Singing the Dogstar Blues

Singing the Dogstar BluesIt s been a while since I ve read a straight up science fiction YA novel, and yet SINGING THE DOGSTAR BLUES proves to be one of the best of its genre With a great protagonist and a fully realized world, this small book will suck you in so fast you won t even realize when you ve lost your heart to it.Joss is, without a doubt, my kind of girl A bit jaded, a bit too smart for her own good, she is thoroughly entertaining to read about Her tongue in cheek observations and flagrant disregard for Centre rules make her the opposite of the passive protagonist I typically dread in YA lit, and yet she s not so rebellious as to be unrelatable She is, in a sense, the kind of bad girl most readers have secretly imagined themselves being.Science fiction is difficult to write because it involves creating a thorough world and to consider the implications of adding any detail to the story Luckily, Alison Goodman s world in SINGING THE DOGSTAR BLUES is remarkably believable and real I could very nearly see all that Joss sees through the sharp and precise writing.The one complaint I had about this book was the predictability of the ending I figured out how things were going to unfold several chapters before Joss did This is a recurring weakness in Goodman s novels her YA fantasy Eon Dragoneye Reborn had the same thing happen , and yet doesn t majorly detract from my utter delight in reading this book Overall, I can solidly recommend SINGING THE DOGSTAR BLUES as one of the YA science fiction novels ever written Don t miss out on this one 3 starsThere are a definitely a few parts of this book that I would give a five star rating to This book is exciting, irreverent, and fun and I practically inhaled it Unfortunately it s one of those cases of okay yes yes YESoh Eh The ending leaves a lot to be desired, in my opinion It feels really sheared off and over simplified In general, I am especially lately very weary of every single book being stretched and stretched as far as possible into long series However, this is one case where I was left wanting much muchI love the main character Joss is subversive and independent and smart and she plays a mean harmonica She has been kicked out of twelve boarding schools, but thanks to her mother s generous donations she has been accepted into a prestigious training program for time travelers this is the kind of Connie Willis type time travel that s operated by universities and used for historical research Earth has a delicate relationship with the Chorians, an alien race that has the ability to communicate telepathically and consists entirely of twin pairs The Chorians are interested in obtaining the technology for time travel, so they send Mavkel, an outcast singleton alien, to attend the training program When Mavkel and Joss are paired for training, self reliant Joss must cope with a partner that is used to constant closeness and sharing, and is grieving for his lost twin.I really was starting to fall in love with Mavkel too, but I would have liked to seeof him I am intrigued by the pairing of a misanthropic girl with a vulnerably open alien who comes from a place where the word secret has no meaning I would love to seeJoss Mavkel adventures they could travel through history solving crimes and hitting the hippest blues clubs time travel to the future is never addressed I would definitely read that I do have a few little forewarnings about this book though For one, it has made up slang, which I know can annoy some readers But, every word that she has crafted seems very intuitive like screte shit It also has some grade A sci fi nerdery A because the time travel is never really explained There s aliens, futuristic gizmos, a science experiment gone horribly rightyou get the picture But there are also elements that I amfamiliar with in a contemporary YA novel, like a girl coming to terms with her parents abandonment, and a nice little side reference to the AIDS epidemic And for my friends that prefer their YA s withadventure and less romance this one is for you There s absolutely no romance in this book.Perfect Musical PairingSpoon All I Got is Me Spoon s rough, playful sound really reminds me of Joss I really wanted to have some sort of harmonica reference, but I kept being drawn back to Spoon I think that this is the kind of music that Joss would like going when she just hangs out This song is my ode to her loneliness transformed into suspicious self reliance. Seventeen Year Old Joss Is A Rebel, And A Student Of Time Travel At The Prestigious Centre For Neo Historical Studies This Year, For The First Time, The Centre Has An Alien Student Mavkel, From The Planet Choria And Mavkel Has Chosen Joss, Of All People, As His Roommate And Study Partner Then Mavkel Gets Sick Joss Quickly Realizes That His Will To Live Is Draining Away The Only Way She Can Help Mavkel Is By Breaking The Centre S Strictest Rules And That Means Going Back In Time To Change History I m always on the lookout for a fun space related story Singing the Dogstar Blues isn t set in space but there is a very futuristic feel to it and ALIENS so it definitely hit my sweet spot If you are wondering if this book reads at all like Goodman s other book Eon, the answer, at least for me, is absolutely not I enjoyed Eon but the pacing was off and I wasn t especially attached to any of the characters That s not the case here Joss Aaronson attends a prestigious time jumping school and holds one of 12 coveted spots in the program for her year She is a comp, which basically means that her mother used a donor to have her and comps are looked down on as genetically manipulated because people can use up to even 5 or 6 donors to create the child of their choice She is snarky, sassy, and unlike Eon a, it doesn t take her eras to figure out what is going on around her Thank goodness for that.Overall, the book has a bit of a campy and adventurous feel The plot primarily revolves around Joss and her new school partner, Mavkel, the first alien to be admitted As expected, there are enemies and allies in the school administration and amongst the students but Joss and Mavkel hold this entire story on their backs and they succeed in doing so I couldn t picture what Mavkel actually looked like but it didn t hinder the character development His personality came through even with a language barrier and extensive cultural differences He and Joss bond over music and that is where the title of the book comes from There are hints that this was Goodman s first novel the writing definitely favors utility rather than description, for instance Since this is what I prefer in my sci fi, I wasthan happy with the style And Ms Goodman actually surprised me with a plot twist near the end don t click it unless you want it to be ruined view spoiler I seriously laughed out loud when we found out that Mavkel s sneeze into the Petri dish resulted in Joss s connection with the alien race hide spoiler 3.5 starsI had attempted to read this once before but that was back when my reading horizons were fairly narrow and I was the sort of uninformed moron who, when presented with science fiction, automatically thoughtWait, what if nerd hunters drive by and tranq and tag me1 I only made it through a few pages before putting it aside Maybe it just wasn t the right book at the time Whatever the case, I m probably still a moron, but hopefully a slightlyopen minded and informed one This time, I read straight through quite quickly and I found a lot to like in this novel It s fast paced and engaging, and despite the light tone of the narration, it s clear that Goodman has put a lot of careful thought into the concepts that flesh out the story Singing The Dogstar Blues takes place in Melbourne of the distant future, where spirited protagonist Joss is attending an elite time travel program at the university s Centre for Neo Historical Studies When she is partnered with the centre s first alien student, Mavkel, Joss is drawn into a race to break the rules and alter the course of history While the plot is inventive and kept me guessing, Goodman deals with a range of interesting issues in this novel, albeit in a brisk manner One of the most interesting elements of the story is Mavkel and Joss changing dynamic over the course of the story Mavkel is a character who s world is marked by duality gender, birth pairs etc and interconnectedness a broken bond between a pair usually results in death while Joss is a solitary and somewhat prickly character who has her own complex reasons for spurning personal attachments By thrusting these two together in a situation where they are compelled to work together, Goodman forces Joss to acknowledge certain truths about herself and re examine her existing connections with others I really enjoyed the exploration of the cultural, emotional and physical differences between Mavkel and Joss particularly Goodman s take on Chorian gender and the discussion around gender pronouns Similarly there s an interesting use of social class in the story, and Joss position as a comp a child created using donors and genetic manipulation , that lends the novel a subtle gravity This book is a lot of fun, and I thought Goodman s worldbuilding was creative and fresh I m not sure I m qualified to comment on her use of a rubber band theory of time travel, because timey stuff makes my head hurt after a while, but I think I grasped the concept here better than in say, Looper, which made me ask so many questions I wanted to bash my head against a wall The climax felt a little rushed to me, with the action and subsequent denouement falling into place at breakneck speed but Goodman handles the final twists and revelations well, which makes for a surprising and clever ending If you re looking for an intriguing sci fi without romantic or dystopian trimmings, I d definitely recommend this 1 Why yes I have been watching a lot of Veronica Mars lately.. I love reading standalones but I d also love to readin this world Read and reviewed first on November 1st 2011Flappy eared, double nosed, telepathic aliens, music, danger, time travel, friendship in unexpected places, searching for your roots, futuristic futures, Blade Runner style bars, gut wrenching loneliness, highly original, tongue in cheek twists, bluesy sadness, snarky humor Wow Just my kind of sci fi This my second five star read within eight days I feel so lucky kind of like overdosed on Bliss sticks Thank you, all you Goodreaders who have been voluntarily or involuntarily pushing this at me Especially Flannery, who sent me her copy which is now at Janina s long story. A very charming, light and funny little book YA sci fi real YA sci fi, not romance disguised as sci fi is still a rare thing to find, and I very much enjoyed this story about time travel, aliens, a DNA mystery and an unlikely friendship Joss is spunky and rebellious without being annoying, Mavkel a very fascinating and endearing character I loved how their friendship developed, how the Chorians communicated and how their society worked The overall tone of the book was light, but not without meaning funny, but not trying too hard and the author didn t feel the need to dump too much information about the world on the reader I very much like the feeling of getting to know the setting by myself and not being told what it s supposed to be like.Towards the end, though, I felt like some things were a little rushed I would have wished for somedepth a lot if conflicts were hinted at, but not picked up again and in the end, I was left with a lot of open questions not about the plot, butabout the background of the story in general I would have loved to learnabout the Chorians, about the scientific aspect behind time travel how does it actually work and about Joss s family Nevertheless, recommended if you are into lighter sci fi with a futuristic setting, and would like to read a book without a focus on romance for once I would have wished to be just a littleinvested emotionally, but in comparison to Froi of the Exiles, the book didn t really stand a chance in that department11 Aussie YA Challenge 2011 As seen on The ReadventurerSinging the Dogstar Blues is that rare specimen of YA fiction called science fiction That s right, not dystopia or rather dystopian romance, not sci fi romance, but real deal sci fi There are no love triangles in it, no angst, no moping around boys Gee, no wonder nobody read it My library book was bought 6 years and looks as if nobody ever even touched it Joss Aaronson is a 1st year student at a time travel school She is about to be paired up with her permanent TT partner who would accompany her on all her adventures Her partner turns out to be the first alien admitted to the TT school Mavkel For some reason he feels Joss is his perfect mate Mavkel s race is deeply dual Its species live in telepathically connected pairs Mavkel needs to establish a psychic connection with Joss without which he can t exist After several failed attempts to connect, the couple s last resort is to travel back into the past to seek the missing ingredient to assist their union.Great things about Singing the Dogstar Blues 1 time travel I cravedof it though.2 aliens Mavkel is the cutest alien with a fab personality and the whole concept of his society is very curious.3 futuristic setting loved the cyberpunky feel of it.4 emphasis on developing of friendship instead of romance 5 a heroine who kicks ass and who is rebellious without being annoying.6 mystery yes, an actual mystery involving assassins, sperm donors and DNA.I mean, what s not to like here Why aren t therebooks like this It is always such a pleasure to read teen books that are both entertaining, light and not dumb I can t read Le Guin s complex and thought provoking sci fi all the time, right Some fun teen sci fi is necessary too. For me, this book balances science fiction, humour and interesting characters in a way that grabbed me farthan any Douglas Adams book ever did To be honest, the author had me at flappy eared alien.Science fiction when it is told well is easily one of my favourite genres, but too much of it turns into some crappy dystopian romance or is written for a male readership the only sci fi I can honestly say I ve enjoyed in recent years is Margaret Atwood and Ursula K Le Guin But I loved the world building in this novel and the characters were different and intriguing especially Mavkel I somehow managed to find it totally believable that these Chorians a bunch of genderless, flappy eared aliens with four noses, two mouths and two brains had made contact with Earth in the future and both humans and aliens were now trying to share their technological knowledge.There s mystery and time travel too and a heroine who doesn t annoy me Whatcould I possibly want I don t know why this isn t a series, there s so much here that could be explored The world created is exciting and has the potential to hold manystories, and the novel closes with very little of it discovered by the reader I find it strange and rather funny that in an age where every author who comes up with the slightest hint of originality will most definitely write at least a trilogy, this is only a standalone More please, Ms Goodman.

[PDF] ✪ Singing the Dogstar Blues ✬ Alison Goodman –
  • Paperback
  • 272 pages
  • Singing the Dogstar Blues
  • Alison Goodman
  • English
  • 02 March 2019
  • 9780142402467

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