Book Title:
A Conspiracy of Stars
Book Author:
Olivia A. Cole
Book Series:
Faloiv, #1
Page Count:
Publishing Date:
January 2nd, 2018
Katherine Tegen Books
Date Read:
January 10th, 2018
eARC from publisher via Edelweiss - Thank you!


Olivia A. Cole blends a richly imagined world, fantastical creatures, family secrets, and a simmering romance in her cinematic sci-fi/fantasy YA debut, perfect for fans of Amie Kaufman and Pierce Brown.

Octavia has only ever had one goal: to follow in the footsteps of her parents and become a prestigious whitecoat, one of the scientists who study the natural wonders of Faloiv. The secrets of the jungle’s exotic plants and animals are protected fiercely in the labs by the Council of N’Terra, so when the rules suddenly change, allowing students inside, Octavia should be overjoyed.

But something isn’t right. The newly elected leader of the Council has some extremist views about the way he believes N’Terra should be run, and he’s influencing others to follow him. When Octavia witnesses one of the Faloii—the indigenous people of Faloiv—attacked in front of her in the dark of night, she knows the Council is hiding something. They are living in separate worlds on a shared planet, and their fragile peace may soon turn into an all-out war.

With the help of Rondo, a quiet boy in class with a skill for hacking, and her inquisitive best friend, Alma, Octavia is set on a collision course to discover the secrets behind the history she’s been taught, the science she’s lived by, and the truth about her family.

My Review

A Conspiracy of Stars was a book I was so incredibly excited to read – I fell in love with the title, the description, the cover – everything.  I was in the mood for a really amazing science fiction novel that I just couldn’t help but get lost in.  Unfortunately, A Conspiracy of Stars was not at all what I had hoped for.

“‘No one knows.  But we will.'”

This is the motto on Faloiv, a planet far from “the origin planet” where humans originally came from, and where they are now stranded, building lives for themselves and their children, learning about the environment, and trying to stay away from the Faloii – the indigenous people of the planet.  Mostly scientists, the group of people are researching animals, the environment, and the people, trying to learn everything they can.

Octavia has always wanted to follow in her parents’ footsteps and become a well known scientist like her mother and father, studying the animals on the planet that they call home.  However, until they are old enough, they are made to work only in the greenhouse, allowing them to dream of the days where they are able to get into the laboratories and study animals.

One day, when it is announced that the teenagers of the colony are going to have the chance to be sorted into the various areas of their home (for example The Paw works with the animals on Faloiv, while The Beak works with the avian life).  Octavia is eager to join in with her peers, and when she is placed into The Paw, she is happy – and even happier when she is placed in a group with Rondo, a quiet boy in her class that she develops a crush on, and fast.

However, when Octavia sees one of the members of the Faloii being attacked by her own people one night, and a chance encounter with one of the Faloii people, Octavia begins to learn some secrets about her own people – secrets that might not make her colony look good at all.

“That’s the thing about secrets: once you uncover them, sometimes you wish you hadn’t.”

As Octavia pairs up with Rondo and others from her group, she learns about some startling facts about her people and their trip to Faloiv, including some secrets her parents had been keeping from her.  When these secrets begin to get uncovered, Octavia is forced with making a decision that could alter the entire colony and endanger the lives of some of those closest to her.

All in all, A Conspiracy of Stars was not a bad book at all.  In fact, the story was a great one, and it would easily appeal to many science fiction fans.  It just seemed to me that the way the story was written was kind of disappointing.  Well, that and the fact that like eight percent into the book there was an insta-love situation going on and I it was just a huge story ruining part about the book.

Pretty much the first two chapters of A Conspiracy of Stars is an information dump, and even after all the information that was provided, I found myself absolutely confused.  A lot of stuff we learned later in the book, so this was okay, but I wished that instead of just being long chapters full of partial information, it had had a bit more of an introduction to the characters.

Speaking of characters, I was kind of disappointed at how little I was able to connect with them.  I really didn’t care much for Octavia or either of her parents, because they just seemed a bit flat.  Octavia wanted to become a whitecoat like her parents, and then she questioned it, and then she did again.  Not to mention she instantly fell in love with Rondo like twenty pages into this, and huge parts of it were spent talking about how he made her feel.  I just…no.  Why does insta-love have to happen in like every book?  Sometimes it isn’t bad, especially when there’s a really deep, engaging story going on, and if it is a subplot that doesn’t try to take over the whole story.  But here is just felt ultra forced and annoying.

We really do not need insta-love to have a great science fiction or fantasy read.

I also didn’t care much for the supporting characters, such as Octavia’s friends.  They didn’t seem to have any memorable personalities that made me excited to see what happened to them.

Anyway, like I said, the entire idea for the book was a great one, and I loved the plot twists and the secrets that get unveiled throughout the novel, mostly at the end.  It’s that reason that I was really happy I stuck with it and kept reading, because while the first half of the book was a tad bit on the slow side, the second half was actually entertaining and full of action.

Be warned, though: this book ends on a major cliffhanger and there are more questions than answers for the reader.  Some things are touched upon, questions come up, but we don’t really find anything vital out in this book.  It kind of just set up the story and introduced the characters.

So, would I check out the second book in the series when it comes out?  Yes, I definitely would.  Despite the problems that I found myself having with this book, I really was intrigued by some of the twists that this book had taken.  Plus, this book really didn’t give any answers away, and because I need those answers to complete the story, I’ll be picking up the next one to see what happens.

2.5 stars
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2 Responses to A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole

  1. Ugh, sorry this one was such a disappoint. I have a hard time reading a book where I don’t connect with any of the characters so this probably wouldn’t be a good fit for me either. Thanks for your honest review.

    • Kelly says:

      I wanted to love this one so much, which is probably why I was so disappointed. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it though, so it could just be me!

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