A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole

A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole Book Cover

Summary

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 overjoyed.

But something isn’t right. The newly elected leader of the Council has some extremist views about the way he believes N’Terra should be run, and he’s influencing others to follow him. 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 is 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, a quiet boy in class with a skill for hacking, and her inquisitive best friend, Alma, Octavia is set on a collision course to discover the secrets behind the history she’s been taught, the science she’s lived by, and the truth about her family.

Book Details

A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole
Sale Date: January 2, 2018
Young Adult Fiction / Monsters
Ages 13 And Up, Grades 8 And Up
Katherine Tegen Book
Hardcover, 432 pages
My Rating: 3.5 Stars


 

 

My Review

A secret could destroy the world. But so could the truth.

A Conspiracy of Stars is the first book of Olivia A. Cole's new YA sci-fi/fantasy series featuring vivid world-building, political intrigue, and a first-love romance to enjoy—while it thoughtfully imbues a futuristic take on colonialism. We are the invaders and one teen girl stands between devastation and peace. 

Set in a distant future where Earth (the Origin Planet) is no longer habitable and has been evacuated with its survivors crash landing on the planet Faloiv. Too damaged to fly again, the first human settlers establish the colony N'Terra where they plan to study the wildlife and learn from the native Faloii, the exotic and mysterious indigenous peoples of Faloiv, eventually creating a treating with them. A treaty that has remained unbroken—until now.  

The setting of the planet Faloiv is really one of the highlights of the story in my opinion.

Both beautiful and dangerous, teeming with unknown wildlife and exotic fauna, Cole transports the reader to an exciting new realm. One filled with scientific gadgets and new technology (the skin-suits being one of my favorites) while making sure readers don't forget the dangers lurking on this untamed planet.

Sixteen-year-old Octavia is both fierce and determined, standing out wonderfully as protagonists.

Octavia wants nothing more than to follow in her mother and father's scientific footsteps but instead finds herself caught in the middle of a dangerous cover-up by the very group of scientists she aspires to become—the whitecoats. Her curiosity about the world surrounding her is equally balanced by her belief in fairness and empathy towards the Faloii. 

But home isn’t just a memory, I’ve decided: it’s knowledge, knowing where you belong and where you fit in.

Mixed in with all the plot twists, the mystery surrounding the native Faloii and the secret history original human settlers who establish the colony N'Terra, is a strong sense of camaraderie between Octavia and her friends, plus for romance fans, there is a very slow burn, sweet romance to enjoy. 

One of the main issues I had with the book is the very slow unfolding of its plot.

Though it is a well written and compelling novel, one that gradually ascended until it concluded with an action-filled cliffhanger that had me anxious for more, the overall slow pace was hard to wade through at times.

I also wanted to know so much more about the Faloii, who remained pretty much a mystery until the ending.

I kept anticipating their arrival and wanting to know more about them. Due to the way the mystery unfolded, unfortunately, I had to wait until its ending.

Overall, A Conspiracy of Stars was a compelling read for me.

It immediately captures your attention with its lush and vivid world building and futuristic sci-fi details while a fierce and determined protagonist and a twisty plot make its slow climb an absorbing read.  

Recommend for: those who enjoy science fiction reads and don't mind a slower pace in favor of world building. I'm looking forward to the next book in this planned duology.