Cover Image: Chasing the Shadows

Chasing the Shadows

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Member Reviews

Spoiler Free Section

I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review. I gave this book four stars and really enjoyed it. This is the second book in the Sentinels of the Galaxy series and I actually went into the book thinking that it was a duology and that this would be the last book but it isn't which I am pretty happy about since there is so much going on in this series and it really needs more books to be able to flesh out this series.

I loved getting to see more of Lyra's relationships especially with Niall and Beau, they all had such great banter and her friendship with Beau was awesome, they went through some bumps throughout the story but they always stuck up for each other.

We don't get to see too much more of the Terra Cotta warriors in this novel but we do make some super interesting discoveries :D I can't really go into them without spoilers but they are awesome and I am sure that there is still so much more for us to learn about them.

In this book we really get to see so much more of the security team and what they do as Lyra becomes a security officer herself, we get to see her in training but the more interesting thing to me at least were all of the security procedures within the Q-net and how they prevent what are essentially cyber attacks.

This was an awesome second instalment in the series and I still have so many unanswered questions that I will be hoping to be resolved in the next book :D This book is super easy to get through and I would definitely recommend it for anyone who loves YA science fiction, with a bit of mystery thrown in :D

Spoiler Section

I really enjoyed getting to see Lyra's/ Ara's new worming skills and how she can actually interact with the Q-net now and it interprets what she wants or needs which is awesome and makes her worming super interesting to read about.

I did not see it coming that Jarren had actually not left the planet and was hiding out on the opposite side in the jungle with a team of looters, we never really find out why he is still there, it could be that he is waiting to take more of the warriors but we also haven't found out why they wanted the warriors in the first place, I just need some answers!! :D

I love the fact that now some of the other security officers have touched a warrior heart and can now see the shadow blobs and everything else that comes with it, they ca now fully believe in what Ara is telling them and actually protect themselves which is great. I still wonder about those hearts, I mean why would they have left extras in some warrior pits when the pit is full and no more hearts would be needed. I actually wonder whether they were left for any humans that came across them so that they would have so sort of protection themselves.

The end of this book leaves us on such a cliffhanger!!! The story has just opened up so completely by the fact that it has been confirmed that there is another race of beings who built the Terra Cotta warriors and the Q net apparently which is crazy. I was really hoping to get some answers to where the warriors came from and what those portals were for which we didn't get in this book but that I am sure we will get in the next one and I am dying to find out what is really going on in this world.

They also now have Jarren! which is awesome, there are so many questions that can be answered by this guy and now that he will be out of the Q-net Ara can dismantle everything he placed around the planet to stop messages getting out and life signs from being seen.
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Let me say from the very get go, thank you so much to the crew at Harlequin/Harper Collins Australia for sending me this one  all those months ago. I thoroughly enjoyed it even if it did take fires, floods and a killer virus for me to have time to sit down and read it.

Chasing the Shadows starts off with Lyra getting a new name and rank but keeping her old face and boyfriend. As an added bonus, during her acid trip that was death, suddenly she is connected to the Q-net at some sort of weirdo emotional level and I’m sorry but WHAT? For the most part she will go by the name Ara now after being newly inducted into the patrol and have a whole new identity made for her while they endeavour to work out why nasty soot sprites are invading their world – instead of being cute and helpful, they have knives for hands because why the hell not.

So here is where I have my first question. Ara had a funeral at the end of the last book to hide her from Mr Douchebag. But she also gets presented and flashed around to everyone as Ara. Please explain to me how NOONE NOTICED THE SIMILARITIES and wondered why the hell they were 'burying her'. Throughout CTS, most of the techs are portrayed as not knowing she’s still alive. Did you brainwash them? Is there suddenly face morphing software out in the universe? I’m so confused…

But I shall continue. In the aftermath of Jarren’s escape, the security of the base are now keeping the other looters hostage while trying to extract information as to the location of Captain Craptacular’s base and why t the shadows from hell are trying to kill them once the Warriors are destroyed. Of course, this is to no avail because one would assume, they would prefer to be dead than defy the greatest wormer in the Galaxy. It’s all a little eh to start but eventually the action gets up and running again. Once this happens, I started to really get back into the narrative.

So obviously, Jarren makes a return as well as Lyra/Ara and her parents, Niall, the Captain and Beau, one of my favourite characters throughout the whole thing. And once again, Jarren is the big bad because why not? Its all the same cast except for the couple of people who die throughout this series first instalment. While this could feel a little stale ( I mean yes relationships can deepen but we’ve all been home for the past 2 months, no one wants to be stuck with the same 5 people), expansion of character backgrounds and motivations adds a little something to the story which made it more than bearable but definitely a little eh because I felt like I already knew everyone.

The narrative in this one was unfortunately a tad predictable ALTHOUGH that predictability didn’t necessarily detract from the book as a whole. I mean, we all know a romance is going to be happy at the end, right? Otherwise it isn’t a romance, it’s a damn tragedy. Here it feels like a natural continuation of exploration of a new planet. Someone died, people mourned and then life went on because it kind of just had to. I loved the introduction/confirmation of the portals; it was something I thought MAY have been a thing but until someone activated it, you couldn’t really say for sure. I also quite enjoyed the great escape despite it being extremely short. 

Now I know this review is kind of vague but seriously, it has to be otherwise it would be a recap not a review. I’m trying to avoid spoilers here OK. I will say one final thing. Goodreads lists this as a duology. As in this should have been wrapped up in a nice little bow, the reader should have felt closure. This is where I’m going to say, WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT ENDING? Reader, it is NOT an ending. Nothing is wrapped up. There’s absolutely zero freaking closure. I even messaged a friend thinking maybe I was missing part of the file – I unfortunately was not. It’s not a bad ending, its actually the ultimate cliff-hanger but seriously, is there going to be another book? Because I need another damn book! 

Right here is where I’m ending the discombobulated rant that is my review (felt good, might delete later) because I am just *wild gesturing* emotions. For the TLDR it’s a pretty great book although it didn’t quite have the same impact as its predecessor. Same characters as Navigating and minus a few but for the most part it doesn’t feel stale. It was predictable but not in a roll your eyes and grunt at the page way. And that ending, was not a damned ending for a series. Overall, I would definitely read it again if another one managed to find its way onto the scene.
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I love Maria V. Snyder's worlds, so I was delighted when I received an ARC of Chasing the Shadows through NetGalley to review.

This is the second title in Snyder's Sentinels of the Galaxy series and whilst it's good I do prefer the first. 

I enjoyed the interesting questions and theories raised (about warriors, invisible attackers, murderous looters etc.) and I was motivated to keep reading to find the answers. I also loved the whole concept of the Q-net (imagine an intelligent super internet) and enjoyed worming and flying through it with the MC (this will make sense when you read the book). There was also clear character development throughout the book. The MC certainly matured and it was fun to watch friendships within the security team deepen as they learned to trust each other.

However, I found the first part of this book hard to persevere with and I took frequent breaks in reading. There was a lot of repetition: everyday the MC was assigned physical training and worming (i.e. fancy programming or hacking inside the intelligent super internet). The plot progressed slowly until the last third of the book when it finally speed up (though perhaps a little too fast in parts).

The 'cliffhanger' didn't have the same punch as I've come to expect from Snyder. I was left finding it hard to suspend my disbelief any longer. That last page felt rushed and left me thinking 'er... okay...' There was actually another situation towards the end that would have held me in suspense if not resolved (I'm being deliberately vague to avoid spoilers). If the book had of ended there I'd be a wreck and the next book couldn't come quickly enough. However that tricky situation was resolved as quickly as it started. I'm not in a rush to read the next book. I will read it because I enjoy the characters and their world and I want to see how the arc concludes but I'm not left with a desperate need to read it as soon as possible.

Whilst I didn't love this book as much as I had anticipated I would still recommend the series. The world that Maria has created is marvelous.
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DNF @ 25%

I really tried with this book, I enjoyed the first book but I just couldn't get into this sequel. I've been in a terrible reading slump so I think this is more my problem than the book's, but at the moment I can't see myself finishing this book.
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One of the best second books of a seriers out of all the series written by Maria V. Snyder. Fast pace with action and new mystery building off the the first book. It was great getting to know the characters more intimately as Maria weaves more complexity not just into the main character but all the secondary characters as well. This book is harder to put down than the first. Highly recommend the series.
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I was so excited to dive back into this world and I was not disappointed! I will admit it was a bit slow in parts and I was kind of wondering if we were going to get some answers when it came to the warriors and why Lyra can move through the q-net the way she does.... and boy did we just when I thought we weren't going to get anything boom we got a whole lot!! lol im probably not making any sense but I don't want to spoil anything! and that ending OMG!!!!! cliff-hanger much!!! uggghhhh I was left disappointed because it ended when it did and also SUPER EXCITED for the next book!!!
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Finally finished! That was such a hard slog and I still don’t really understand why 😫

Firstly, thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an e-ARC copy of the book - I got totally overexcited as I always do when I'm on Netgalley, and had forgotten I had pre-ordered a copy of the book too. Which was fine, because I had the hard copy for home and the e-version on my Kindle, phone and iPad, so I was set 😊

So basically, this is the second book in a sci fi series set in space, with a family of archaeologists exploring the galaxy and discovering alien races, Terracotta Warriors, space looters and ways to mentally connect to the 'Q-Net' that really shouldn't be possible, plus of course travelling using time dilation. With an angsty teen romance thrown in for good measure.

Just to be clear, I absolutely LOVE Maria's books and really enjoyed Navigating the Stars (book 1 in this series) but I just could not get into Chasing the Shadows. I found the writing to be really stilted, with very short sentences and a lot of first person musing. I'm sure there's a solid literary reason for this - maybe to create tension or something - but for me, it just made it hard going and not enjoyable to read.

The book kicked off where Navigating the Stars finished, which was great, but took forever to get anywhere and I nearly DNFed half way through - but I just couldn't do that to a Maria V Snyder book! I'm glad I stuck with it though, because it picked up in the last quarter and I will (of course) read the next one.

This was a 3 ✨read for me.

#ChasingTheShadows #Netgalley
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Maria v snyder is one of my all time favourite authors and i highly antisipated this book! With beautiful world buiding and characters you both love and love to hate this book is perfect.
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Rating: ★★★★☆(3.75/5)

This review is also available on my blog trufflereads.com (scheduled ahead so no link until it goes live tonight) and a cool author q&a with Maria V Snyder is also there.

The only way I can correctly express my thoughts on this book is that I have mixed feelings. There were so many things I loved but also so many things I wished could’ve been tweaked just a little more to my liking. I think I’ll start like I usually do with things I really enjoyed because those were very memorable for me.

From the get-go, what I loved in Navigating the Stars carried across to Chasing the Shadows – and that’s the plot. The premise is amazing and the plot is planned out so well that throughout most of it, you can feel the tension falling off the pages (digital pages of my kindle) because the atmosphere and setting were written so well. I never knew what was going to happen and I just kept reading because I really needed to know. What is happening with Jarren? Why isn’t this working? Are they really going to have to wait 3 years until help comes or until they all potentially die? The mythology and mystery behind the HoLFs/shadow blobs were equally intriguing and I’m genuinely keen for the last book of this trilogy because I need answers to this.

Another aspect that I really enjoyed was the development of relationships in the book. In particular, the relationships that Lyra/Ara struggling with in the first book and how she began to navigate them differently as she matured. The development was gradual and well-paced and made Officer (Tace) Radcliffe probably my favourite character. He showed so much personality and growth in this book and despite everyone else being dipshits at some point in the novel, he was one of the only people who actually trusted Lyra/Ara. Not to mention that I loved that Lyra/Ara and Niall’s relationship wasn’t at the forefront of the plot. They were quite cute when together (except when they were incredibly hormonal) and I just really liked their relationship was portrayed in the story.

This book was definitely a lot slower than the first. I remember thinking in the first book that it was going too fast and this sequel made up for that in its well-management slow pace. I actually liked this more because it felt realistic. A lot of the book is Lyra/Ara going through training and literally working her butt off until she’s physically and mentally exhausted. I much prefer reading about a character working hard and getting results rather than her magically learning skills in the matter of a 5 second timelapse (*cough* Divergent movie *cough*). In saying, this novel pushed further into the ‘chosen one’ trope which I personally hate so I wasn’t a fan of that but I do appreciate the message in this book, that even if you’re the chosen one, you still need to work hard and push to get your ideas and thoughts heard. Lyra/Ara is constantly being overlooked or people getting pissed because she’s managed to do something to help them and that made me so mad.

Of course, all books are subjective to the reader and this obviously showed here with some of the things I didn’t really enjoy. The first is that I wasn’t a huge fan of was how the action scenes were written. They were written really well for the most part but then you’d realise two paragraphs later that you either missed a bit of information or it wasn’t communicated properly. I think it was personally just a little hard to visualise and could have been edited a little better.

Second and probably the thing I detested the most was that Lyra/Ara’s voice just continued to not suit my reading preferences. Is this because I’m getting older? Is it because her voice is too young for me to empathise? *slight early quarter-life crisis ensues* because frankly, I did not enjoy her narration at all. It felt too juvenile for a majority of the time, I really didn’t like how she kept breaking the 4th wall and talking to the reader (way more than in the first book) and it sometimes felt like she was trying too hard to be funny and comical. The dialogue with her parents sometimes followed this too with continuous ‘teenager’ jokes that came off quite cringy.

BUT. The ending likely saved it all for me. That ending killed me a little bit because of how shocking it was. I am again awaiting the next book because although I hated the narration, I want more.
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Chasing the Shadows begins where Navigating the Stars left off. Lyra Daniels is now known as Ara Yinhexi Lawrence aka Junior Officer Lawrence aka Mouse, following her sixty-six seconds of death at the hands of ex-friend/looter/all-around-asshole Jarren. For her own protection she is now sharing a Unit with Chief of Security, Officer Tace Radcliff aka the father of her incredible boyfriend Niall Radcliff aka Toad. Keeping her identity a secret is of utmost priority because if Jarren realises that she is alive, he won't hesitate to come back and finish the job.

Ara undertakes officer training and learns how to push herself to limits she never knew before, both physically and mentally and it's great to see a character with such self-confidence and grit in her own character. She knows who she is and fights for herself and those she loves. Ara commands respect both with her skill and with her compassion.

The level of detail that Maria V. Snyder went to in regards to the development of the Q-net, worming, HoLF's and the overall world building is second to none and something that I have always enjoyed in Maria's previous works. The Q-net and Worming just sounds so incredibly awesome that I wish it was in reality (though with all the technological advancements happening maybe it's just a matter of time?).

I really like the direction that Maria is taking the novel in regards to the real purpose of the terracotta warriors, what the HoLF's actually are, what Ara's purpose is and how it all wraps together. I was pleasantly surprised with the end and I can honestly say that I didn't see it coming and I'm looking forward to seeing how it is explained in book 3.
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Chasing the Shadows by Maria V Snyder is the second book in the Sentinels of the Galaxy (I assume) trilogy. I have previously read and reviewed the first book, Navigating the Stars, of this YA SF series. It is the kind of series I discourage reading out of order. Also, the blurb below contains spoilers for the first book.

Year 2522. 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 picks up not long after Navigating the Stars left off. Our protagonist, Ara, is now training as part of the security team and the planet Yulin is still cut off from the rest of humanity and still under threat from violent raiders. Ara's job is to learn to spar and shoot, get her fitness up and, most crucially, find a way to communicate with the outside world.

What I enjoyed most about the first book is still present here — interesting worldbuilding and an interesting mystery surrounding the terracotta warriors which have been left on planets throughout the galaxy. We get to learn more about the warriors in Chasing the Shadows, which I enjoyed. That and Ara's explorations of the Q-net (magic quantum internet) were the most interesting. I was less invested in her relationship, which is well-established now and not a significant source of drama. There's nothing wrong with the relationship, per se, I just felt like the bouts of making out were slowing down the story a bit.

I wouldn't be me if I didn't comment on the physics in this, a science fiction novel. It's mostly fine. There was one bit where a basic (high school-level) explanation was not at all up to scratch but, a little confusingly, the implementation of the information was OK. So overall, only one short section annoyed me, which I'll call a win.

I enjoyed Chasing the Shadows and I'm looking forward to reading the next book when it comes out, presumably next year. There's a few fun reveals throughout the latter part of this book, which promise for a high stakes conclusion to the story. I recommend the Sentinels of the Galaxy series to fans of science fiction and YA.

4.5 / 5 stars

First published: November 2019, Harlequin YA (AU)
Series: Sentinels of the Galaxy, book 2 of (I'm guessing) 3
Format read: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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Chasing the Shadows is Book #2 in the Sentinels of the Galaxy series by Maria V Snyder.

I’ll be honest, the first part of the novel was kind of hard for me to get in to. There was an overhanging threat over everyone’s heads, but it wasn’t immediate enough to be particularly concerned for Lyra – or Ara, as she is called in this book. She spent most of the early part of the novel running between her various duties and training, which I didn’t find particularly engaging. Lyra’s narrative voice is phenomenal though: she’s maturing, funny, and dreadfully sarcastic. It’s a real change in voice from any of the other Snyder characters I’ve read!

Because this is a second novel, we miss out on some development of relationships that have by now been established. That’s OK, because Ara and Niall are really, really cute together. What I love most about them is that although they are just so into each other, they are respectfully waiting until Ara turns eighteen, and although they’d rather spend all their time making out with each other, they have more important things to do. I love that push and pull between both of their desires, jobs, and maturity. Beau is Ara’s platonic friend, and he’s a great foil to a jealous Niall, as well as being a great mentor to Ara: he’s diligent, egotistical, with a little bit of sass.

I loved how more of the Terracotta Warriors were explored in this novel since we had so many questions left over from the first! Their mysteries are being discovered, and it’s all thanks to Ara. It’s a mixture of sheer dumb luck and her amazing ability to be in the right place at the right time.

Ara has a kind of magical gift with the Q-net that she doesn’t really understand. Like I said in my review of Navigating the Stars, if you enjoy Snyder’s other books, you’ll probably enjoy this aspect of it well. The tech and practices of using the Q-net are vague enough to appear completely magical: they basically treat it like an all-knowing super-aware intelligence they can tap into. Similarly, Ara thinks really broadly about her problems, but the answers just always seem to pop into her head. It’s not that she’s a special snowflake: god no, too many people hate her, she has both of her parents who treat her like a normal kid, no one takes her word as gospel, and her problems require actual solutions that no one just hands to her (annoyingly, she’s always right): but she’s unique, and I think that’s what Snyder is really good at writing.

i enjoyed this book, possibly not as much as the first one due to the slow pace at the start of the novel and the general feeling that we were all just waiting for the bad guy to attack. I enjoyed Ara’s continuing development and I’m looking forward to the third book in the series!

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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I read the first book ‘Navigating The Stars‘ back in January this year and overall enjoyed the book, praising its heroine in particular. Second time around, the plot is just as fast-paced and constantly keeping the reader on their toes, Lyra (now called Ara) is still irrepressibly snarky and endearing, and the author succeeds in crafting an exciting second book that invigorates the reader rather than artificially stretching out a series that should’ve concluded already.

The central mystery of the series remains unresolved as Lyra and company deepen their investigation into the mysterious Terracotta Warriors and their abilities and purpose in our galaxy, but new theories emerge, leading to surprising developments and tense action scenes. The combination of archaeology in a sci-fi setting is already a unique and entertaining concept, then the author dials up the thrills and chills by throwing in hostile alien life-forms and murderous looters for our heroes to deal with!

Lyra is a clever, resourceful heroine who’s easy to care about and root for, and even as her worming abilities grow further beyond the norm allowing her to accomplish unbelievable feats, she remains grounded and sensible. She’s one of my favorite heroines because she sees the bigger picture and does the right thing, regardless of how uncomfortable it makes life for her personally; she doesn’t keep secrets out of fear of how people will see her because she knows she could be a liability that way, she follows the chain of command, but knows when it’s important to speak her mind, and she’s not afraid to suggest unorthodox ideas, even if it makes her unpopular.

The love interest Niall was one of the weaker parts of the first book, but thankfully his character improved tenfold once he and Lyra became a couple, and that continues to be the case here. There is no contrived relationship drama and instead the teens are allowed to be blissfully in love and face all their obstacles as a united team which is a refreshing change! I appreciated how mature this couple was, sure they’re still hormonal teens enjoying as much limited intimacy as possible given their hovering parents, but they recognized the severity of the threats facing their expeditions and prioritized their roles as security officers first and foremost. In a lesser series, they would’ve been sneaking off to hook up and thus leaving a security hole that allowed the enemy in, but rather than making the characters dumb so that the plot can progress, the author imbues the villain with greater skill and competence, which increases the atmosphere of dread in the base.

Another improvement is Lyra’s relationship with her mother, who seemed almost cartoonishly unreasonable and demanding in the first book, causing me no end of frustration. It may be a result of Lyra moving out of her parent’s accommodation and being a fully-fledged security officer now, since her mother shows a lot more respect and appreciation for her, and is more openly affectionate and willing to compromise. I really liked the change in their dynamic and it’s true to life as how you interact with your parents changes when you become independent and responsible for yourself!

One main aspect that didn’t work for me was the Q-net; it came off hazy and lacking in clarity in the first book, but I could overlook it there as it didn’t overshadow the story. However in Chasing The Shadows, Lyra’s interactions with the Q-net is a huge part of the plot and impacts multiple storylines. Your mileage may vary on this, but I wish there was a bit more science involved in describing the abilities and limitations of the Q-net so that it felt believable rather than operating on a plot-convenient basis.

The author sure knows how to end on a killer hook – the last page blew my mind and has me speculating wildly about where the next book will take this development! I suspect that fans of sci-fi may struggle a little with the sci-fi trappings that don’t have a solid foundation in Chasing The Shadows, but if you can suspend disbelief on that front, this is a solidly entertaining read with a delightful heroine and unpredictable action-packed plot.
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This is a really great second book. It doesn’t feel like filler, or as if we are being dragged along waiting for the third book. Lyra/Ara continues to grow as a character, and as ‘the chosen one’, as do other characters who support her. This is especially true of people like Officer Radcliff, Niall’s father and Chief of Security, who develops into a kind-of second father to Ara. Elese, Beau and the other guards and crew soon have personalities and quirks and of course, we learn more about Niall, the boyfriend, and readers will love that we don’t see any romantic angst between them. The focus remains squarely on the obstacles they face created by Jarren to keep them isolated on Yulin with the Protectorate and the DES believing they are all dead.

Ara’s snarky narrative voice sets a cracking pace, and even when we are being brought up to speed with the events of the previous book, Navigating the Stars, it’s fast and concise. But this is still a long book because in order to develop Ara’s new gifts organically, Snyder cleverly sets up a number of layers so that there are plots within plots, and we are kept busy figuring out the meaning of the terracotta warriors all the way on the other side of the galaxy, Ara’s struggle with the physical training in her new role as a security guard, not to mention wondering where the murdering looter, Jarren has hidden himself. We know it’s only a matter of time before he makes an appearance, and the whole team must be ready to confront that reality.

Snyder’s books follow a certain path, and it’s all good. There’s a feisty female lead who is self-depreciating while still having the most power in the room at any given time. She brings together a group of loyal supports who have her back, but never let her forget her humble beginnings. When she starts to speak of weird conspiracies and displays talents no one should have, they shrug off the unusual nature because they quickly learn that to ignore what she says leads to bad things happening. In this case, Ara is a beacon of hope. Her ability to navigate the Q-Net is their salvation. While she stays a few steps ahead of Jarren most of the time, nothing is ever too easy. This is very important in a suspenseful novel: readers have to feel tension and anxiety and truly worry that at any moment one of the good guys could die. Snyder is a master at balancing this fine line.

Thanks to Netgalley and HarperCollins for the advanced copy of Chasing the Shadows. If you read Navigating the Stars this book will be obligatory reading. If you have enjoyed any one of this author’s other books, you might like to try this sci-fi mystery mashed up with an Indiana Jones treasure hunt. Recommended to other readers who like their heroes snarky and generous, and who enjoy original ideas about how the Earth connects to other life on other planets. The romance is solid, yet sweet, and the action thrilling. Chasing the Shadows is out everywhere on November 18.
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Maria V. Snyder is my all-time favourite author! Chasing the Shadows is such an amazing sequel to Navigating the Stars. The fast-paced, heart-racing book is the perfect book to chase away any reading slump. I recommend this book to all Maria fans and people that love a fantasy-sci-fi hybrid!
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Ok In keeping with Harlequin Australia  request of not posting a review until 30 days out from publishing I left posting a formal review on Chasing the Shadows until less than a month till release date.

I will start by saying to anyone curious on the story line. go out a grab a copy of Book 1 - Navigating the Stars 
you will not be disappointed.  I have read both books now and am already eagerly waiting for book 3 to be announced.. Now to the review:

Maria has done it again with a follow up book to one of  her series, Chasing the Shadows had me grinning and laughing at the antics of Lyra and Niall (and crew). The ending made me yell at Maria in shock. (Thankfully she found it funny that I jumped into her messages to yell at her since I had noone else to talk about the ending to). Even the things you just know are going to happen, catch you off guard as to how they happen. But anyone who sees the ending coming deserves a medal as it blew me away. Lyras choices in the conflict with Jarren are a mix of smart and not so smart, making her 100% human :D. Jarren as a villain makes you really want to hate him which is great. The relationships around and with Lyra each have a unique property and make for interesting times. Lyras character keeps the growth done in book one and continues to grow throughout book 2, to the point I can't wait to see where she goes in book 3.  

The research Maria does to write each book shows as each point is accurate and makes the worlds and stories feel like if those key points are actual fact, then perhaps the story may one day be real. 
 

I have already pre-ordered my print copy to add to my collection. I have no idea how Maria can get people to get so attached to her character creations to the point we feel part of their world, but I no longer read blurbs or question if I would like a book once I see her name on it, it is just buy - I really hope to have an entire set of shelves dedicated to just her books,  I hope she keeps writing that long so I can keep falling in love with her stories and characters.
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Chasing the Shadows was an excellent continuation of the Sentinels of the Galaxy series. The first book, Navigating the Stars, was a 5-star read for me last year so I was very excited to be reading an early copy of this book. If you haven't read the first book I would HIGHLY recommend it. Its like Indiana Jones in space - who can beat that?

Whilst I didn't enjoy this book as much as the first, it was a fantastic read! It was the same awesome mix of sci-fi, fantasy and lots of action. Everything I enjoyed about the first book was here. I laughed out loud, gasped and really loved some of the witty one-liners from Lyra and her mum. Laughing out loud in a book like this made me enjoy it so much more. 

We follow our main character Lyra, who has to assume a new identity to protect herself, to a new planet called Yulin. She builds her relationships with Niall, his father, her parents and others on the base whilst hiding from the man who tried to kill her, Jarren (a previous friend). We learn a lot more about the warriors and the shadow-blobs. The plot develops well, isn't rushed and by the end I was hanging on the edge of my seat.

What I like most about these books is that Maria V. Snyder doesn't take things too seriously. She has characters that have depth but you can still enjoy reading and actually have a laugh at. They are enjoyable to read and are full of life. The action of this book picked up significantly in the second half and I quickly devoured the book, along with the super sweet romance moments which I lived for. 

Maria V. Snyder has a way of writing addictive books and this is no exception. If you like Indiana Jones, tomb raider, sci-fi with awesome action and subtle romance this series is for you!!
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I was super stoked to have the opportunity to review Chasing the Shadows. Thank you Harlequin Australia. 

Maria has done it again. She has written a book that has sucked me in and spat me out at the other end craving more. I absolutely loved this book. It is action packed. I love the sci-fi meets mystical vibe that this book gave me. Only downside of getting an Advanced Reading Copy is that I have longer to wait for the next book.
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Many thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin Australia HQ (Fiction, Non Fiction, YA) & MIRA for this ARC, the following review is based on my honest opinion.

If anything, I am only biased by my loved for Maria V Snyder's works and worlds.  AS much as I was mildly disappointed by parts of Navigating the Stars, the feelings have eased on Chasing the Shadows.  This one feels as much put together as it does a 'filler' book.  Where Navigating the Stars has a lot of things happening, relationships being developed and used to strengthen that happens next (though admittedly Lyra's parents are very inconsistent, yet I feel like it could be read that they put their work first but also value their daughter when work eases up).  Chasing the Stars is a little different.  There doesn't seem to be as much happening, but rather we see a bit more of Lyra's skills developing.  

I'll admit it took me a bit longer to read Chasing the Stars because the pacing was slower, I feel like I liked it a bit more.  It felt more familiar when it came to Lyra/Ara, who's taking shape as a characteristic MVS character.  Got all the traits there.  It can seem a bit annoying - the whole 'special snowflake' - but I feel Lyra wears the hat a bit better than the heroine in Eyes of Tamburah.   MVS's heroines by the way are not really 'special snowflakes' but they are unique.  If it weren't for their flaws and the way MVS gives the characters a supporting cast that ACTUALLY does the things our heroine can't, then yeah, they might have been Special Snowflakes.  Thankfully, it's not like that.  

Still, Lyra as a character didn't annoy me, not really in the previous book and not really in this one.  She just felt different.

What I love still is the world.  I think it's imaginative.  I think also the hearts were a bit predictable.  And I love how in this book another mystery about the terracotta warriors has been unlocked!  I also find the Q-net fascinating, but I did guess the twist.

I'm still not feeling the romance.  On one hand, it was boring and not chemistry ridden.  It feel like a 'like-like' in teenage language than 'like-love'.  Which is a pity.  On the other hand, I like that the relationship is strong and stays in the background which means we can focus on the main plot, the mystery, and the world.

Overall, I am looking forward to the next book!  Despite my grievances (which I have not listed in full), I am curious and willing.
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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.
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