Jarra – that girl has to fake it until she makes it!
No. of pages: 374
18-year-old Jarra has a lot to prove. After being awarded one of the military’s highest honours for her role in a daring rescue attempt, Jarra finds herself – and her Ape status – in the spotlight. Jarra is one of the unlucky few born with an immune system that cannot survive on other planets. Derided as an ‘ape’ – a ‘throwback’ – by the rest of the universe, Jarra is on a mission to prove that Earth Girls are just as good as anyone else.
Except now the planet she loves is under threat by what could be humanity’s first ever alien contact. Jarra’s bravery – and specialist knowledge – will once again be at the centre of the maelstrom, but will the rest of the universe consider Earth worth fighting for?
I began this series last year in October after some serendipity scrolling titles on Goodreads. This sequel one-ups the debut (Earth Girl) and still manages to indulge in all elements of sci-fi without our lead character stepping foot off Earth soil. And I can’t wait to tackle the next in this series later in the year.
I liked Jarra better in this instalment, she is more confident and ready to accept her destiny. The plot line felt a little contrived, forcing the situation to make Jarra indispensable, and many of the mechanisms in the story adding to that were eye-roll inducing. You could really feel Janet Edwards shaping the path of the novel rather than Jarra experiencing her narrative organically. But nonetheless, I really enjoyed it, much like I would an after school special.
The story is unique, and even with the author pulling the strings for much coincidence, remained true to its core predicament – there was no ‘cop out’ and magical discoveries to change the story and make it more sensational. Which I felt added to the tension throughout, making it a real page turner.
We still get more of the site excavation and its unusual technological advances that were present in the first book, and Jarra gets to use her knowledge and military background (well, faux background) to her strengths. As well as seeing some expanded group dynamics and see her stepping outside of the school environment.
There is still some lingo (and slang) which felt unnecessary, and many of the secondary characters lacked depth. But Edwards writing style possesses an easy flow that allows you to delve into the new world and enjoy the pace and action. With a few comical moments to lighten the narrative, I found I was hoping for more, and with any luck we’ll see the characters returning in the third book of the series, Earth Flight, and embellish this fun read. But overall an easy and entertaining read to spark imagination.
Earth Star still managed to surprise me, some plot twists I could see a mile away, and others came out of nowhere – so it’s not totally predictable. Still a series I’d recommend to a young adult audience with a love for science fiction. I loved the additional threat… or benign threat… that is woven into the series – masterful!
Overall feeling: Pretty cool!
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