A Conspiracy of Stars

432p. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Bks. Jan. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062644213.
Gr 8 Up—The survivors of the Origin Planet had only ever planned for Faloiv to be a stopping point, but a broken ship left them stranded. Octavia was born on Faloiv and has known nothing else but the compound of N'Terra and the prestigious whitecoat scientists she has always longed to become. When a new leader is elected as the head of the Council and students are suddenly able to enter the whitecoats' secret labs, Octavia should be thrilled—but something is wrong. She hears buzzing in her ears, smells things that no one else notices, and can't seem to keep it together whenever an animal is near. As she delves deeper into the labs and discovers the extremist views of their new leader, Octavia gets tangled in hidden agendas, deception, and family secrets that threaten to destroy the delicate balance and life of Faloiv. Cole has created a fast-paced adventure full of futuristic science, beautiful and imaginative creatures, and characters that run the gamut of relatable, frightening, and mysterious. While the lush, otherworldly, and at times dangerous Faloiv bares many similarities to the fictitious world of Pandora from the movie Avatar, the unique quality of the plot enables it to stand on its own. In a time when books are so often drawn into series, this installment leaves you begging for more.
VERDICT A great science fiction/fantasy addition to any library collection.

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