Angie's Reviews > The Outback Stars

The Outback Stars by Sandra McDonald
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
50378
's review
Feb 11, 09

bookshelves: good-uns, scifi
Read in February, 2009

The Outback Stars is military scifi meets space opera meets Australian mythology. If you are a fan of Elizabeth Moon, Linnea Sinclair, or Ann Aguirre, there's a good chance you'll enjoy this one. Specifically, it reminded me in many ways of the wonderful Games of Command. So if you're a fan of that book like I am, this one might be for you.

Lieutenant Jodenny Scott is in a bad way. One of the sole survivors of the destruction of the Yangtze, she's spent months in forced recuperation and can take it no longer. She makes the decision to cash in a favor and finagles her way into a new job on the Aral Sea in lieu of curling up and dying of guilt and grief. Even before she sets foot on board, Jodenny is warned that the Aral Sea is an unhappy ship. She soon finds this to be true as she is put in charge of a completely derelict division, complete with pregnant ensigns, uncouth civilians, possible Japanese mafia members, and one accused rapist. All of whom need her. And Jodenny starts to flourish once more as she is back in her element organizing her division and prodding her people toward excellence. But the borders between officer and enlisted, history and mythology, reality and memory begin to blur, Jodenny finds it difficult to know which course to chart.

I thoroughly enjoyed this reading experience. I enjoyed the politics, the familiar military lingo, the slow, careful character development. In fact, oddly enough, I would say nostalgia was the primary emotion I experienced while reading The Outback Stars. I grew up a military brat and reading this made me feel like I'd been transported back in time a decade or so when my days were filled with new bases, adjusting to new environments, and a good night was nestling in and watching Star Trek with my dad. At the same time, the inclusion of the unfamiliar and intriguing Australian mythological elements kept me fascinated and really enriched the story. I felt satisfied with the ending, but kind of tickled to find out there is a sequel and a third one in the works, due out July 21st.
5 likes · likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Outback Stars.
sign in »

No comments have been added yet.