Title: The Blue
Author: Stephanie Void
Genre: Science Fiction
Alan Michael Wolf is an ordinary 19-year-old boy from a backwater colony world whose only dream was to go to military school. However, when he is sent home to recover from an injury, he finds himself stranded when he receives unthinkable news: his home planet is gone. He is left with nothing until a chance encounter with an old man at a spaceport leaves him with three things: a mysterious starship, a giant cat, and the news that his younger sister Katelyn may still be alive. Alan takes off across the galaxy in search of her, but discovers the old man’s ship may have led him to a big secret, one that will lead him to an even bigger truth about why his home planet was destroyed. But there are forces out there who will hunt him down to make sure he is silenced before he can reveal the truth…
I’ve read a lot of sci-fi subgenres lately (mostly dystopian), but I haven’t read straight sci-fi in ages. So when I found what seemed to be a good YA sci-fi, I decided to try it.
Alan Michael Wolf was a more serious character. I think it was his military training. But he wasn’t stodgy, and he wasn’t a straight-laced stickler for rules, either. Even though he wasn’t as quirky as I prefer my characters to be, I still enjoyed him.
Useia, a Yl’hlie girl who ends up traveling with Alan, was more interesting, at least in terms of background. She was a reluctant assassin, and was certainly full of surprises. Strangely enough, though, I didn’t like her more than Alan. I ended up enjoying them both equally.
I loved the plot. It started with Alan trying to find his missing sister, but a take-down-the-Yl’hlie plot sprung up that became entangled with the find-Alan’s-sister plot. That was another thing I loved about the plot – all the subplots were so entangled with the main plot that it practically seemed like one plot.
I also loved the idea of the Yl’hlie, a group of intergalactic assassins (although how you pronounce a word with four consonants in a row, I have no clue). I enjoyed how bits and pieces of them are slowly revealed, so you gradually learn how they work and that they aren’t limited to assassination on a small scale.
One part I was not the biggest fan of was the romance angle. My problem with it wasn’t the romance itself – I don’t mind a well-played romance. But it seemed like Alan fell in love about five minutes after he saw Useia.
Since Alan spent most of his time on backwater colonies, there wasn’t a lot about the mainstream culture of The Blue‘s sci-fi world. However, there was a lot of travel and transportation involved, which resulted in some interesting details about space travel. It was worked well into the story, though, not dumped in all at once.
Overall, The Blue was an extremely enjoyable sci-fi ride. I don’t think there’s a sequel, or room for one. But I wouldn’t object to reading another sci-fi story by Stephanie Void.
I received a free review copy of The Blue from the author. Her generosity in no way influenced, or sought to influence, this review.