Thursday, March 7, 2019

YA Book Review: Navigating the Stars by Maria V. Snyder

Navigating the Stars
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Sentinels of the Galaxy (Book 1)
Publication: Maria V. Snyder (December 1, 2018)

Description: “The answer is no, Lyra,” my mother utters her favorite—I swear—phrase.

No means I have to travel with them to another planet—again.

No means leaving all my friends fifty years in the past. Thanks, Einstein.

Seventeen-year-old Lyra Daniels can’t truly blame Einstein or her parents for their impending move across the Milky Way Galaxy. It’s all due to the invention of the Q-net, which made traveling the vast distances in space possible—with one big caveat: the time dilation. But that never stopped Lyra's ancestors from exploring the Milky Way, searching for resources and exoplanets to colonize. What they didn’t expect to find is life-sized terracotta Warriors buried on twenty-one different exoplanets.

... Make that twenty-two.

As the Galaxy’s leading experts on the Warriors, Lyra's parents are thrilled by the new discovery, sending them—and her—fifty years into the future. Her social life in ruins, she fills her lonely days by illegally worming into the Q-net. The only person close to her age is the annoyingly irresistible security officer who threatens to throw her into the brig.

After the planet they just left goes silent—meaning no communications from them at all—security has bigger problems to deal with than Lyra, especially when vital data files go missing. But that's just the beginning, because they’re not as alone as they thought on their new planet... and suddenly time isn't the only thing working against them.

My Thoughts: This is a great science fiction/adventure story. Lyra Daniels doesn't want to go along when her parents go to a new planet. They are excited to find another planet with pits of the terracotta warriors that are like those on Earth. She knows it means leaving her friends behind on Xinji and never seeing them again. Space travel also means time travel. While days pass for those on the ship, years pass for those who are left behind.

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.

Favorite Quote:
Radcliff faces his second-in-command. "No need to terrify the girl."

"I doubt that's possible," Morgan says dryly. "Besides, she needs to know what those energy wave guns can do, since she tends to be where the trouble is."

No one corrects her. I'd be insulted, but Morgan has a point.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. I have enjoyed other books by this author. I'm glad you liked this. I am looking forward to getting this one to read. Thanks for sharing.


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