Review: Singing the Dogstar Blues by Alison Goodman.

Angus and Robertson, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers Australia. 1998.
Angus and Robertson, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers Australia. 1998.

The blurb:
Joss Aaronson has two loves in her life: Playing the blues and training to jump through time.
Then Mavkel, the first alien student on Earth, selects her to be his time-travel partner and Joss’s life gets a lot more complicated. There’s an assassin on campus, an anti-alien lobby group chanting slogans, and Joss is constantly being tracked by the tight security around her friend.

Life with Mavkel is not all that bad, though. Music loving Joss is fascinated by him and his people, the Chorians, who communicate through song.

But Mavkel is pining for his lost twin, and his will to live is draining away. Joss wants to help him and that means going back to the petri dish where it all began. She’s playing with history, but if Mavkel doesn’t survive, then Joss could really be singing the blues…

My thoughts:
Wow. I loved this book. In 1998 it was the winner of the Aurealis award for Best Young Adult Novel, and in 2004 it was An American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults, and i can see why.

This is pure sci-fi. Not a bit of romance in this one, and despite that (I love a good romance) it was interesting, captivating and page turning. It is extremely well written and imaginative, and should be read by everyone, even those who don’t like the sci-fi genre.

It is a book about friendship, acceptance and finding out who you are, and what it’s like to be human. It is set in a technologically advanced future were time travel is possible and we have made contact with aliens.

Joss was a stand out heroine. She was smart, capable and didn’t let anyone push her around. Mavkel was funny and sweet, even if he didn’t understand the concept of personal space. He was the kind of alien you want visiting Earth. I think the fact that he could only sing what he wanted to say was pretty cool.

Chorians are all twins, two half’s functioning as one, so when one dies, so does the other. Except when Mavkel’s twin dies, he survives, and he is slowly losing himself because of it, and is dying of grief. He needs to connect with a partner, and Joss is the perfect candidate. To become his partner, she must discover who her father is; a sperm donor she doesn’t even know the name of. But if she doesn’t find him, Mavkel will die, and so the race to find Joss’s father begins.

Note: Although time travelling is a part of this book, it is not a book that involves a huge amount of time travelling, so if you are looking for a book where they time travel continually then you will be disappointed.

To conclude:
A must read. It is one of those well written gems that you wish were more widely known because they are so far beyond good that you want to shove it in everyone’s face and tell them to read it.

4.5/5 stars.


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