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Singing the Dogstar Blues

(Singing the Dogstar Blues)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  981 ratings  ·  137 reviews
Alison Goodman's first novel - in a very special new edition!

Seventeen-year-old Joss is a rebel, and a student of time travel at the prestigious Centre for Neo-Historical Studies. This year, for the first time, the Centre has an alien student: Mavkel, from the planet Choria. And Mavkel has chosen Joss, of all people, as his roommate and study partner. Then Mavkel gets si
Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 12th 2012 by Firebird (first published 1998)
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Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

Aren't you tired of YA scifi novels that breed gorgeous aliens as if their intergalactic lives depended on it?

"You," she said, "are literally the most gorgeous thing I've ever seen." - The Alienated disaster

► Aren't you tired of watching every one of these MCs morphing the book into some love-triangle-ish Human vs Alien macho pissing contest KissWar before your depressed eyes?

► Aren't you tired of reading nonsensical and cheesy dialogues when you only asked for some novelty?

Then Singing the
May 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Flannery
Recommended to Tatiana by: Catie
Shelves: 2011, sci-fi, ya, aus-nz
As seen on The Readventurer

Singing the Dogstar Blues is that rare specimen of YA fiction called science fiction. That's right, not dystopia or rather dystopian romance, not sci-fi romance, but real deal sci-fi. There are no love triangles in it, no angst, no moping around boys. Gee, no wonder nobody read it. My library book was bought 6 years and looks as if nobody ever even touched it.

Joss Aaronson is a 1st year student at a time travel school. She is about to be paired up with her permanent T
Emily May
Sep 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, sci-fi, 2011

For me, this book balances science fiction, humour and interesting characters in a way that grabbed me far more than any Douglas Adams book ever did. To be honest, the author had me at "flappy-eared alien".

Science fiction when it is told well is easily one of my favourite genres, but too much of it turns into some crappy dystopian romance or is written for a male readership... the only sci-fi I can honestly say I've enjoyed in recent years is Margaret Atwood and Ursula K. Le Guin. But I loved t
Jul 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: YA sci-fi fans
Recommended to Flannery by: Tatiana and Catie; Picked for TBR Challenge by Olivia (August)
I’m always on the lookout for a fun space-related story. Singing the Dogstar Blues isn’t set in space but there is a very futuristic feel to it and ALIENS so it definitely hit my sweet spot. If you are wondering if this book reads at all like Goodman’s other book Eon, the answer, at least for me, is absolutely not. I enjoyed Eon but the pacing was off and I wasn’t especially attached to any of the characters. That’s not the case here. Joss Aaronson attends a prestigious time-jumping school and h ...more
May 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011, sci-fi, ya
3 stars

There are a definitely a few parts of this book that I would give a five star rating to. This book is exciting, irreverent, and fun and I practically inhaled it. Unfortunately it’s one of those cases of “okay…yes…yes…YES!…oh. Eh.” The ending leaves a lot to be desired, in my opinion. It feels really sheared off and over-simplified. In general, I am (especially lately) very weary of every single book being stretched and stretched as far as possible into long series. However, this is one c
3.5 stars

I had attempted to read this once before but that was back when my reading horizons were fairly narrow and I was the sort of uninformed moron who, when presented with science fiction, automatically thought: “Wait, what if nerd hunters drive by and tranq and tag me?” [1] I only made it through a few pages before putting it aside. Maybe it just wasn’t the right book at the time. Whatever the case, I’m probably still a moron, but hopefully a slightly more open-minded and informed one.

*** Read and "reviewed" first on November 1st 2011 *** Flappy-eared, double-nosed, telepathic aliens, music, danger, time-travel, friendship in unexpected places, searching for your roots, futuristic futures, Blade-Runner-style bars, gut-wrenching loneliness, highly-original, tongue-in-cheek twists, bluesy sadness, snarky humor. Wow. Just my kind of sci-fi. This my second five-star-read within eight days. I feel so lucky - kind of like overdosed on "Bliss-sticks". Thank you, all you Goodreaders ...more
A very charming, light and funny little book.

YA sci-fi (real YA sci-fi, not romance disguised as sci-fi) is still a rare thing to find, and I very much enjoyed this story about time travel, aliens, a DNA mystery and an unlikely friendship. Joss is spunky and rebellious without being annoying, Mavkel a very fascinating and endearing character. I loved how their friendship developed, how the Chorians communicated and how their society worked. The overall tone of the book was light, but not withou
Steph Su
It’s been a while since I’ve read a straight-up science-fiction YA novel, and yet SINGING THE DOGSTAR BLUES proves to be one of the best of its genre. With a great protagonist and a fully realized world, this small book will suck you in so fast you won’t even realize when you’ve lost your heart to it.

Joss is, without a doubt, my kind of girl. A bit jaded, a bit too smart for her own good, she is thoroughly entertaining to read about. Her tongue-in-cheek observations and flagrant disregard for Ce
Jan 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-scifi-pics
Don't be put off that this book is a little "old" now (published in the - gasp! - '90's, which in YA makes it practically a dinosaur). This sci fi story for young adults is pure brilliance, and a little time hasn't diminished its relevance.

Joss is a university student studying time travel sometime in the future, when her college roommate is a Chorian (alien) named Mavkel. Mav and Joss are a sort of experiment in human/alien living relations for the university. In Mav's culture, everyone has a tw
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. I really enjoyed this but was thrown by the abruptness of the ending (and it didn't help my confusion that it ended at 79% on my Kindle). The pace up until that point was great and then it's suddenly two chapters worth of story in five paragraphs of summary. There are big revelations that get like one sentence devoted to them! The big climax and then it's suddenly a "pencils down, turn in your essay" rushed ending. Instead of going out with a bang, it ended on a welp.

Don't get me wro
Thea’s Take:

Joss Aaronson is a misfit and a maverick, and thanks to her famous reporter mother, Joss has been shipped off to more boarding schools than she can count. Now, on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Joss is finally part of something that is passionate about. A first-year in the prestigious Centre for Neo-Historical Studies, and one of a very select few that will train to travel back in time, Joss is about to embark on an academic journey to study and observe first-hand the birth of s
This book was really interesting. It's from the perspective of a girl named Joss, who is 17/18 during the course of the book. Though authorities would view her as a touble maker, she's more of an independant spirit, who seems to get caught...a lot. Enough to get kicked out of 12 schools.

She manages to get into an exclusive program involving time jumping, and gets paired with a Chlorian, in a historical first for the world. It seems Chlorians are born in a...we'll call it twinship, and if one die
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Alison Goodman Fans
"The universe does not work to our time or our convenience."

This story is really very unique and original. Alison Goodman seems to write about things way more different than anyone else I've read so far. Truly genius. I love her style even though in this one was quite a bit of slang (and futuristic cursing) but I got used to it.

Singing the Dogstar Blues is a richly imaginative story filled with awesome characters and a great storyline. I just wish there was a bit more... more pages of Mavkel
(Fifth book/sixth text for the readathon.)

I first came across Alison Goodman in the Firebirds Rising anthology, which included a short story by her set in the world of this novel. So, when I wanted some books to cheer me up, this is one of the ones I ordered -- and when I wanted something lighter once it got to god knows what AM during the readathon, this is what I picked up. It was exactly what I wanted: light but still absorbing, a nice change of pace.

I enjoyed the characters and the world, wh
Quick, easy read. The secrets don't take too much guesswork, but the most charming part was the loveable, if overly touchy-feely/sneezy (emotionally) alien. I enjoyed Joss, her sass and drinking habits, but I would have liked faster pacing where the end was actually the middle of the story and we could have seen Mav and Joss develop a bit more independently, and then as a team, or more appropriately, a pair.

My biggest issue was that I couldn't visualize Mav at all. I was told what specific body
Feb 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012, sci-fi, ya
A refreshing story that is actually sci-fi through and through. Although Joss is sometimes irritating as a main character with her blatant disregard for authority and her selfishness, overall she is still likeable since she is loyal and willing to take risks for the people she cares about.

I found the background to the alien race very interesting, and wished that we had more of the meatier science-y world/race building stuff, but even though it was bare bones I didn't find what was given to the
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like YA that doesn't read like YA. This was a very moving book. The main character isn't so sassy and jaded that she's lost her ability to experience real emotions. If the bravado isn't properly balanced, you've just got a ball of snark with no heart. Joss has a tremendous amount of heart.

This books' appeal isn't limited to YA readers, although I'd love for my daughters to read it. Proper character-driven, alien-populated scifi is what it is. With a touch of time travel, just a pinch, for fla
Feb 17, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
I found it difficult to get into this book. The main character didn't really appeal from the first page, and the story wasn't compelling to me in any big way, and some of the plot twists were just completely obvious. The climax wasn't, the resolution was over far too quickly, as was the entire book. The constant use of dropping the beginnings or endings off words got grating very quickly.
Jun 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, young-adult, sci-fi
I really enjoyed this. Excellent scifi grounded in good characters with a fast paced plot that I breezed right through. And, shockingly, there was no romance. Usually that'd be a disappointment for me, but the friendship was enough. With a little bit more development on a few of the relationships I think this would have been five stars for me.
Aug 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-literature
This was another book that had never been checked out in 10 years at my library. I was sad for the book so I read it. At first I thought, yes, now I know why it was not checked out. But as the story progressed I liked it more and more. Joss, a troubled, music loving teen, is at the time jump center and about to get kicked out. However she is partnered with an alien (first time ever) and her journey changes as she tries to save the alien and herself. It is true science fiction so fans of that gen ...more
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
What a cool story! I love Goodman's use of slang and the world building she has engaged in with this book. I wish she had built out even more, maybe made this a series (there's promise here). It reminded me of Tanith Lee's use of slang/world in Biting the Sun, though Lee does a better job of explaining slang and parts of the world. But Goodman's writing is on the same level of expertise as Lee's (if slightly more YA in tone). Quick read, really liked it, but lacks the qualities of a favorite bec ...more
Jessalyn King
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, teen, grown-human
This was a lovely, unexpected look at the psychology of alone-ness, bigotry, family, betrayal, and racism. And there was a little bit of time travel. I was honestly expecting more of that from the premise, but I think I liked this version better than what I would have gotten if it was actually about time travel! Sometimes authors write the right book.
Alicia Croft
This just wasnt for me

I did not enjoy the concept of a mind being invaded and joined with a dog-like alien.
The characters (their drives, intentions and interactions) and many parts of the world lacked consistency, cohesiveness and believability (thats a mouthful). I couldn't get into it - the end wasnt bad - the whole book wasnt bad, it just wasn't for me.
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-children, sf
Nice, very readable, YA science fiction. If you think about it much, a lot of the plot doesn't hold up to scrutiny, but it's still fun to read.

For anyone who wants to read more books about a teenager with an alien roommate, I highly recommend the Binti series by Nnedi Okorafor.
Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I randomly picked this up, and am really happy I did! I loved the world, it's futuristic and time travely. It took a while to fully immerse myself in the lingo, but once I did, I loved how quirky and weird it was. Also Mav is a sweet cinnamon roll who needs to be protected at all costs
Jan 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya, time-travel, sci-fi
I just think Alison Goodman isn't for me.

There are some interesting ideas in here but I really hated the writing style. The slang was cringey, the main character was uninteresting and the "mystery" was totally predictable.

Anyway, hard pass.
Erica Elwell
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great sci-fi book! I really liked the fact that it was true sci-fi and not just a romance with a love triangle like so many!

The story was a quick read and the concept was really interesting with aliens, telepathy, time travel, and a little bit of blues!

Recommend 12/13 and older
Julie Davis
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd give this 3-1/2 stars but the originality of the setting and alien pushed it up some. It is YA and could have used some additional fleshing out, as others have commented, but I really enjoyed this one.
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Alison is the author of EON and EONA, a New York Times Bestselling fantasy duology. Her latest novel --The Dark Days Club-- is Book 1 in a new trilogy, and will be published in the USA and UK in January 2016, and December 2015 in Australia. It has been reviewed by Publishers Weekly as "a delicious collision of Regency romance and dark fantasy". Alison calls it "Pride and Prejudice meets Buffy in E ...more
“Don't ask any questions and you won't hear any lies.” 11 likes
“Don't say anything. Just act cool," I whispered.
Mavkel started to shiver.
"Like this?" it asked.
"No, I mean act calm."
Mavkel stopped shivering.”
More quotes…