A Star Named Vega — Benjamin J Roberts

A Star Named Vega — Benjamin J Roberts

A Star Named Vega was a finalist in the SPSFC, and it’s easy to see why. The writing is crisp and humorous, the characters are easy and fun to follow, and the worldbuilding is vast, imaginative, and full of history. I sometimes derp a bit with hard sci-fi, but this wasn’t too hard to follow.

There are two POVs that couldn’t feel more different. Aster Vale is a teenager who is transferring to the Vega System with her father and Isaac, a child prodigy. A soldier Skarid named Rel infiltrates their ship to steal info. They are on warring sides, but through simple gestures and acts of kindness, the walls between them are broken down.

The strength of the book, in my opinion, is the worldbuilding. It is very thorough and goes way beyond the “us vs. them” or “aliens vs. humans” plot. Each world is fleshed out, each history spans centuries and galaxies, and if worldbuilding is your flavor, definitely check this one out.

There were a few scenes that felt a bit overloaded with info, especially at the beginning, but I think most of it worked to the book’s advantage. What was a little difficult for me was the feeling I was reading two completely different books. Not different POVs, mind, but different books. Aster’s story felt like the younger end of YA sci-fi (sometimes even MG), while Rel’s was a bit darker (and uh, more brutal), and sometimes the transitions between the two were not quite always smooth. I do think it is because Aster gets much more screen time. It didn’t bother me much in the end, but it did make it a little harder to recalibrate at times.

Despite that, I really enjoyed A Star Named Vega. If you’re looking for YA sci-fi that shines in its worldbuilding, check this one out!

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