Review: In Our Stars by Jack Campbell

Posted May 23, 2024 by Sophia Rose in Rating A, Reviews, Sci-Fi or Fantasy Fiction Tags: , , ,

Book cover of In Our Stars by Jack CampbellIn Our Stars
Author:
Jack Campbell
Reviewer:
Sophia Rose
Rating: A

What I’m Talking About:

A terrorist plot destroys the earth, but what if a woman has the chance to change history and save the earth?  Jack Campbell’s books caught my eye some time ago when reading a book pal’s reviews, but In Our Stars was my first opportunity to take up his suspenseful, intriguing and action-packed first in series Space Opera.

Selene is half-human, half-alien, genetically engineered, and holds a military position with a front row seat from space as the terrorists and multiple factions at war succeed in annihilating the planet.  The result is that Selene is catapulted 40 years into the past when there is a chance to change what went catastrophically wrong from the point of first contact with the aliens and the way several earth governmental entities are handled.  

She can’t do it alone and the only one who believes in her is a man who serves in the military, working to dispel is family’s tarnished reputation, but now has bought into her mission to save earth’s future.

From the earliest pages, In Our Stars captured my rapt attention as Kayl and Selene are on the run for their lives and then have to go straight to the heart of trouble with their plans.  I loved the setup of Selene time-traveling, but not so far into the past that the focus became the time travel.  Rather, this is merely the vehicle that gets her there and allows her to have clarity of her mission back in the past.

But, like any good story, Selene’s save the earth mission isn’t so simple.  There is political intrigue because of the great powers within the eroding Earth Guard that Kayl only had suspicions about from his spot as a patrol ship lieutenant, and there are big movers and shakers who are corrupt with their own agendas.  The alien race’s arrival is pivotal to much that is going on, and Selene and Kayl have to find a way to keep the peace though some are working hard for their own reasons to create a hostile environment.

And, then there are the personal elements with both of them fighting their own demons.  Kayl joined the Earth Guard to bring honor back to his family name after his dad was wrongfully blamed for something and disgraced, but instead finds that most of the Earth Guard is not about ability, but who you know and the status quo.  Selene has fought prejudice and fear and lack of belonging all her life for her alien DNA.  She struggles to believe Kayl and a few others like him can be so accepting and loyal. 

I enjoyed the high risk set up and flow to this story that included fast and furious action and moments of suspense build up or thoughtful reflection.  There is excellent character and relationship development.  And, while this was obviously a first in series that had to establish the world and series arc, it was a fabulous story with closure in its own right.

In summary, I will be finishing Selene and Kayl’s story and hitting up Jack Campbell’s backlist for some more superb sci-fi and space opera.

My Rating: A Loved It
Sophia Rose

About the Book:

Earth, 2180

Genetically engineered with partly alien DNA, Lieutenant Selene Genji is different from ordinary humans. And they hate her for it. Still, she’s spent her life trying to overcome society’s prejudice by serving in the Unified Fleet while Earth’s international order collapses into war.

Genji is stationed on a ship in orbit when humanity’s factional extremism on the planet reaches a boiling point, and she witnesses the utter annihilation of Earth. When the massive forces unleashed by Earth’s death warp space and time to hurl her forty years into the past, Genji is given a chance to try to change the future and save Earth—starting with the alien first contact only she knows will soon occur.

Earth, 2140

Lieutenant Kayl Owen’s ship is on a routine patrol when a piece of spacecraft wreckage appears out of nowhere. To his shock, there is a survivor on Selene Genji. Once her strange heritage is discovered, though, it becomes clear that Genji is a problem Earth Guard command wants to dispose of—quietly. After learning the horrifying truth, Owen helps her escape and joins her mission.

Together, they have a chance to change the fate of an Earth doomed to die in 2180. But altering history could put Genji’s very existence in danger, and Owen wonders if a world without her is one worth saving. . . .

Release Date: May 7, 2024
Publisher:
Ace
Series:
The Doomed Earth #1
Genre:
Sci-Fi, Space Opera
Format(s):
hardcover (400 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: NetGalley

Purchase Info:
Amazon (affiliate link)