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The Stars Down Under: 01/27/10
The Stars Down Under by Sandra McDonald is the sequel to Outback Stars. Like so many books I've grabbed from my library, I haven't read the first book. After having read the second I feel like I should and I think I would like the first book better.
The book starts up with Chief Terry Myell and Lieutenant Commander Jodenny Scott trying to make their marriage work. They are assigned to Fortune a planet far from the polluted Earth and within reach of the Wondjina Spheres that allow travel between worlds without the slowness of space travel. Myell though is yanked from his assignment to go on a dangerous mission to get the Spheres working again.
Fortune and the Wondjina Spheres are full of Australian Aboriginal imagery and that connection to Australia is the main reason why I chose the book. I spent a summer (my summer, their winter) in Australia between junior and senior years of high school. The trip, though short, continues to inspire me.
Although I checked out the book near the end of 2009, I didn't read it until after I had seen Avatar. I wish I had read the book first and seen the film second. The problem is that the film and book share many of the same tropes and it was just too much of the same thing for me with one coming on the heels of the other.