The Stars Blue Yonder by Sandra McDonald (book review).

The inside cover note says that Chief Terry Myell died and became a god and now he’s back to life. He is being directed to save humankind but gets distracted with time travel and an alien adversary called the Flying Doctor. Having read the book, I can say that just about sums it up with a few caveats which I will come to.

‘The Stars Blue Yonder’ is the second book in a trilogy starting with ‘The Outback Stars’ and the final book being ‘The Stars Down Under’. It’s worth knowing this as there is a general assumption that the reader has already read the first book. It’s this general assumption that the reader knows something without actually being told that’s the biggest fault with this book. For example, an ouroboros appears from time to time to whisk our hero to another place and time. You would be advised to look up ‘ouroboros’ elsewhere because it’s not explained or described in the book. It’s one of those assumptions that the reader knows what’s going on.


To get back to the plot, Chief Terry Myell escapes death on an exploding space station by using the ouroboros to go to another place and time. Here he meets up with his wife, who is older and does not believe Myells claims of who he is. While the initial story revolves around Myell, the second half of the book is hi-jacked by his very pregnant wife Jodenny. The unborn child is very likely to be a footballer given the number of times we are told ‘Junior’ has just kicked Mum.

I found the story confusing with important bits of the story unexplained. Yes, there is a nemesis called the Flying Doctor who is a powerful member of the alien race but the reason he does what he does is not explained. There’s no information on Myall becoming a god (this must have happened in the first book) and he’s certainly not a god in this book. Myall takes numerous random trips through space and time becoming more and more disillusioned with the process, as people just don’t remember him from previous encounters. This is due, we are told, to these episodes occurring in eddies off the main timeline which disappear or simply cease to exist when Myall moves on. This just adds to the general confusion of the story. He’s supposed to be saving the human race but the one part where he goes into battle with the aliens it all goes very wrong.

As a standalone book, ‘The Stars Blue Yonder’ simply does not work. There’s too many assumptions that the reader has read the first book and will know what is going on.

Andy MacDonald

January 2013

(pub: TOR/Forge. 350 page hardback. Price: $27.99 (US), $35.99 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-7653-2041-4)

check out website: www.tor-forge.com


I live in deepest darkest Essex where I enjoy photography, real ales, walking my dog, cooking and a really good book. I own an e-book reader which goes with me everywhere but still enjoy the traditional paper based varieties. My oriental studies have earned me a black belt in Suduko and I'm considered a master in deadly Bonsai (there are very few survivors).

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