Sentinels of the Galaxy # 3
Format: Kindle, 477 pages
Release Date: November 23, 2020
Publisher: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: Young Adult / SyFy
Year 2522. Oh. My. Stars.
Junior Officer Ara Lawrence here, reporting for duty. Again. It's situation critical for the security team and everyone in the base - including my parents - with a new attack from the looters imminent, a possible galaxy-wide crime conspiracy and an unstoppable alien threat. But this all pales in the face of my mind-blowing discovery about the Q-net. Of course, no one believes me. I'm not sure I believe me. It could just be a stress-induced delusion. That's what my parents seem to believe...
Their concern for me is hampering my ability to do my job. I know they love me, but with the Q-net in my corner, I'm the only one who can help the security team beat the shadowy aliens from the pits we discovered. We're holding them at bay, for now, but the entire Milky Way Galaxy is in danger of being overrun.
With battles on too many fronts, it's looking dire. But one thing I've learned is when people I love are in jeopardy, I'll never give up trying to save them. Not until my dying breath. Which could very well be today...
Defending the Galaxy is the third and final installment in author Maria V. Snyder's Sentinels of the Galaxy series. This book picks up where Chasing the Shadows finished. We are once again taken back to Planet Yulin. Yulin is one of 22 planets known to have Terracotta Warriors which were left behind by an ancient race to protect the universe from a hostile alien force known as HoLF’s. Over the past two books, Junior Security Officer Ara Lawrence formerly Lyra Daniels, has been fighting against Jarren and his looting murdering collaborators which included several attempts on her lie, and an alien force which has been given an open door to enter galaxy thanks to Jarren’s destruction of the Warriors.
As Chasing the Shadows was coming to an end, Ara learned a mind-blowing discovery about the Q-Net (Quantum Net) which has her stunned. The fact that it has picked Ara to unload this secret on and nobody else, is a true telling that Ara is someone spell who can do things others can’t do. Telling her archaeologist parents and her boss Officer Radcliff is her choice. When she finally does, they, mostly her parents, think that she's experiencing PTSD after being kidnapped and nearly killed twice. They don’t take into consideration that she is a brilliant navigator/hacker who is good at worming through Jarren’s blockade of the planet and without her, there is no communications off planet.
What really drives this story is the fact that the author actually sends Ara and others to a variety of other planets where they confront Jarren’s group while also digging deeper into who is paying for this operation. And, once again, it seems that Ara has a rather large target on her head. Everyone wants her removed. She’s the only thing that stands between them and a successful operation without regards to the fact that their actions are allowing hostile aliens to enter the galaxy freely. Ara also knows that in order to stop the operations, she’s going to have to get her hands dirty and do things that may raise questions about her sanity and the fact that she’s now the leading figure in Operation Defending the Galaxy.
One of the overlying messages you should know about Ara is that she grows so much in this book. She’s brave to the point of head strong. She loves her family, but she knows that they only slow her down in trying to keep them safe because she’s a few short months of becoming an adult and earning her freedom. She takes her job as Security Officer seriously. She takes the constant threats to her co-workers & friends seriously to the point where she often ends up hurt, or out of commission. Even though she clearly hates mandatory social time, she makes the most of it, and learns that she’s really good with kids. She goes after Jarren hard and without worrying about being removed from the Security team after her team caught him during an attack on the Yulin base which nearly left her dead. But there are parts that her unconsciousness that allows her to become more. I won’t spoil any more since a major part of the series finale deals with Ara’s transcendence as something more than just human.
Overall, a surprisingly good finale to the series. I do recommend that readers start at the beginning and not just jump into the middle or finale. You lose too much worldbuilding and character development and the growing connection between Ara and Niall.