- Paperback: 470 pages
- Publisher: Maria V. Snyder (24 November 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1946381012
- ISBN-13: 978-1946381019
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 3 x 21.6 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 680 g
- Customer Reviews: Be the first to review this item
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Navigating the Stars Paperback – 24 Nov 2018
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The narrative was written to sound like how a teenager think and speaks, but in some cases, it became confusing, contrived, and poorly done. A good effort, for sure, but there were many times I had to reread a sentence to try to figure out what the character was thinking because of the language or punctuation placement.
The other issue was the fact that it takes more than half of the book before the plot picks up. At 50% I was considering returning the book for a refund, but then I would read the reviews again and decide to just stick it out because it MUST pick up, right? And it did. I liked the last part, but the beginning almost made it not worth it.
One of the first people she meets on the ship is Niall Radcliff. He is ship-born and ship-raised and the last thing he wants to do is make friends with a passenger. It's the same time dilation thing. Once passengers leave the ship they are never again part of the crew's life. He is grumpy but attractive and a little bit too law-and-order for her. Lyra has decided to do some exploring in the Q-net which is a vast computer network that does everything from storing all data to managing space flight. She is her century's version of a hacker and a really good one.
Her worming brings her to the attention of ship's security in the person of Niall's father and also to the ship captain's attention. They decide to make her an intern for those who navigate the ship rather than place her in detention for her worming. There she learns much more about the Q-net and about navigating through space.
When they arrive at Yulin, their messages catch up to them. Lyra has some messages from her friend Lan who has grown up to be a cryptographer like her parents and who has devoted her life to studying an octagonal disk Lyra found that had a variety of symbols on it. The terracotta warriors on all the planets also have varieties of those symbols. Lan thinks she has made a breakthrough but, unfortunately, doesn't tell Lyra what it was. Also among the messages was the message that Xinji has dropped out of communication and that no life forms show in scans.
Lyra is determined to find out what Lan was trying to tell her. But things are not going well on their new planet. First, they discover that some of the pits have been looted which means they are all in danger from the looters. Next, Lyra discovers the way into a hitherto unknown lower level beneath the pits which contains devices, more warriors, and hearts covered with alien symbols. When she picks up a heart, it crumbles in her hand but it also lets her see shadow blobs that are also in the pits. Unfortunately, she's the only one who can see them and the rest of the scientists, including her parents, are writing her visions off as a symptom of concussion or PTSD.
When the looters come again, Lyra has to use all her talents on and off the Q-net to save the rest of the expedition and decipher what the aliens who seeded the planets with the terracotta warriors wanted.
This was exciting science fiction. It had great characters. It had a great romance too. I liked Lyra and liked her relationship with Niall. I can't wait to read Lyra's next adventure in CHASING THE SHADOWS in December.