Octavia has only ever wanted to become one of the scientists who study the natural wonders of Faloiv. The labs are closed to those under age, so when the rules change, allowing students inside, Octavia should be overjoyed. But something isn’t right. When Octavia witnesses one of the Faloii—the indigenous people of Faloiv—attacked in front of her in the dark of night, she knows the Council and the newly elected leader are hiding something. They are living in separate worlds on a shared planet, and their fragile peace may soon turn into an all-out war. With the help of Rondo and her inquisitive best friend, Alma, Octavia is set to discover the secrets behind the history she’s been taught, the science she’s lived by, and the truth about her family.
A Conspiracy of Stars is a wonderfully written sci-fi based well after humans have destroyed earth and have had to evacuate to another planet. There’s so many real life issues that can be discussed within this book. You have the destroying of Earth as one, we as human’s are constantly harming the environment we’re in whereas the Faloii on Faloiv are connected with nature and do not harm the plants or animals. There’s also issues of colonialism as the bad guys in this plot are going to try and take over this planet they have been welcomed onto. We’ve got morals of science as should we really be testing on animals? What is morally right and wrong in trying to advance humans as a species? All these thoughtful issues and ideas are within this one book.
The world building is wonderful and I can’t wait to explore more of Faloiv outside the compounds in the sequel. There’s beautifully descriptive foliage and sometimes confusingly but wondrously described new animals. Every single animal is new as it’s a completely different planet, which means Cole must have put in a lot of energy creating them and then describing them.
There were some issues with a very slow pace at times. This was because it was so descriptive about the new animals, new trees and new world. We also have the history to look back on a bit which caused less action within the first half of the book. It does pick up near the end, and I’m sure the sequel will keep the latter pacing to keep up with the momentum.
I also worried it was a bit predictable. I got a very Avatar-esque vibe from the Faloii people and I have my own thoughts about how the series will play out as a whole. Hopefully Cole will provide some curve balls and prove me wrong, but at this point it does seem to be heading towards a typical sci-fi book route.
The different relationships between characters are wonderfully written. You have Octavia and her mum and Octavia and her dad, and there’s two very different relationships, but still with the love between a parent and child. There’s also the relationship between the parents that is explored slightly. Octavia also has a well built up friendship with Alma, and a newer one with Rondo. Both friendships are really well written and don’t seem too over the top.
Although we have these relationships forming, the characters themselves often suffered from being one-dimensional at times. They’ve all been brought up to have science ingrained into them and there’s sometimes a robotic feel to how they act to situations. I’m not sure whether this was intentional or whether it was a lack of focus on character building throughout the first book. I’ll be reading the sequel to see if this get’s any better and of course to find out what happens.
+ World building
+ Good friendships and range of relationships
+ Real world issues
– It feels slightly predictable
– Slow paced
– Characters are very one dimensional at times
I received A Conspiracy of Stars* by Olivia A. Cole from the publisher via Edelweiss. This is an unbiased and honest review.