Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Outback Stars

Title: The Outback Stars
Author: Sandra McDonald
Genre: Science fiction, novel
Published: 2007

Recommendation: A fun read for those who like military science fiction or space adventures.
Rating: 8/10

Summary: Lieutenant Jodenny Scott becomes an officer on the Aral Sea where she is put in charge of Underway Stores. The department has a bad reputation and Jodenny takes on the task of changing the department around. She doesn't yet know that she will have more problems on her hands than she expects.

Reactions: I've read a number of positive reviews for The Outback Stars and I wasn't been disappointed. The book is what it promises to be: it's a fun romp through space with military atmosphere, dangers, mysteries, and politics.

I chose this book for my 7-hour trip home, and it makes a very good airport novel. It's easy to read and it made my 5-hour flight a lot more fun than it might have been otherwise. The story progressed nicely throughout the book, and kept me occupied for all 386 pages of the paperback with small plot arcs twisting together nicely into a larger story. The end if not too surprising, was nevertheless satisfying.

I liked both Jodenny Scott and Terry Myell, the two protagonists, and there was obvious chemistry between them from the very beginning. Jodenny is a strong character who has resolve and a sense of duty, but at the same time is willing to bend rules to get things done. Compared to her, Terry seems almost soft, he is not macho, but smart in a quiet way and often quite sensible. He also has a spiritual side, tied to Australian Aboriginal myths, that is unusual and shows up unexpectedly throughout the book.

The Stars Down Under is a sequel to this book and it's out already, so I am thinking of picking it up for the trip back.

First Line:
If Jodenny spent one more day on the planet Kookaburra she might try to kill herself again.
Other Reviews: Fantasy Debut, Items of Interest

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