Monday, April 23, 2018

Book Review | Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente

Space Opera is a science fiction novel by Catherynne M. Valente.


IN SPACE EVERYONE CAN HEAR YOU SING

A century ago, the Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and nearly ended the entire concept of intelligent space-faring life. In the aftermath, a curious tradition was invented-something to cheer up everyone who was left and bring the shattered worlds together in the spirit of peace, unity, and understanding.

Once every cycle, the civilizations gather for the Metagalactic Grand Prix - part gladiatorial contest, part beauty pageant, part concert extravaganza, and part continuation of the wars of the past. Instead of competing in orbital combat, the powerful species that survived face off in a competition of song, dance, or whatever can be physically performed in an intergalactic talent show. The stakes are high for this new game, and everyone is forced to compete.

This year, though, humankind has discovered the enormous universe. And while they expected to discover a grand drama of diplomacy, gunships, wormholes, and stoic councils of aliens, they have instead found glitter, lipstick and electric guitars. Mankind will not get to fight for its destiny - they must sing.

A one-hit-wonder band of human musicians, dancers and roadies from London - Decibel Jones and the Absolute Zeroes - have been chosen to represent Earth on the greatest stage in the galaxy. And the fate of their species lies in their ability to rock.

The only Valente books I had read prior to reading Space Opera were the Fairyland books, but Space Opera was every bit as imaginative as her Fairyland series. I'm anxious to hunt down a lot more of Valente's adult novels.

Despite being a huge fan of Valente's writing, I would have loved more variety in her writing style throughout Space Opera. It was easy for me to put it down at times.

Overall, though, Space Opera was a really fun read. I loved the story, and I enjoyed the cast of characters. As wacky (and awesome) as the book blurbed sounded, Valente was able to pull it off.

7/10: Recommended Read

Review copy provided by publisher

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20 comments:

  1. I was able to get this for my Kindle for under $5.00 on release day so I already have a copy. I was surprised it was so cheap. Glad you enjoyed this one and it does at least sound quite entertaining!

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    1. I'm surprised it was that cheap, too. Score. :)

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  2. That does sound wacky :) I'm glad you enjoyed it even though it was easy to put down.

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    1. It was, but it also made me happy to pick it back up so there's that, too.

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  3. This book has been exploding on Twitter the last few days. I haven't read any of the author's other books, and I'm still up in the air about this one. The premise sounds interesting, but... I don't know. Haha. Maybe I need to be in the right mood for it?

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. Yes and no. You might need to be in the right mood for it, but it will also put you in a good mood if you aren't already. :)

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  4. Replies
    1. Right? Valente comes up with some great stuff.

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  5. This one sounds fun. I’m a bit sad to hear it was easy to put down but at least you ended up liking it.

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    1. That was my only complaint, but I wouldn't feel right not mentioning it.

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  6. Looks fun and promising! My copy finally arrived this week, I'm looking forward to giving it a read :)

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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  7. This almost sounds in the vein of Hitchhiker's Guide in terms of the humor, maybe. I mean that premise is pretty silly but fun at the same time? I might have to get this one :)

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    1. Yes. There have been a lot of comparisons to Hitchhikers, and I think it's accurate.

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  8. I've been hearing about this book and I'm so glad it's getting decent reviews. It looks ridiculous and bizarre and really fun - I'll have to bump it up my TBR.

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  9. I can truly recommend Deathless by Valente! It's on my top recommended list - basically, I can't shut up about this book :D
    I really wanted Space Opera, but didn't get it granted on NetGalley. Which is too bad! Hopefully I'll still read it one day :)

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation! I will hunt down Deathless! :) Netgalley can be a fickle beast.

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  10. I'm excited to start this, I've read several other of her adult novels and loved them. I'm a little worried about the "wacky" humor, as it's not my favorite, but still I can't wait😁

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    1. I found it more imaginative than wacky. I wasn't a fan of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but I can see why the comparisons are being made. Hopefully you'll enjoy it!

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