters and I love the idea of a galaxy being guarded by terracotta warriors.
The story follows young Lyra Daniels who is 17AU years old (AU meaning actual years because she travels through space and time – thanks to Einstein’s principles of time travel, a 90 day trip for her, will add 50yrs of time to the ‘real’ universe, so going from point A to B means that everybody else ages by 50yrs, whilst those on the ship only age by 90days – thus the rather confusing Physics aspect of the book at times).
Lyra does not want to go, wanting to stay on her current home of Xinji with her friends (one of the main ones being Lan, who she is planning, or was, to go to University with). However, a new discovery has been made on the planet of Yulin, of Terracotta Warriors, the same that were unearthed in China all those years ago, and have now been found on over 21 newly colonised planets across the Galaxy. Unfortunately (or Fortunately??), for Lyra, her Parents are the preeminent experts in Terracotta Warriors, and have been assigned the lead role in excavation of this new find. Being that Lyra is not an adult, she must go with them.
On this trip, Lyra meets a rather good looking, (but totally unsociable), 17yr old boy called Niall, who calls her out on her ‘Worming’ activities – the term used for hacking what in the future is their internet – known as the Q-Net, and what controls pretty much everything, from communications, to the ships operations. Worming allows Lyra to access things she shouldn’t, and she was taught by a boy called Jarren on Xinji, Jarren being a somewhat expert at it, but also having been caught multiple times.
Upon reaching Yulin, we learn that Niall is to be put off the ship with his father, the Chief of Security on the ship, and now Chief of Security on the Planet. Niall is also a Security Officer in Training.
During the initial stages on the planet, whilst investigating the dig site, Lyra touches a heart that has been found with the Warriors, which then crumbles, coating her arms in some substance.
It is from this point that the story goes from a lesson in physics, a slowly burning romance story, some very clever world building, and an introduction to the various characters, to a full-on action packed thrill ride in which you seriously just can’t stop reading for a minute as you have to know what is going to happen next. Snyder grabs you and takes you on this running, looking over your shoulder expecting to die any second (and some do), absolutely breathtaking, joyride that will leave you at the end sitting there going, where is the next book. If you don’t own it, you will be sitting there at 3am in the morning, trying to buy it.
Lyra Daniels is brilliant, her character is at times naïve, almost irritating in some of the silly decisions she makes in relation to her relationships, but then you remember, she is a 17yr old kid, who has been picked up and bounced from planet to planet, with this weird concept of social time in which they make kids come together for a mandatory period to interact, but it is under the watchful eye of a guardian babysitter, so it can’t be natural. Snyder has created this amazing teenage girl, who is incredibly realistic (I have one, I know), but she is highly intelligent, and responds so well, based on her upbringing. It is very clever.
Snyder’s other characters are equally as well written, from the sullen, shielded, but ultimately looking for friendship or love Niall, to the utterly broken Chief, to the Fiercely overprotective Parents (the Mother is just brilliant), and each of the security officers are wonderful. Jarren is masterful.
Whilst the physics is a little difficult, maybe not quite right, overcooked for some, too difficult for others, as a whole, the world building is not only beautiful, it is incredibly well done, and creates the perfect environment for each of the different storylines that take place.
Ultimately, this is one of the more impressive stories I have read this year, easily one of the most extraordinary, compelling, and creative stories I have read in this genre I have read in years. It is one that anyone who has any interest in Sci-Fi, regardless of your different tilt (Mi/Space Opera/etc etc) will not only get something out of, but will utterly love. Do yourself a favour and get into it.
The intrigue and plot twists are fantastic. I love these characters and world. It has been fascinating. Highly recommend.