- Navigating the Stars
- Chasing the Shadows
- Defending the Galaxy
I’ve read Snyder’s Chronicles of Ixia twice now and absolutely loved them, so I’ve been meaning to pick up this trilogy for quite a while. I didn’t love this series as much as the Ixia books, but they were still really well done.
Lyra is the daughter of two renowned archeologists, living on a planet whose entire human population is based around the archeological dig there. The dig focuses on a set of strange artifacts that have been found on multiple planets (including Earth) around the galaxy – terracotta warrior statues. Content with her life and friends, Lyra is devastated when she finds out that she will be moving with her parents to a new planet, one that just discovered another set of warriors.
Snyder sets the stage for her space travel by explaining that everyone uses “time dilation,” similar to basically every other space book I seem to read, starting with A Wrinkle in Time, wherein travelers pass through folds/wrinkles/etc. of space. However, while it only takes a few hours for the travelers to pass through a time dilation, it can take decades of real time. Thus, say you were born (I’m going to use just random numbers here because I don’t have the book in front of me) in 2000, then at the age of 10 travel to a far-flung planet. When you arrive, you are still 10 Actual years old, but it’s now year 2052, so all of your friends from the original planet are now 52, while you’re still a child. It’s a little confusing at first, and the repeated use of Actual Years Old began to get on my nerves, but it all in all makes decent sense.
So when Lyra’s spaceship exits from time dilation, she of course receives all kinds of messages and news from the past couple of decades (even though it was only a couple of hours for her) – including some very disturbing news about the planet (and people) they left behind.
All three of these books held together really well, without that dreaded second-book dip. I was thoroughly engaged in what was going on with Lyra and her friends. The pacing was good and the characters mostly likable – I especially appreciated that Lyra had a great relationship with her parents, instead of them being constantly at odds.
My only real problem with these books was that I read them so close to the Aurora Cycle. They aren’t really that similar in terms of plot, but they do both involve a lot of space travel, time jumping, and people from the past. I didn’t get the confused at the time, but now that some time has passed from reading both of them, I find myself having to actively remember which things happened in which books haha
This wasn’t my new favorite series, but it’s one that I can see myself rereading. Overall, Snyder has become a favorite author of mine, and I’m still working my way through the rest of her works. If you like YA and scifi, this trilogy is definitely worth checking out.