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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 6 May 2017
A good continuation of Janet Edwards trilogy - enjoyed seeing the development and solving of problems and characters.

Off to buy the third book.
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on 6 April 2017
Daughter loved all three books!
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on 2 September 2013
This anticipated sequel to Edwards' highly successful debut YA science fiction Earth Girl, recently hit the bookshelves and I scooped up a Kindle copy. Would it live up to the high standard set by the first book in this entertaining and original series?

This interesting concept is braided into the idea that Earth is now a backwater, largely inhabited by those unable to survive on other planets, and large tracts are now deserted and falling into ruin. But as a great deal of knowledge has also been lost in the social upheaval engendered by the flight to new planets, archaeologists from all the colony worlds congregate in the race to discover some of the scientific advancements now denied to humanity. It's a cool twist - the world that comes closest to this idea is Eric Brown's fabulous depiction of Paris in Engineman, which I think is one of the best slices of world-building I've ever read...

In addition, the story in Earth Star is pacy, event-filled and engrossing such that I didn't put the book down until I'd finished. Jarra's adventures in Earth Girl were exciting enough - but everything moves up a gear in this second book, when an alien spaceship appears. This being Edwards, of course, this often-covered science fiction plot device doesn't settle into any sort of generic tale, but is given an extra twist. Jarra is pitchforked right into the middle of the action, along with her boyfriend. And before you roll your eyes at the notion of a teenage girl finding herself right in the middle of a major flap about an incipient alien invasion - there is a solid reason why she is there. And it works, in my opinion.

In amongst all the non-stop action, we also have Jarra's relationship with her boyfriend deepening and her fear of commitment addressed. We meet other interesting characters - and learn a bit more about some of the main protagonists that appeared in Earth Girl. Niggles? Um. No. Not one. I just relaxed into this enjoyable, thoroughly readable book and am very much looking forward to reading the third book in the series to discover what will happen next.
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on 22 August 2013
I absolutely loved Earth Girl and have been waiting impatiently for this second book. It did not disappoint. Janet Edwards has written another exciting adventure about Jarra and her friends, and I read the entire story during two long train journeys yesterday! Just as with the first book, Jarra is a totally believable heroine. She's strong, independent and likeable, but also has enough realistic flaws as a character for the reader to be able to identify with her. It's a real page-turner of a book with Jarra and Fian bouncing from one incident to another. Dig sites can be dangerous places, and the tension really gets racked up for a few events. I'm now hanging on for book 3 as I need to know what happens next with the sphere, what happens between Fian's parents, what happens between Fian and Jarra, what's going to happen with Petra after the Joth incident... how am I going to wait a year?! Hurry up, Janet Edwards!
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on 18 August 2013
With some books I have initial thoughts as I am reading or are about to read the book, so I decided that maybe it would be a good idea to add them to my review. So here are the "initial thoughts" I had when about to and when reading Earth Star.
It feels good to be catching up with Jarra and Fian and their crew but a shame that Jarra is still facing a form of racism as the other students find it difficult accept an "ape" "handicapped" into their midst. Then Jarra and Fian are summoned to join the military" Will this change how people look at Jarra and her race?

I really like the cover as I think it goes well and will look brilliant on a bookshelf with the others in the series. I do like books in a series to have a common theme. The cover of this book shows the rain forest where Jarra and Fian end up facing the unknown in attempt to save the world as they know it. Id say the female character on the cover is that of Jarra. Jarra is alone on the cover as that represents how she always feels. You all know by now that I love a good byline and this book has "Only she can save the world" it does fit the situation that Jarra finds herself in several times throughout the book. The font of the title and Author name are also great and look well on the cover too.
So after being awarded the Artemis medal Jarra has even more to prove. Everyone knows she is an "ape" in this book, and as usual Jarra faces name calling and racism just because she was born with a faulty immune system that prevents her from travelling off Earth via the portals. The other "norms"/races see this immune system deficiency as being a "fault" and so see the "apes"/ "handicapped" and inferior and some what useless.
Jarra feels the weight of all this on her shoulders and wants to prove that "apes" are worth something and are as capable as everyone else.
Then something drastic happens . . . .an alien craft is spotted and Jarra and Fian are called on to join the military. It is now their job to help the military solve this "problem".
So that's as much as I wish to tell you as you should seriously read this yourself and discover "things" as they happen.
There's lots of action, drama, suspense, thrills and spills in this book too. I enjoyed the medium pace of the book. It gives you chance to get your head around some of the medical, scientific terms and situations too. There are more complicated situations and terms in this book. Jarra has to face dangers on more than one occasion. An accident which sets off the mechanism of her impact suit, causes Jarra trauma and a trip to a regeneration tank. Then she has to deal with the fear of putting on an impact suit to work in again.
Then there's Jarra and Fian's relationship. Fian's Deltan parents are not keen on their son being in a Two-ing contract with an "ape" like Jarra. There's the Deltan's way of courtship no holding hands let alone sharing a room etc. Fian wants Jarra and himself to wear rings to display to the world their commitment to each other. Wearing a ring is another phobia of Jarra's as she once wore one and ended up almost losing her finger when her impact suit triggered. Jarra finally consents to a ring when she realises how much it really does mean to Fian and ...well the type of rings she chooses for them is fantastically romantic. . . .what those rings are? You'll have to read the book!
So did I enjoy the book? Enjoy is an understatement . . . when can I read the next one?
Would I recommend the book? Yes and I would have to say you do not need to be into aliens etc for this Sci-fi book. It's a great relationship novel too. Would I read another book in this series? I'd read the book in the series now if I could! so YES! Would I read other books not in this series by Janet Edwards? Yes I like the style, pace and descriptive style of Janet Edwards writing.
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on 9 September 2013
Earth Star begins straight after the events of Earth Girl with Jarra being awarded the Artemis, the highest military honour, for her self-sacrificing help during a military rescue. Jarra is an 'ape', 'handicapped' because she cannot portal to other planets in the universe like the rest of the 'norms'. She is confined to Earth and many 'norms' are prejudiced against 'apes', believing them to be stupid and inferior. Jarra proved in Earth Girl that the handicapped are just as capable as norms but even though she's reached her own goals, things haven't settled down. A mysterious sphere has appeared in the Earth's atmosphere and it's intentions are unknown. It is clearly something alien, but whether hostile or friendly, noone knows. Jarra and her 'twoing' partner (i.e. boyfriend) Fian have been drafted into the military to use their knowledge of history to try and figure out where this sphere has come from, who sent it and what it wants but things aren't plain sailing because of Jarra's 'ape' status.

I was hoping that after the immense amount of time and detail dedicated to setting up this series in book one, that book two would have a much faster plot with a lot more things going on; however, this was not the case. An alien sphere is introduced at the beginning of the story and I expected many exciting things to happen but by the end of the book we still hadn't really found out anything about the sphere which was disappointing. Like in Earth Girl, there is a sort of continuous plot strand throughout the book but it moves at a steady, slow pace with no dips or bumps along the way. Small events were described in masses of detail that was really unnecessary, whilst major events were merely glanced over. The plot had much potential but unfortunately I don't think it really fulfilled it and I can't help but feel that this story could've been told with half the amount of the words.

Fian and Jarra's relationship doesn't particularly develop at all in Earth Star. The pair signed up for a 'twoing' contract in Earth Girl so I expected more romance in Earth Star, but really the pair just acted like an old married couple and I really fail to see the 'spark' in their relationship. I still don't really identify with the main character, Jarra, because her personality is hidden behind the fact that she doesn't 'do' emotions, but consequently this meant that I couldn't see in her what all the characters in the book could. Her narrative is quite interesting, but I don't particularly like her as a character or a narrator so I felt a little detached whilst reading this. Jarra was a lot sassier in Earth Girl and I quite enjoyed her snarky bitterness, but I don't think that part of her personality came with her to Earth Star which was a great shame.

The general setting of the book and the universe that these events take place in is fascinating. Janet Edwards has created a completely new world that still has some vague similarities to Earth as we know it, but there are also many differences. A great deal of detail is spent describing the planets, their customs, the tools that are being used, the different social rankings etc. which is all very interesting to read and learn about. Although portalling between planets isn't something new to the sci-fi genre, having 'handicapped' characters who are tied to planet Earth, is. In addition, these characters communicate with a whole new language and I felt a lot like an old lady trying to understand teenage slang when I first started reading this but by the end of this book I was basically fluent in it. I really love the world that Janet Edwards has created for Jarra and all the other characters and the framework that supports this novel is soso good, but unfortunately the plot let the book down.

Although you don't need to read Earth Girl to understand what's going on in Earth Star, I would certainly recommend it. Earth Girl sets up the backdrop for this series with lots of details about the new universe that Janet Edwards has created and there's a lot of new terms which you have to get to grips with in order to understand how the characters speak and act. Any references made to people or events from Earth Girl are thoroughly explained in Earth Star which does slow down the book considerably for those that have already read the first book, but if you're diving in at book two then this will do you fine.

All in all, Earth Star was a bit of a disappointment but it's still a fairly intriguing read. The world that Janet Edwards has created is absolutely superb and I've spent so much time reading her two books over the last few days that I've even adopted some of the new language used in her book, e.g. nardlebrain, but I don't think there's enough of a plot to really bring this world to life. I still have high hopes for the third book in this series which I'm praying will have a plot with a much faster pace with a lot more excitement but we'll just have to wait and see!

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on 9 September 2013
Great sequel to Earth Girl. She is almost too good to be true, but it's an enjoyable read. Don't look for anything too thought provoking. It is light and fluffy.
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on 30 September 2013
Very good read,the earth has long been abandoned for the stars. the only people left are those that can not travel to the stars because of a faulty gene.the young girl in the story wants to show the so called normal people that she is as good as they are.read the book and see.
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on 11 November 2013
A really good read in the older style/ theme of science fiction writing that I enjoyed so much when I was much younger than I am now, rather than the magic/ heroic/ fantasy style that tends to dominate today. I read the first book in the series and had to buy this, the second, as soon as I had finished

I believe this may have been written for the younger reader, but the author has created a possible civilisation and lead character that made me feel this was the most enjoyable science fiction novel(s) I have read for a long time.

I am looking forward to the third book.
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Second volume in the 'Earth Girl' trilogy of young adult science fiction novels.

This is the story of Jarra, a teenage girl from the year 2788. When humanity has left Earth via portal technology and spread out to other worlds. The home planet was a devastated place which has now been returned to, and is of great interest to historians and archaeologists.

But some people still live there. Those who have no choice. One in a thousand humans born on other worlds have a mutation which means they can't survive anywhere other than Earth. They face great prejudice from many other humans. Jarra is one such. The series began with Earth Girl (Earth Girl Trilogy 1). The prologue to this summarises what happened in that book. But you're still better off reading that rather than starting here in order to get the most from the series.

This volume runs for three hundred and seventy four pages. It has the aforementioned prologue and thirty seven chapters.

Recommended reading age would be thirteen and up, thanks to some mild adult moments and references.

Earth Girl didn't really feel as if it needed a sequel. A point that the prologue does rather neatly and obliquely make. But here we are. Jarra and Fian are now a couple and getting on great. But their lives take a turn for the unexpected when humanity makes contact with an alien craft. Jarra has a lot of professional and personal things to deal with as a result...

The appeal of the first book was the wholly original concept and setting, as it was something that was different from the norm. It also had a likeable and strong main character and good clear and readable prose. You get all that here as well. The initial third of the book does well capture what alien contact would be like, as humanity has to act fast admist a very confused situation, and you see that from a character who gets caught up in the middle of such things. People would react to it in very different ways. As the supporting cast do here.

It changes focus in the middle third, getting more back to her personal life. All through the first third that's been touched on as well, but for a while the thrust of the initial third isn't quite there. So there are times when this does feel perhaps a little bit overlong, and you're not sure where it's going.

Even so, the main relationship holds you, as it is very believable and very well done. And all the time the book does have some interesting things to make you think about people and prejudice. How we react to those who are different and what it's like to be that way.

The writing does though, as you will find out in the final third, know where it's going. Which leads to a decent and convincing finale that pulls everything together well. It's not an ending to the story, though. It ends on big set up for a third volume.

This is perhaps a bit overlong, but it's still a good read that's nicely different to the norm. And it will make you want to find what happens next.
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