Light Years

Featured
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
369   0
Write Review
Light Years
Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
October 09, 2018
ISBN
978-0316510448
Buy This Book
      

Reeling from the latest attack by a mysterious enemy, the Quatra Fleet Academy is finally admitting students from every planet in the solar system after centuries of exclusivity. Hotshot pilot Vesper, an ambitious Tridian citizen, dreams of becoming a captain--but when she loses her spot to a brilliant, wisecracking boy from the wrong side of the asteroid belt, it makes her question everything she thought she knew. Growing up on the toxic planet Deva, Cormak will take any chance he can get to escape his dead-end life and join the Academy--even if he has to steal someone's identity to do it. Arran was always considered an outsider on icy Chetire, always dreaming of something more than a life working in the mines. Now an incoming cadet, Arran is looking for a place to belong--he just never thought that place would be in the arms of a Tridian boy. And Orelia is hiding a dark secret--she's infiltrated the Academy to complete a mission, one that threatens the security of everyone there. But if anyone finds out who she really is, it'll be her life on the line. These cadets will have to put their differences aside and become a team if they want to defend their world from a cunning enemy--and they might even fall in love in the process.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0  (1)
Characters 
 
3.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
3.0  (1)
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

Angst In Space

Sporting a diverse ensemble cast, this book is rife with themes of team-building; and not simply setting aside differences but learning from them.

The storytelling is split between 4 third-person POVs: Vesper—the overly driven daughter of an emotionally constipated Admiral, Cormak—the hotshot orphaned identity thief (er… borrower-with-permission?), Arran—the painfully naïve underdog, and Orelia—the single-minded spy who’s been sent to destroy the Quatra Fleet Academy. The 4-way split means that readers spend around 90 pages with each character, and a sizable portion of that dedicated to the attempted development of a romance.

The prose is simple and serviceable—effectively conveying scenes without flourish. The overall pacing is leisurely. Most plot-related tension can be found in Cormak’s through line, as he finds a way off-world and spends time dodging discovery. Orelia faces a similar kind of concern, though readers will be conflicted on whether they want to see her found out. The team competitions are almost entirely simulations and don’t really elicit strain or concern for the characters. And the direness of the one potentially threatening situation is quickly quelled via a means that may strike some readers as contrived.

The romantic tensions carry through most of the story, seeming to form the majority focus. But while the three hot-first-kiss scenarios are a sensory extravaganza, the lack of relational depth and connection puts a damper on believability. (Arran at least seems to acknowledge a scarcity of emotional intimacy with his intended partner, but the awareness is quickly smothered under the character’s neediness.) I had a hard time forming much attachment to any of the characters, which made all of their aspirations, romantic or otherwise, difficult to root for.

Note: I would describe this book as ‘light sci-fi.’ We are given no idea of when it is taking place, (apparently distant enough in the future to allow for the colonizing of a different solar system) yet there has seemingly been next to no language development. 'Hooking up' is still called hooking up, and ‘screwed’ is still screwed. The only tailored exclamation I noticed was 'Anteres'...which seemed to be substituting for 'God' or 'Gods'--but there's no explanation given. (It's the name of a particular star in the constellation Scorpius, so I'm guessing that's the one their planets orbit...?) Aside from that, there’s 'Magma boar crap'—which is exactly the curse word substitute you think it is. (Although we are never shown a magma boar, and I remain vaguely curious.) And finally, there’s ‘Edgars’—the derogatory term for settlers. Although how/why an innocuous male name evolved into slang bordering on hate speech is sadly never explained. (Edgars happens to be the name of my favorite bakery, and so I had great difficulty in reconciling my superb cake fantasies with the idea of bigotry. >.> )

The majority of authentic sci-fi/futuristic worldbuilding is centered on Deva—Cormak’s poisonous gas-laden planet of origin, which we’re introduced to at the very beginning but don’t revisit aside from his personal references. (Much of his worldview is colored by his experiences on his barely-habitable home planet, and his regular comparisons actually felt the most organic of all the main characters.)

My biggest qualm?
Those chosen for the Quatra Academy are supposed to be geniuses—the top-scoring phenoms from their respective planets. But unfortunately, their intellect and acumen are far more implied than shown. Readers hoping for an Ender’s Game styled elite military academy will be sorely disappointed. Opulence, frivolity, and interpersonal pseudo-crisis are plentiful, while rules are barely enforced—giving the setting a feel that owes more to any modern high school drama than what this reader would have hoped for from the science fiction genre.

Without giving away any specific plot point, I think readers should be forewarned that this first book in the series does end on a cliffhanger. And those hoping for any satisfaction in the romantic realm will have to read on in the series.

Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon: The True Story of Alan Bean
As a boy, Alan wanted to fly planes. As a...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
As Far as the Stars
Christopher is the sort of guy that no one notices,...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
This Cruel Design
The nightmare of the outbreak is finally...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Big Red School (Clifford)
Clifford misses his best friend Emily Elizabeth every day when...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Finding Me by Kelly Gunderman
Tagline: Can you ever truly love someone who robbed you...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Don't Date Rosa Santos
Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea-at least, that's what...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
An unforgettable name… A longing to be invisible… ...
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
I Got Next
It’s game day! In this action-packed picture book from Daria...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A Friend for Bently
Like all pigs, Bently loves to play in the mud,...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Great Pumpkin Contest
Mimi and Clara are neighbors. Both cats want to win...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Save Your Friends!
This laugh-out-loud adventure encourages family sharing and is a perfect...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Dibs!
Teaching your little brother his first word —dibs —is funny....
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Where Are You From?
This resonant picture book tells the story of one girl...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Out of Place
When twelve-year-old Cove Bernstein becomes the target of a school-wide...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Salvation Day
A lethal virus is awoken on an abandoned spaceship in...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Bobby Ether and the Jade Academy
When sixteen-year-old Bobby Ether is abducted and brought to the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

As Far as the Stars
 
3.3
"AS FAR AS THE STARS is a slow-burning book about overwhelming grief. Air (Ariadne) is a high schooler with heaps..."
This Cruel Design
 
5.0
"Feedback This book…. What do I have to say about this book…. I have such a love/hate relationship with it...."
Don't Date Rosa Santos
 
5.0
"DON’T DATE ROSA SANTOS is a sweet and touching book about family. Rosa lives with her grandmother, and she sees..."
Not Now, Not Ever
 
4.0
"Lily Anderson’s sophomore novel follows Elliot "Ever" Gabaroche during an intense summer program to compete for a scholarship. It’s Not..."
A Monster Calls
 
4.7
"4.5 Stars This low-fantasy middle grade story is at once hefty and heartrending—despite its relative brevity and target audience..."
Salvation Day
 
4.3
"Zahra wants the world to know the truth about her father. She believes he wasn't to blame for the deaths..."
The Stars We Steal
 
4.7
"Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie "Leo" Kolburg has a title, but not much else. She's heir to an older European spaceship.When the..."
In Another Life
 
4.0
"I really loved this storyline. The Story: Chloe is going through a tough time with her family. After her..."
When Summer Ends
 
5.0
"This book is everything. The Story: Olivia and Aiden have good lives. Olivia has a boyfriend she loves..."
Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #2)
 
5.0
"VOW OF THIEVES is a thrilling end to a wonderful spin-off YA fantasy. Although a spin-off series from the Remnant..."
The Beautiful Lost
 
3.3
"A first-person past-tense telling exclusively from the perspective of Maia, a depressed high school sophomore with some ambitious—if half-formed—plans for..."
Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #1)
 
5.0
"Absolutely fantastic! "Dance of Thieves" is a really wonderful YA fantasy that takes place in the world of 'The Remnant..."
10 Blind Dates
 
4.7
"10 BLIND DATES is the must-read romantic comedy of the fall! Sophie is staying with her grandparents and her very..."
Maybe This Time
 
4.7
"Sophie is bound and determined to make it out of her small Alabama town and attend design school in New..."
Brawler
 
4.7
"Eddie McGuire is a talented high school wrestler with a horribly short fuse. This is no doubt a result of..."
Skyjacked!
 
3.3
"Six students from an elite private school are returning home after a camping trip on the private plane belonging to..."
Wicked Fox (Gumiho, #1)
 
4.0
"WICKED FOX is a unique urban fantasy that uses Korean mythology to bring a mythological creature to life. Miyoung is..."
Wilder Girls
 
4.7
"Beware. Wilder Girls will draw you in, softy whispering tendrils creeping through your mind and thorny vines entangling your heart..."
Aurora Rising
 
5.0
"Now I am huge huge fan of both Jay and Amie as individuals and as co-authors. Their Illuminae series completely..."
Crown of Coral and Pearl
 
4.7
"CROWN OF CORAL AND PEARL Is a story of sisters, adventure, and change. Nor and Zadie, whose names mean coral..."