Series: Sentinels of the Galaxy #3
Published by Harlequin Teen
Published on 2 December 2020
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Add to Goodreads
Buy from Amazon | Buy from The Book Depository |Publisher page
The jaw-dropping finale to New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder's YA space opera.
Year 2522. Oh. My. Stars.
Junior Officer Ara Lawrence here, reporting for duty. Again. It's situation critical for the security team and everyone in the base - including my parents - with a new attack from the looters imminent, a possible galaxy-wide crime conspiracy and an unstoppable alien threat. But this all pales in the face of my mind-blowing discovery about the Q-net. Of course, no one believes me. I'm not sure I believe me. It could just be a stress-induced delusion. That's what my parents seem to believe...
Their concern for me is hampering my ability to do my job. I know they love me, but with the Q-net in my corner, I'm the only one who can help the security team beat the shadowy aliens from the pits we discovered. We're holding them at bay, for now, but the entire Milky Way Galaxy is in danger of being overrun.
With battles on too many fronts, it's looking dire. But one thing I've learned is when people I love are in jeopardy, I'll never give up trying to save them. Not until my dying breath. Which could very well be today...
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.
If you’ve read and enjoyed Maria Snyder’s books before, then I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy Defending the Galaxy. There’s an excellent recap at the start of the book, so although you might want to re-read the first two books if you’ve left some time between this one, you absolutely do not have to.
It has all the Snyder hallmarks I’ve grown to recognise and love: a super fast pace, a need to be sneaky, witty banter, adorable romance, scary and sadistic villains, plot twists. It even has a heroine who has grown so much in her power she borders on being too powerful, which should also be recognisable as a Snyder trope.
There’s just something so readable about this book. It’s so fast paced that sometimes I had to read sequences twice to understand Ara’s lightning-fast logic: she’s so smart and makes connections and realisations faster than I did.
I could feel Ara’s frustration as her parents – totally understandable – ban her from the Q-net and force her back into civilian life – for her own protection. It’s one of Ara’s struggles of this whole series: she’s so close to that magical 18 where she will finally be deemed an independent adult, able to make her own rules, live on her own, go all the way with her boyfriend. I mean, she’s so close. But her parents, who desperately want to protect her, keep bundling her back into childhood and the cage that comes with it. I totally feel for Ara.
I also liked how Niall responded to her as well. Their romance is very cute, but they still fight and have disagreements, but I love that it’s over external conflicts and each other’s safety. They’re so into each other, but they always put their duty first. It’s admirable, considering they have raging teenage hormones.
The villains had great motivation and it even made them seem more human and less, I dunno, evilly demonic. Doing bad things for profit, a massive sense of entitlement, and destroying where you live so you can get rich is a theme we can easily see in the real world. It made it much more relevant and believable, and frightening.
Pretty much the only thing I didn’t really enjoy so much was Ara’s superpower bordering on all-powerful. This happens in other Snyder books, too, where the heroine is like, “Hey, I can do this thing, what if I do it slightly differently, can I then do that? Yes? What about this?” To me, it feels a bit like discovering superpowers just by making a jump in logic. Like, “I heal people by absordbing their pain, well that means I can also push pain into them right?” I mean, to me, that’s now how it should work. Just because you can drive a car doesn’t mean you can fly a plane. But often, that’s the logic in these Snyder novel: you think it, and it becomes. Basically the only limit to Ara’s power was that she had to think her way through a problem.
I perhaps wasn’t able to suspend my disbelief as much as I wanted to when Ara’s flying around the galaxy saving everyone’s butts. I remember feeling the same thing about Avery from the Healer series, View Spoiler »who learned to ‘zap’ baddies as an extension of her healing powers, « Hide Spoiler and Yelena View Spoiler »grew so all-powerful that Snyder literally had to take her magic away in the second trilogy « Hide Spoiler of the Study series. Ara is so powerful and capable of doing so much, and she is literally the only person in the galaxy who can do it. View Spoiler »Hack the star roads to move spaceships? « Hide Spoiler Why not? There’s a logical explanation for how she can do that.
I appreciate that things need to get bigger and badder and better, especially in the final book of a trilogy, but she was just so powerful that it almost made it a one-sided battle. I had such a great time romping around with Ara, but I was never really concerned for her well-being, because she was just so special and important and able to find loopholes in just about everything. The bad guys wear bodysuits to protect them from being shot. Instead, just aim for the uncovered head… And Ara was always able to hit the head, so the bad guys may as well not be wearing any protective suits at all.
Despite my feelings about Ara’s power I was pretty much loving this book and having a very good time with it, and expecting it to be all wrapped up very neatly… And then there were two lines at the very end that absolutely broke me. I can’t even describe how perfect the final three words were for wrapping up the whole trilogy, but they were. It was so perfect and I had so many feelings and it was such a great series that I just sat and cried for a little bit that it was all over now.