Beth Bonini's Reviews > Chasing the Stars

Chasing the Stars by Malorie Blackman
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it was ok
bookshelves: fantasy, science-fiction, romance, young-adult

There are two stories here: one is a sci-fi adventure, and the other is an 'insta-love' romance with shades of Othello (jealousy, insecurity, paranoia, and some Iago-like manipulation). Although I suspect that there are plenty of the holes in the sci-fi world-building, I wasn't bothered to figure out if the story really knitted together or not; the point is there was some suspense and adventure and intrigue and aliens and spaceship technology. Not to mention drones, robots, ion fields, worm holes and a corrupt 'Authority' lurking in the background. As for the romance, it was a bit too silly and melodramatic for this adult reader. (There was also a surprisingly graphic sex scene.)

The book opens with twin sister and brother Olivia ('Vee') and Aidan isolated on their spaceship. For three years, they have been travelling alone - as the rest of the crew, including their parents, have been wiped out by a virus picked by the Mazon enemy. The circumstances of this virus are shrouded with mystery, and will play out, bit by bit, in the plot. Olivia is the commander of the spaceship and Aidan is the techie brain of the outfit. The story makes a convincing case for Olivia's intense loneliness, which is meant to explain why she risks her life picking up human refugees from a planet used for bacterial mining. Amongst the refugees are Nathan (the 18 year old love interest with intense green eyes) and his mother Catherine, who has been a commander of her own spaceship and immediately moves in to take over from Olivia.

Although the book focuses most tightly on the Olivia/Nathan romance and the Olivia/Aidan relationship, there are numerous other alliances - and lots of 'baddies', some of them unexpected. Some of the plot developments are totally predictable, while others did surprise me. It was easy enough to read, and entertaining in its way, but I wouldn't say it was high-quality YA. Nevertheless, this book appears on the 2017 YA Book Prize shortlist.
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Reading Progress

November 19, 2017 – Started Reading
November 20, 2017 – Shelved
November 20, 2017 – Shelved as: fantasy
November 20, 2017 – Shelved as: science-fiction
November 20, 2017 – Shelved as: romance
November 20, 2017 – Shelved as: young-adult
November 20, 2017 – Finished Reading

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