Chasing the Shadows – Maria V. Snyder – Sentinels of the Galaxy #2 – HarperCollins – Published 18 November 2019
Lyra Daniels is dead. Okay, so I only died for sixty-six seconds. But when I came back to life, I got a brand new name and a snazzy new uniform. Go me! Seriously, though, it’s very important that Lyra Daniels stays dead, at least as far as my ex-friend Jarren, the murdering looter, knows.
While dying is the scariest thing that’s happened to me, it morphed my worming skills. I can manipulate the Q-net like never before. But Jarren has blocked us from communicating with the rest of the galaxy and now they believe we’ve gone silent, like Planet Xinji (where silent really means dead).
A Protector Class spaceship is coming to our rescue, but we still have to survive almost two years before they arrive – if they arrive at all. Until then, we have to figure out how to stop an unstoppable alien threat. And it’s only a matter of time before Jarren learns I’m not dead and returns to finish what he started.
There’s no way I’m going to let Jarren win. Instead I’ll do whatever it takes to save the people I love. But even I’m running out of ideas…
Chasing the Shadows is the exciting second book in the Sentinels of the Galaxy series. As a huge Maria V. Snyder fan, I was thrilled to be able to continue this story that is one part archaeology-action and the other technology-hacking, space science-fiction.
Chasing the Shadows picks up right where the first book left off, and continues Lyra’s investigation into the Terracotta Warriors that grace planets across the galaxy, the looters who are destroying the Warriors, the invisible creatures who attack, leaving planets desolate, and the hacker who has put a target on Lyra’s back. But Lyra, with the help of her archaeologist parents, security officer boyfriend and his head of security father, is more than up for the task of this four-pronged investigation. Especially, as Lyra’s already exceptional worming skills (her ability to navigate the Quantum Net ((think internet on steroids)) without detection) are increasing with surprising results.
Lyra is, once again, our narrator, with her usual humour and propensity of mischief. The writing style puts the reader right alongside Lyra and it’s as if Lyra is chatting to the reader. She continuously makes little asides to the reader, comments on what she is saying or thinking, often as a way to explain or excuse something. This gives her a young voice, which is a little in contrast to her age, her worming abilities, her ideas for improving security and even mature leadership skills (not to mention her increasingly physical relationship with Niall).
The Sentinels of the Galaxy series is perfect for science-fiction readers who would rather not know all the ins and outs of the science technology. We learn a little more about the Q-Net in this book, but the explanations for how it works and what that looks like is still pretty vague in my mind. The same goes for the space ships, bases, or planets themselves, outside of the Warrior Pits. I would have liked just a little more detail about the terrain, other plant-life, even something like where do they get the continual supplies and food from? But if you are prepared to take everything at face value, or really don’t care about those details, then the action and intrigue of the story is very enjoyable.
With some big developments and a nice surprise reveal right at the end, Chasing the Shadows nicely sets the scene for what is sure to be a thrilling third book.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young adult fiction
Genre: Science Fiction
Themes: Technology, archaeology, family, parents, romance, security, hacking, future.
Reading age guide: Ages 13 and up.
Advisory: Violence, injuries, bloodshed. Sexual references, heavy kissing scenes with references to desire for sex. Occasional coarse language – sh** (3), pi** (3), bit** (5).
Published: 18 November 2019 by HarperCollins.
Format: Paperback, ebook, audiobook.