Chasing the Shadows

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Nov 2019

Member Reviews

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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Every chapter of Chasing The Shadows maintained the build up of anticipation for the final culmination to the very end. However, the last pages did not achieve that final climax and instead of satisfaction I am left feeling crestfallen.

Like with Navigating The Stars I felt the pacing of Chasing The Shadows to be off. So much was happening but the written descriptors of timing didn't mesh well with the waves after waves of chaos throughout the plot development.

There however has been significant development of key characters which was lacking in the previous book and while the world building could still use something more, the overall atmosphere has been improved upon.

Though I didn't get the ending I wanted, I still enjoyed my time reading Chasing The Shadows and have high anticipation for a sequel.
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Thrilling story, great plot and characters that keep you guessing right til the end.  Great for fans of this genre.  Really enjoyable.
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(Received a free ARC through netgalley. Opinions my own)
Gosh I love this series. It’s everything I love about Maria V Snyder’s writing, and in space! The idea of humans taking to the stars and discovering terracotta warriors on many other planets sounds like such a wild mash-up, but it 100% works. The combination of archaeology, space physics, action and a solid YA romance ticks all of my boxes. I love the relationship that Lyra has with her parents and how she interacts with the other members of the security team. I love that she knows what’s she’s good at and has the confidence to speak up and to make decisions. And I love that she also knows what she’s not good at, and the power of working in a team.
The plot of book two expands the universe a little, and expands Lyra’s skills and experiences a lot. Danger presses from all sides, and there are a lot of dots to connect and decisions to be made.
Highly recommend you check out book 1 if you haven’t already. If you’ve read book 1, I’m sure you’re already keen for book 2!
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The Details:
- YA
- 2nd in a series
- Sci-Fi/Fantasy

When I saw that Chasing the Shadows by Maria V. Snyder was up for review on Netgalley, I jumped at the opportunity to read an advanced copy of the book and was utterly thrilled when I was granted a copy.
I fell in love with the world that Maria V. Snyder had created when I read the first book in the Sentinels of the Galaxy series, Navigating the Stars (which I, of course, re-read before diving into the advanced copy that I'd been given.)
This series is a fascinating blend between sci-fi and fantasy and the second book in the series, in my opinion, is even better than the first book.
Speaking of the first book, if you haven't read Navigating the Stars yet, than I highly recommend that you do so before reading this book as events from the first book are frequently mentioned throughout Chasing the Shadows.
The first book in the series set the stage for characters and laid out the scope of the universe, its laws and mysteries and readers were introduced to the main character, Lyra, her family and friends and her love interest, Niall.
Navigating the Stars, follows Lyra's journey to her new home on a distant planet, far, far away from Earth and events and mysteries abound.
Chasing the Shadows, picks up where the first book left off and follows Lyra, who for reasons that I'm not going to mention, had to change her name to Ara, as she navigates her way through her new life as a Junior Security Officer.
This book is a gripping, sci-fi adventure that raises as many questions as it answers as the book draws towards its conclusion.
This book is an unmissable, addictive read that I could not put down.
I was utterly immersed in this story from the first chapter and I eagerly await the next book in the series. 
Highly Recommended
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I've come to the conclusion that these books aren't so much science fiction as fantasy with some SF trappings (aliens, spaceships, planets). It's lampshaded that the laws of physics are not being well observed here, plus the main character is developing what I can only call a psychic connection to the self-aware cyberspace known as the Q-Net. It very nearly got onto my "SF-with-bad-science" shelf, but I don't think the unscientific bits are a result of ignorance (as in the other books on that shelf); they're deliberate. 

Somehow, I liked the main character, despite the fact that she's a bit of a perfect Chosen One. I can see why everyone else finds her irritating, since she keeps being right about things and has basically superpowers. She gets away with this for me because of her self-deprecation, even if she claims not to be sensible and is, in fact, extremely sensible, accepting necessary limitations without irrational teenage rebellion, and taking all of her risks for good reasons. 

Despite the flawed science and flawless heroine, I did enjoy this, and intend to keep reading the series. I like the voice, I like the mystery, I like the fact that it isn't just the same old thing reheated once again, and I want to see where it goes from here. 

I received a review copy via Netgalley.
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A fun, fast-paced, action-packed sequel! The character building and the plot were rather belivable and kept me wanting more. 

This book had so much oomph and I personally wanted to punch some of the characters in the face. The gritty reality for some of the characters had me on tenterhooks, and I really was here for it all!

Rating: 5/5

(Formal review will be posted on my blog on the 4th of November!)
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I was extremely excited for this as I loved the first book, but it was mostly boring. I was constantly waiting for some action or bigger twist or turn.
Unfortunately I feel this has some pacing issues.
It's mostly about Lyra/Ara training and worming in the Qnet for the first 45% and then we get tiny slivers of why Jarren is attacking and some more clues regarding the warriors until 80%. Lots of parents staring and disapproving of things and we don't even get any romance scenes. Every time I think they're finally going further, they get inerrupted. That quite frankly made me mad and unsatisfied. The ending (the last 8% of the book) is too short and rushed. 
I'm hoping that the next book is better paced and not as boring to read.
Dear M V Snyder, please don't let me down. I love your books.
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Huge thank you to Harlequin Australia and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book!

I’ve read several of Maria V. Snyder’s fantasy books and really enjoy her writing, but I can honestly say… she should write more sci-fi!! They say you’re not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover but in this case, I’m very glad I did! I didn’t know this series even existed until I stumbled upon the first book in my local store and bought it because I liked the cover. It wasn’t until I got it home that I realised it was by an author I’d read before and really enjoyed and before I was even halfway through I went searching to see if there was a second book because I was enjoying the first one so much that I knew I would want to read the second straight away; I was so excited when I saw it on NetGalley and immediately requested it! 

Full (spoiler-y) review here:
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An excellent second in a great series. An original out of this world novel I couldn’t put down. I love the touch on technology and people and deciphering a world where anything is possible.
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With many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for my ARC. 

I only discovered the authors books a couple of years ago but have been devouring them ever since. Happily, this title is another excellent entry into the series and we see deeper developments in both the storyline and the main characters’, for example - Ara/Lyra’s relationship with Niall. 

Full of fast paced adventure, fantastic world building and eerily believable (I want to believe) techno-savvy feats, this book/series is another gem. 
Archaeological finds, hostile alien life forms, being cut off from the outside and stranded on their planet by greedy space pirates, a surprising ally and a touch of romance blend together nicely with the mysteries  that are the focus of the storyline. 

If you haven’t already, then read, “Navigating the stars” the first title in the series immediately and follow it up by treating yourself to this title, too. Resistance is futile so read the books now... you know that you want to, so don’t delay. 

I’m now impatiently waiting for the next title in the series to become available.
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Keep them coming, really enjoying this series and already want the next book.😀😀😀😀. Like all the characters and can get invested in the story because of that.
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