Title: Lifespan of Starlight
Author: Thalia Kalkipsakis
Published by: Hardie Grant Egmont on April 2015
Genre: YA, Sci-fi
My Copy Source: Borrowed from Dianne
Rating: 4 Roses
The first in a thrilling new trilogy of epic proportions from best-selling children’s author Thalia Kalkipsakis. A fresh take on the time tripping genre, The Lifespan of Starlight is Gattaca meets The Time Traveler’s Wife.
It already lies dormant within you: the ability to move within time. In 2084, three teenagers discover the secret to time travel. At first their jumps cover only a few seconds, but soon they master the technique and combat their fear of jumping into the unknown. It’s dangerous. It’s illegal. And it’s utterly worth it for the full-body bliss of each return.
As their ability to time jump grows into days and weeks, the group begins to push beyond their limits, with terrifying consequences. Could they travel as far as ten years, to escape the authorities? They are desperate enough to find out. But before they jump they must sure, because it only works in one direction. Once you trip forwards, there’s no coming back.
I have managed to get through the first half of May not reading any books at all (not including short story ebooks, that is), and when I got back on track, I busied myself into reading 2 books in 2 days. Yep, one for each day (I usually read book in a span of 5-10 hours then rest and pick another book the next day). The first one is The Breakup Bible and the second one is the Lifespan of Starlight. But today, I am going to start reviewing Lifespan of Starlight before I forget everything. Ugh, remind me to write down my thoughts when reading so I won't forget. Maybe, I'll be posting the review for the other one tomorrow?
Lifespan of Starlight follows the story of an illegal citizen, Scout, who managed to get an identity chip from a dead woman who time traveled for nearly 17 years, if I am not mistaken; and Mason, the boy who constantly watched the grid and found out about the time traveling woman. Scout got mistaken by Mason and his friend, Boc, to be the time traveling woman since the chip was in her possession when they decided to follow her dot on the grid after re-emerging from her 17-year time travel (Is it really 17? Gosh, I forgot. Please correct me if I got it wrong).
These two friends, ever so curious about the existence of time traveling, wanted to know how she does it, followed the dot that now belonged to Scout and not the real time traveling woman, for she is now dead. Here, Scout, not wanting to be caught as illegal, pretended to know the key to time traveling when in fact she's just as ignorant as the two boys are. The story goes from there until all three of them mastered the key to time traveling and faced a big consequence in the end that would be picked up by the second book, of course, because deym, this first book ended in a big cliff-hanger. The pile of my anticipated-next-book-in-a-series-pile is now growing because these books are just UH-MAZING and my hands are itching.
First, thank you Dianne for this review opportunity. You know she can really attest to my enthusiasm about this book, because when I received the email and read: "The Time Traveler's Wife meets Gattaca", I was like, WOAH WOAH WOAH, those are two of my favorite films! (I still haven't finished The Time Traveler's Wife book yet, and I'm planning to reread it from the start again after I make this post) So I literally jumped up on the opportunity to devour this book because I just have to!
And I tell you, you can find no trace of disappointment painted in my face at all, well expect for the fact that I got bored at first because the beginning was kind of slow and the fact that I wasn't just that attached to the characters, but the middle, the end, the scenes? It's not something you can go back from. Literally! =)) (You'll know this when you read the book)
I am so psyched to read another fantasy book. I seem to be reading a lot lately. I've read parallel universes, parallel Londons,and now time traveling. Yaahs!
Do you know what sets this book apart from other time traveling books? It shows the in depth mechanism of time traveling. Like for me, I always see time traveling as something that is instant, something that can be done in a flick of thumb, but it's actually not. Maybe because the movies never really show what happened after you clicked the "time travel button"; this book showed that when you decide to click that button (not that there is any in this book), you will be gone in real time and you will be missing out on what happened on the minutes, hours or years, that you decide to skip. You see, films and other books never showed the POV of the scene that was left after the traveler disappeared for an amount of time. This book certainly does! Ugh, this is really hard to explain :(
Anyway, another thing I loved from this book is the title. It's so fitting. "Lifespan of Starlight" *whistles*. Based on what you already know from the synopsis from Goodreads above, this time travel only works on one direction, and once you go forward, there's no going back, so anything that you've skipped is already skipped, you can't relive them. Not that it will be a big of a deal, since when you skip time, you are literally wiped out from existence until you reemerge so anything that happens when you skip will not involve anything that would include you since there's no two of you. That only happens when you go back, but such a thing does not exist in this world, you only travel forward so there will only be one of you and that you will not exist until you decided to come back, so nothing's really wasted. The only thing you will miss is you did not witness the world go more insane and destructive and wasted than it already is when you left, but I think that's a good thing, right? You're spared from the world's madness. Though there will be danger in that, because skipping for a longer amount of time will mean changes in the environment so you will have no idea where you will land for let's say 20 years? Maybe you left at an abandoned building at the present time and in the future, you will reemerge in the same place but in a different setting, let's say, luxurious hotel, maybe? You will never know. You just have to wish to reemerge in a crowd-less place because when a naked man suddenly appears in front of a crowd, that would be a big scene, and being that you came from the "past", being low profile is on top of your priority list.
Back to the title. I kind of strayed away for a moment, I got carried away. So, there's this scene in the book where Mason explained to Scout how the light that we see from the stars in our night sky is now just a remnant of a dying, if not, dead star. These stars that we see each night are very far from us and the light that radiated from it stretches and travels the whole galaxy that's why we see the light from here. It stretches on forever until the light hits a planet or an asteroid or whatever, but the thing is, the light can never go back. Same goes with time traveling, once you surge forward, you can never go back to the star you once came from. I never thought of it that way before. *Mind BLOWN*
This book is exhilarating and the characters are "dauntless", if I may say. Even with the slow beginning, you'll find yourself intrigued as to how they will end up discovering the key to time travel itself. The romance is not a key part of the book as much as it should have, since of course, Mason and Scout would eventually be attracted to each other. There should have been more romantic part in it, so that some emotional feelings would be triggered in the latter part, but eventually, it was only a "that's it?" moment for me. Well, what can I do? Scout is 14! Freaking 14! What a young age for those romance stuff. Damn. 14 and kissing already? She should have been 16 or 18, I don't know, it's kind of weird. Apart from the romance that should have been "there" more, the ending was a big cliff-hanger, as I have said. This book was way more action-packed than I expected. Pretty cool, way cool and I couldn't wait for the next book to come out. There's no news yet, but I'll be sure to watch out for it. I am really curious on how the story would pick up after the story ended with a very dramatic separation.
Want to know what I am talking about? Yes, go forth and read it. If you are into sci-fi, time traveling, futuristic dystopian sort of book, then this is for you! I might be blabbing way too much on things that you don't get yet, but if you picked up the book, we'll be more in the same page. HAHAHA, please come back and discuss it with me after reading the book. *wink*
Because you see, we don't travel back in time... we shoot forward like the light of stars we see each night.