Navigating the Stars (Sentinels of the Galaxy #1)

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Navigating the Stars (Sentinels of the Galaxy #1) audiobook

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Review #1

Navigating the Stars (Sentinels of the Galaxy #1) audiobook free

So the terra-cotta warrior plot is superb. As is the time crinkling and space travel. So this could have been 5 stars for me…except for a few flaws I just couldnt ignore.

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.


Review #2

Navigating the Stars (Sentinels of the Galaxy #1) audiobook streamming online

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.


Review #3

Audiobook Navigating the Stars (Sentinels of the Galaxy #1) by Maria V. Snyder

After a quick physics refresher course, this book was super enjoyable. She did a good job of laying out time dilation in the story, but I couldn’t 100% wrap my brain around the theory until I fully reminded myself of the ins and outs of the concept. Additionally, looking up pictures of the Terracotta Warriors was also super helpful in bringing the scenes inside the story to life. This novel was full of puzzles inside mysteries. I love how there was always a way to keep peeling back another layer. At the end of the book this left me with a want to know more about the puzzles they were trying to figure out, but I also understand how these puzzles were too intricate to have everything revealed in one book. There is also space travel, new planets, archeology, spaceships, advanced tech, sneaking around, heartbreak, romance, danger, action, aliens, ghosts, and so much more to keep you glued to the page. I had a really hard time putting this book down when I needed to. The action scenes had me totally engrossed. You can feel the romance sizzling on the page. If there were any drawbacks, I wish we had learned more about Lyra’s ability to see the shadows, what they were, and how they related to the Terracotta Warriors. But as I said, it was a lot to put into one book. Secondly, Lyra can be a little immature in her speech or thoughts; however, I am stuck between being annoyed by the immaturity and feeling like it is a realistic representation for her age. Sometimes in YA books the characters have significantly more maturity that some of the 30-40 year-olds that I know. Maybe it is accurate for how they grew up, but in cases where I might feel annoyed I like to remember that a 17 year-old is not going to respond like a 30 year-old, especially if they have had a fairly stable upbringing like Lyra did. Lyra still got to be a kid even if she was moved around on spaceships and when she had to start over it was on a new planet instead of in a new town. Plus both of her parents are stabilizing forces in her life. So I was able to put this aside fairly easily and just enjoy this fast paced sci fi ride.


Review #4

Audio Navigating the Stars (Sentinels of the Galaxy #1) narrated by Gabra Zackman

So I might be bit biased here, as Navigating the Stars is the 15th book of Maria’s that I’ve read as I always know I’m going to love her stories, and she did not disappoint.

Navigating the Stars is unique in that you feel like Lyra is talking right to you and she Refuses to be Ignored! She is strong willed, kind, funny and inquisitive and more than a little keen to bend the rules.

The story is set in space where her parents are archaeologists who are trying to unearth the mysteries of the Terracotta warriors found on many planets. Amongst all the fantasy, which is in depth (but not overwhelming) is also just a normal teenage girl wishing she didn’t always have to go along with her present and loving parents, but as she is yet 18, she has to attend her own funeral and leave all her friends behind and set out on another adventure. One which she does very reluctantly, but it doesn’t take our girl long before she is making friends, breaking rules and riding with the Stars.

Am so pleased we get to have another instalment later this year.


Review #5

Free audio Navigating the Stars (Sentinels of the Galaxy #1) – in the audio player below

Now that was surprisingly awesome!

Why surprising? Well, I struggled at the start. My biggest hurdle? Physics. I’m more of a biology nerd and never quite reached the same level of “ahh, I get it” with physics. My brain couldn’t fully immerse itself in the story while part of it was still trying to understand how time worked. The first third of the book was a lot of setting up the world and trying to explain time dilation and what it meant for relationships with other people. And to be honest, I still don’t completely get it, but I think it eventually became just a Thing to Accept rather than something I could understand.

But then things started to look up, and my engagement in the story gradually increased the more other mysteries arose. Physics, I’m not sold on, but throw in some ancient history, computer hacking, and even some paranormal-biology mash, and I am there. There were so many threads working through this story, slowly connecting, and Snyder managed to make them all work while keeping me hypothesising on all fronts straight through. I loved it. My brain was positively tingling with all the puzzles thrown around for it to work out. And I’m so proud of myself for working one of them out a while before the big reveal.

Adding to the excitement was a lot of action. With not just one threat to consider once on the new planet, Lyra and co. were kept on their toes. People actually got hurt in this, including Lyra. People died! The ending was particularly intense, so much so that I may have shooed away my mom…

Lyra herself was great because she was real. She didn’t know what she wanted to do and didn’t let others box her in. She tested boundaries and had some snark about it her, but she was also very aware of her adolescent status and who had authority. She also reacted to what was happening, showing fear and grief and so on. It was inspiring to read about a teenager who did get freaked out and feel woozy, but who also tried to help regardless.

I loved her relationship with her parents, who actually acted like parents. They kept an eye on her, set rules and punished disobedience, and they showed they cared about her in many ways, sometimes too much. I also loved how her mom was clearly In Charge while her dad had to sometimes rein in his pride when she did something reckless but with great results.

There was a hate-to-love romance in here that I, naturally, was very happy about. It was a gradual thing at first, and I loved how Lyra almost didn’t know what was going on. Somehow, Snyder managed to capture the giddiness of a new relationship and the heat while also countering it with…well…parents. Awkward sex talk anyone? But seriously, Lyra and her special friend were so adorable and so supportive of each other, and I loved it.

So yes, surprising. And while the ending brought some answers, there is still so much to resolve, so I’ll be anxiously awaiting the second book. If you like your sci-fi with some action, mystery, and a dash of romance, consider trying this out.


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