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Vale of Stars

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  42 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Jene Halfner awaits the end of a hundred-year-long, deep-space colonization journey begun by her ancestors generations before. She has spent her life preparing for planetfall on Epsilon Eridani III, taking care of the growing number of victims of interstellar radiation aboard Ship.

What she will find upon arrival will change her perspective on life, and she and her descend...more
Paperback, 1st, 360 pages
Published December 12th 2012 by JournalStone
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Chris Hawks
I'll come right out and say it: Vale of Stars is a frustrating book. It's not well-written. It's heavy-handed. It tries to do to much. The characters are obnoxious. The science is laughable.

And yet.


In a nutshell, the story follows four generations of women, with each woman being the protagonist of her quarter of the book. It begins aboard a generation ship as it approaches its destination world, skips ahead in time to the planetbound colonies, and then expands out from there to the wider worl...more
Another excellent sci-fi read which takes me away from my usual "epic battle" type books with a thoughtful journey through generations of colonists tasked with setting up home on another planet.

The title hits upon many talking points of interest and I particularly like the way religion was covered, showing mankind's ability to make myth from a factual basis. There were so many conflicting issues here, the atheist scientist that was infact seen as a God of sorts herself and the way that whilst we...more
Joe Young
Interesting speculative fiction that follows a multi-generational journey of a colonization group that moves between galaxies seeking a new home. The spaceship is occupied by colonists and crew who are responsible for insuring the ship makes landfall safely. The colony forms a society based on equalitarian socialism with joint responsibilities for governing and supporting the mission. As the fifth generation of ship dwellers approaches maturity, the ship also approaches their destination planet...more
Received as part of LibraryThing's Early Reviewer November 2012 batch.

This speculative science fiction saga, Vale of Stars, by Sean O'Brien has to be admired for its ambitiousness and goals. While it makes a valiant attempt to reach those goals, however, it doesn't always succeed. The multi-generational space travel/settlement tale of earthlings bound for colonization on Epsilon Eridani 3 focuses on a family of women who each face heart-breaking decisions that ultimately cause irreparable harm t...more
I received this book as part of a LibraryThing giveaway.
A futuristic tale set in an alternative universe, away from Planet Earth, about a group of colonists nearing the end of a journey to a new world and then the female descendants of the original group.
This story engaged me with the detail of life, first on Ship and then on Epsilon Eridani 3. I especially liked the way the story went from one descendant to another which enabled a longer time frame and better story development, and therefore ga...more
I got the book as part of the early reviewer program at Goodreads.
I liked the book in the end and think it is worth reading. It took me a while to get into it. There is a strong focus on social, ethical, and political questions that are relevant today and certainly worth thinking about. The story is placed on a space ship and later a different planet, but the problems that the characters encounter are familiar. At times I felt like there is too much pushing of specific views on those topics. How...more
Very few books grab me on the first page, and this book did! I enjoyed this fast paced Sci-fi story with several interesting developments exploring themes of how we fear and react to those who are different to us. The structure of the book is in four parts and while this did speed up the pace of the story there were large gaps of time between each of the parts begging for more stories to be told. Some characters are well developed and I particularly enjoyed the main character in the latter part...more
Jeff Miller
I really enjoyed this - and not just because I designed the cover! I was fortunate to get an advance copy as part of the design gig, and this is another great book from Journalstone that I intend to share. This unique, multigenerational story centers on strong female characters (not all are exactly, um, strictly human), asking important questions about humanity while tickling your imagination all the way. I'll b especially excited to share this with my daughter when she's old enough - real sci-f...more
I received this book as a member give away, and was requested to give an honest review in exchange, so I'l try to be as fair and honest as possible. I'm not a book finisher. There people who, having started to read a book, will continue till the end no matter what, out of a weird sense of duty. I'm not one of them. If I reach a point were I clearly sense that I'm not going to like a book, I just close it and change to another. There just are too many great books waiting to be read. Obviously, it...more
I really liked this story, and all its characters. I was not so sure of this book, but after reading the first page, i was hooked, I had to find out what happened next.
Received as part of LibraryThing's Early Reviewer November 2012 batch.

This is an ebook covering a multi generational story, both of the trip to EE3, and the subsequent attempt to colonise the planet. The story focusses on a small group of people from each generation, usually a woman at the forefront and the most important people around her.

Decisions are made by people in each generation, which usually results in drastic actions being undertaken, such as expulsion from the group, and murder. Most...more
Libro denso, lungo da leggere piu' della lunghezza reale. Una saga nel tempo, quattro parti che si susseguono come fossero 4 libri di una stessa epopea in cui le protagonoste sono legate da parentela, e ci permettono di seguire la narrazione nel tempo. Molti argomenti tipici della fantascienza vengono affrontati, a partire dall'inizio, il viaggio di colonizzazione di un pianeta lontano. Quando si ha la sensazione di sapere come va a finire, ecco che vi è è una brusca virata, ma senza percepire u...more
Vale of Stars
By Sean O’Brien

Publisher: JournalStone
Published In: San Francisco, CA
Date: 2012
Pgs: 360


A generational saga told through the actions of the maternal line of a single family about a voyage from Earth to colonize another world and the changes and evolution that humans go through in the depths of space and under alien suns on an alien world.

science fiction

Main Character:
Jene, Kuarta, Yallia, Sirra. There's a lot of mirroring in this book using juxtaposition to tell the s...more
Vale of Stars actually drew me in and kept me going to the last page. I usually do not like stories where there are multiple generations and social issues and political conflict however, the author was able to draw me in and keep my interest all the way to the end. This may be for the very reason some others will not like it however; because the political and social aspects were presented at a high level instead of long drawn out details of those conflicts.
It was interesting how the evolution of...more
Christina Marie Rau
Creating a futuristic world, another universe, an alternate reality, or something in between is no easy task, so I admire Sean O'Brien's creativity and imagination. However, I ran into a lot of difficulty in following the events. In the beginning, I kept forgetting the characters are human--or perhaps they are a different kind of human--or perhaps they aren't and I didn't get it. The themes that emerge are much like the themes in a lot of fantasy and sci-fi: equality, fairness, humanity, moralit...more
This is a fascinating book that takes science fiction and uses it in a loose way as a lens to look at the concept of the history of man; circling back to the theory that humanity was partially, or wholly, a product of an alien species.

Jenes Halfner is the first in a long line of strong women that make radical impacts on their community - first in the spaceship that takes them to their new "home," and then on the planet's surface. Nothing is as expected when the travelers land and it ends up caus...more
A nice science fiction novel. The style in which it is organised reminds me of Asimov's Foundation: the story is told in several parts, each set in a different time; the story follows different generations of a single family.
I did very much like the story, I think O'Brien did a good job in creating a realistic alternative 'earth', and the story ahs plenty of developments that keep you intrigued and make you want to find out how it will continue.
One thing I found is that it can be a bit difficult...more
Marika Mullen
I received an early reader copy of this book for Kindle. The story was interesting, but I found the characters difficult to connect with. While the story shows them in some difficult situations, it never stays with one character and time long enough for you to build up any affection or real concern for them. I found Yallia to be the most sympathetic as a child, but was turned off by her as an adult.
The world that O'Brien built is interesting, and I wish we had gotten to see more of it in the st...more
A multi-generational treatise on morals and ethics in a science fiction setting, and I must admit I found it overwrought. The writing was leaden and felt juvenile, blunted and undeft, with the dialogue being particularly bad. Plot actions were heavily hammered into place, and the shallow characters failed to draw me in in any way. Two stars, maybe one. I found it unreadable, but I suppose it could have been worse.

My copy of this book was provided by the publisher through the LibraryThing Early R...more
I really appreciated the social and bioethical focus this book had, but I would have liked more science discussed in it. The story had a sideline-perspective feel to it, and perhaps an altered approach (tense/narration/etc.) would have felt more engaging. Perhaps that would have pulled me into the story more easily. Overall I enjoyed reading this book and would love to read more about the world.
Victoria Lee
I enjoyed the book and really liked how the author went through 4 generations of women, one for each section of the book (5 if you count the epilogue). Each generation dealt with their own issues including politics, religion, racism, and bio-engineering.
Wow! Tis book was great! It took me trough the lives of the various women descending from the first. It told a story of hatred, forgivness, and a journey to survive. I would definately recommend this book to countless others.
Cary Morton
You can read my complete and honest review here:
Jean Hontz
heavy handed social commentary but an interesting premise.
Mar 06, 2014 ☯Bettie☯ marked it as to-read
LibraryThing: Early Reviewers

Congratulations. You've been selected to receive an Early Reviewers copy of Vale of Stars by Sean O'Brien from the October 2012 batch. You should get your copy shortly (either by mail or email, depending on if it was a paper book or ebook). The publisher ships/emails the books directly--some are speedier than others, so please be patient (some really do take over 8 weeks to arrive)!
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