A Conspiracy of Stars

A Conspiracy of Stars

Octavia has only ever had one goal: to follow in the footsteps of her parents and become a prestigious whitecoat, one of the scientists who study the natural wonders of Faloiv. The secrets of the jungle’s exotic plants and animals are protected fiercely in the labs by the Council of N’Terra, so when the rules suddenly change, allowing students inside, Octavia should be ove...

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Title:A Conspiracy of Stars
Author:Olivia A. Cole
Rating:

A Conspiracy of Stars Reviews

  • Lisa

    Everything about this book - the characters, plot and mystery - are all very well thought out and carefully constructed. I was definitely compelled to read and continue unraveling the secrets of Faloiv (<- no idea how to pronounce this!).

    I was so impressed with the world-building here - and I loved Octavia's curiosity and love of her planet. The science fiction aspects like skinsuits and all the species of animals added depth and interest to the story. I deeply wish the cover conveyed the arr

    Everything about this book - the characters, plot and mystery - are all very well thought out and carefully constructed. I was definitely compelled to read and continue unraveling the secrets of Faloiv (<- no idea how to pronounce this!).

    I was so impressed with the world-building here - and I loved Octavia's curiosity and love of her planet. The science fiction aspects like skinsuits and all the species of animals added depth and interest to the story. I deeply wish the cover conveyed the array of colors and flora and fauna present in the book - I think the flowers shown on the background don't do enough to convey the imaginative nature of the book.

    Make sure you pick this up on in the new year!

  • Madison

    Here there be monsters. A Conspiracy Of Stars is a truly imaginative novel. Beautifully crafted, this book draws the reader into another world, or rather planet, that is entirely different from our own. Yet is seems that the troubles of humanity follow, no matter how exotic the location.

    Octavia's dream is to become a whitecoat like her mother and father, eminent scientists who study the diverse animals and plants of Faloiv. When she and her fellow classmates are offered internships well before e

    Here there be monsters. A Conspiracy Of Stars is a truly imaginative novel. Beautifully crafted, this book draws the reader into another world, or rather planet, that is entirely different from our own. Yet is seems that the troubles of humanity follow, no matter how exotic the location.

    Octavia's dream is to become a whitecoat like her mother and father, eminent scientists who study the diverse animals and plants of Faloiv. When she and her fellow classmates are offered internships well before expected, they are all excited. But things are changing within their settlement of N'Terra. There are murmurs of discontent, anger towards the indigenous people of Faloiv, the Faloii, and the head of the Council seems to be driving it all. As Octavia and her friends uncover more of the secrets of her home, she begins to experience her own strange changes - it seems she is far more tied to the planet of Faloiv and all its inhabitants than she ever could have dreamed possible.

    The world created in A Conspiracy of Star is so detailed. The creatures, the plant life, the Faloii are all so different and creative. The author must surely have a sketchbook or workbook with all these details fully drafted out to bring them to life so clearly within the writing.

    I loved the writing style. The book is centred around an entirely new planet, ecosystem, and social system, yet there is no information overload. Instead, the reader is placed immediately into Octavia's life, and slowly, as more details are revealed, it becomes clearer about who she is, where she lives, and the amazing creations with which she is surrounded. This meant that at first I wasn't entirely sure about all the details but it left me wanting to read more, quickly, to find out everything - from how this group of N'Terran's came to be on Faloiv, to their available technology and the secrets that have been hidden from Octavia. The publisher has categories this book under monsters, but I'm not so sure this refers to the amazingly diverse animals that feature in the story.

    The story and characters are all very authentic. Octavia and her classmates have all lived on Faloiv their whole life. They know nothing else. They know so much about the new creatures and plants of Faloiv, but not a lot about the Origin Planet (Earth). And words, like tortoises or cornrows or Afros, which have somehow remained in their language base have now lost their meaning. I liked how these little details were included as a reminder of the difference between the children born within N'Terra and those older inhabitants who journeyed from the Origin Planet. And it is this divide from which the trouble stirs.

    The romance in A Conspiracy of Stars starts as a newly developing crush and slowly deepens into a close friendship. Of course, this is all spread through the action and twists of the plot and so the romance does not take the focus. It will be very interesting to see how the romance continues in the second book. There are also many other relationships that feature in A Conspiracy of Stars, friendship, parent-daughter, student-teacher, and rival, that all become more complex as more secrets are revealed.

    This series is a planned duology. It is hugely exciting that the story will be concluded within just two books, keeping the story fast-paced and totally engaging. The exciting and climatic ending of this first book has me very eager to read the final novel. The is still so much of Faloiv to be discovered. A Conspiracy of Stars is a beautifully crafted science-fiction novel, that uniquely stretches the boundaries of what we think of about other planets, animals, and human interactions.

    The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

    Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog

  • Emily May

    3 1/2 stars. I really think that love for certain books can depend on the time when you read them. There would probably be times when

    would be too slow-moving for me. Because, honestly, it is a very slow climb;

    , with later chapters containing enough action to just about mak

    3 1/2 stars. I really think that love for certain books can depend on the time when you read them. There would probably be times when

    would be too slow-moving for me. Because, honestly, it is a very slow climb;

    , with later chapters containing enough action to just about make up for the earlier pacing.

    Thankfully, I read this book on vacation. There was no rush; no demand I read it within a certain time. I was able to enjoy the book's pacing in a way I otherwise may not have. It is sometimes hard to commit to a slow book when real life pressures give us so little time to read. But I am so glad I made the effort with this.

    reminded me of

    or, if you remember it,

    . It imagines human settlers crashing on a planet called Faloiv, setting up a laboratory called N'Terra, and experimenting on the native animals, with obvious nods to the colonialism we know. The indigenous people - the Faloii - live out in the Faloiv wilderness but, as Octavia is about to discover, the actions of the human settlers, the secrets they are keeping and the vows they are breaking, could lead to a catastrophic war.

    There is a strong focus on nature and animals, with the latter being sometimes terrifying and sometimes heartbreaking. Some of the heavy descriptions of Faloiv wildlife bogs down the first part of the book, as Octavia and friends (who were born on Faloiv) take part in lab internships and learn a lot of facts along with the reader.

    The pacing picks up when Octavia begins to discover that she can hear voices or get a sense of something that no one else seems to hear or feel. And it picks up once again later when Octavia starts to discover how deep the shit is. I especially liked that

    between Octavia and her friends, putting emphasis on friendship above all else. A romance develops but it is not central to the story, and it rises organically out of a friendship.

    The society Cole imagines seems at least relatively diverse. All of the major characters are dark-skinned and, unless it's a grammatical error (which has happened to me before), Rondo has two dads. Most other characters are not given physical descriptions, though some are described as "pale" or have names suggesting diversity (Dr Wong, for example).

    So yes, it does take a while to get going, lingering on dense descriptions that may not all have been necessary, but I personally thought it was worth it. Cole considers

    . And, slow as it may be, that certainly cannot be said for the later chapters that explode with action and reveals.

    It is impossible to look away as the novel draws to a dramatic close and you can count me on board for the sequel!

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  • Sarah

    (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

    This was a YA sci-fi story, set on another planet.

    I liked Octavia, and I liked how she kept searching for the truth even when things got hard. I also liked her friends Rondo and Alma, and I liked how they helped her even when she sounded a bit crazy.

    The storyline in this was about Octavia finding that things were not as they seemed on the planet where she lived. She had been born on the planet, whilst her p

    (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

    This was a YA sci-fi story, set on another planet.

    I liked Octavia, and I liked how she kept searching for the truth even when things got hard. I also liked her friends Rondo and Alma, and I liked how they helped her even when she sounded a bit crazy.

    The storyline in this was about Octavia finding that things were not as they seemed on the planet where she lived. She had been born on the planet, whilst her parents and other elders had been born on the ‘origin planet’ and had travelled to Faloiv when the ‘origin planet’ became inhospitable. There were several mysteries surrounding what was going on and what the humans were doing with the native people and animals, and the world building was pretty good. The pace was also fairly consistent throughout the book, and it held my interest fairly well.

    The ending to this had plenty of action, and just enough of a twist at the end to make me want to read the next book.

    ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

    7 out of 10

  • Laura

    I have a love/hate relationship with the classic slow build. Mainly because I usually get too bored. But there are the cases where the slowness pays off in an explosive way. That ends up being the case here. Especially in the last chapter. So this

    worth the read. However..suffering through that slowness was a bit of a pain until the world we were in came to life. I get it, though. If this didn't come together in a slower way, the world-building would've been a full on info-dump. And we all kn

    I have a love/hate relationship with the classic slow build. Mainly because I usually get too bored. But there are the cases where the slowness pays off in an explosive way. That ends up being the case here. Especially in the last chapter. So this

    worth the read. However..suffering through that slowness was a bit of a pain until the world we were in came to life. I get it, though. If this didn't come together in a slower way, the world-building would've been a full on info-dump. And we all know how frustrating that can be.

    Sixteen year old Octavia lives on Faloiv, a planet that became their home when the Origin Planet became uninhabitable. She was born here, but her parents came from the Origin Planet. They are scientists and are both on the 12 person Council that makes decisions about N'Terra (the structure housing the labs and homes of their people). This makes Octavia a bit more in the know than any of the other kids she's in school with, as she has access to other compounds, etc. Oddly enough, this planet isn't necessarily that livable because people need to wear skinsuits to be outside N'Terra, but that's why they need to do so much research on the wildlife to see how they survive here. In the labs, research is done on the plants and animals of Faloiv..as they try to learn more about the planet they're inhabiting. This is the way it's been for the over forty years they've been on the planet. Even Octavia's grandmother was a scientist until she was lost in the jungle five years ago on a scavenging trip. It broke her parents.

    News comes that the labs will finally welcome interns, even though there have always been strict rules of no one under 21 being allowed in. Octavia is thrilled. With the inside access, eventually it becomes clear that everything isn't what it seems. Too many unexplainable things begin to add up. There are secrets being kept from the public, Octavia's parents are at odds and Octavia is hearing things no one else seems to hear. The mysteries add up as the pacing ramps up a bit. And once it starts getting a bit more clear as to what is going on, the action takes off from there.

    There are indigenous people on the planet, the Faloii. This is where the colonialism and imperialism comes into play. Settlers going to a foreign land and taking it for their own with no respect for the nation's people or wildlife. Sound familiar? Of course, this is a science fiction version of this story. Although, I'm sure it'll be fascinating to see how this all plays out.

    I enjoyed Octavia's relationships throughout the story..not just her wonderful friendships with Rondo and Alma, but also her parents. I did see similarities to

    . It is hard not to. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel.

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