Posted in Uncategorized

Chasing the Shadows by Maria V Snyder

 

(Left) Aus Cover – Published by Harlequin – November 18th 2019

(Right) UK Cover – Self Published – November 18th 2019

Synopsis:

Not going to put this in here – it contains spoilers!

Review:

Firstly, I was sent this book directly by Maria in return for an honest review.

Chasing the Shadows is out now! Again, there are different covers which is annoying, those Aussie covers are beautiful and I’m stuck with the UK one for now!

The story started in Navigating the Stars continues in Chasing the Shadows. I’ll keep this review relatively spoiler free in case you haven’t read the first one but you should really pause here and go read the first one, duh!

I loved Navigating the Stars and thought it was a fabulous start to the Sentinels of the Galaxy series (I’m really hoping it’s not just a trilogy, I need to know everything – there’s a whole galaxy to discover!). If it does turn out to be a trilogy, Chasing the Shadows isn’t the usual middle book that just fills out a story, it holds its own story-arc as well as moving the narrative along at a nice pace ready for the next book.

Again, as with Navigating the Stars this novel was brilliantly written and the characters have continued to develop throughout. Maria has really outdone herself, her other novels (that I have read) are Fantasy based but this series is firmly Sci-Fi with some Fantasy elements and it works so well! I find with all of Maria’s novels, you just slide right on in to the stories without feeling confused or lost and it holds you in its thread until it finishes. The dynamic characters work really well to support each other throughout the novel, the bad guy is especially creepy and the team Lyra works with continue to bring a diverse mix of opinions and characteristics into the mix.

Chasing the Shadows continues the mystery of the terracotta warriors which have been found on other planets and frankly I just want to know what is going on now please, okay, thanks. This novel keeps you guessing (in a good way); I’m still trying to figure out where the story could be going to be honest. Why are those warriors on other planets? What are the shadow-blobs? Who? What? Where? Why? When? The warriors though are almost a side story as Lyra’s development is the key to everything. The way she progresses through the novel, personalyl and as a security officer is a story arc of itself. The sass continues, the sarcasm works for Lyra as a 17 year old (nearly 18 though) girl wanting to figure everything out for all the right reasons and the romance is pretty low-key which is great. I don’t think I’ve ever related to a character as strongly as this; Lyra is punchy and smart and she reacts exactly how I would expect someone to in the situations she faces.

I will say this – Maria is a fan of her end of chapter cliff-hangers, I really struggle to put her books down, they really are ‘just one more chapter’ books because you always need to find out what comes next so be prepared for some late nights/early mornings! I know this is a good thing but it also means you read the book quicker – Chasing the Shadows finishes on a cliff-hanger too which is very frustrating, a whole year to wait until the next one too and I have a lot of questions.

I would love to write all my actual questions down in this review but that would be totally spoilerific and I really don’t want to ruin anything for anyone because I really want you to read it for yourself!

Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars

Posted in Uncategorized

Navigating the Stars by Maria V Snyder

(Left) UK Cover – Self Published – 1st December 2018

(Right) AUS Cover – Published by Harlequin Australia – 19th November 2018

Synopsis:

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.

Review:

Ahh first of all I am a little biased because I have a soft spot for Maria’s work in general but I actually loved reading this book! It was a great start for a new series and is definitely in the Young Adult Sci-Fi genre. This was such an easy read and while it isn’t heavy in the scientific and physics information about space travel, you can tell Maria has done her research into it to make sure it’s accurate.

The plot revolves around Lyra (looove the name) and her parents/friends etc. Lyra’s parents are archaeologists, and are working on the discovery of terracotta warriors (yes, those ones) that have been discovered on different planets (uh, amazing!). The whole thing is told from Lyra’s perspective and you really feel as though you are in her brain, she is so snarky and quick-witted, her dialogue rolls out sharp and funny throughout so it is super easy to follow making this novel a pretty quick read (I’ve heard good things about the audiobook too).

While I know some readers will automatically discount this book due to its setting in space I very much urge you to just give it a go. Maria does not lay it on thick, the tech is not dumbed down but it isn’t ‘oh my god you need a degree in astrophysics’ to understand (although I personally just took Maria’s word for it) so I wouldn’t let the setting of this novel put you off. At its heart it is still a coming of age story about a 17 year old girl, living in a reality where her parents rule sternly and she is determined to live outside of the rules. Lyra, as a character is refreshing. She is honest and self-aware of her situation and that of others. While she gets herself into trouble, she does so with the best of intentions, knowing she is going to be grounded and I love her for it. She isn’t blinded by self-righteousness and she definitely doesn’t martyr herself. She does what she needs to do to get the job done and she needs her friends, her parents, her ship mates to do it. The camaraderie is perfect in my opinion, no conversation feels forced between any of the characters and I loved seeing them all develop together in a thoroughly enjoyable read.

I absolutely cannot wait to continue Lyra’s story.

Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars