The Relic War (Daniel Coldstar #1)
"Sci-fi has never been so much fun. I loved it!" - Eoin Colfer, bestselling author of Artemis FowlA Junior Library Guild selection Fall 2017!Official Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/LuXHH8JJu08THE GALAXY IS DIVIDED. Aliens are extinct and humans are evolving in a thousand different ways. With rival star nations pitted against one another, any advantage can mean the difference between survival and destruction.Deep inside a mine, on a long forgotten planet, Daniel Coldstar searches for relics from a lost alien civilization. Robbed of his memories just like the other boys who call themselves “grubs,” Daniel does not know where he comes from or how he got here. All he knows is that if he does not do the bidding of his fearsome masters, the Overseers, he too will be made to “disappear.”That is, until the day he unearths a relic more powerful than anything he has ever seen. If he hands it over, as he should, it would mean his certain doom. But if he keeps it, he just might be able to escape. . . .Thus begins the epic outer space adventure filled with Truth Seekers, anatoms, Leechers, and the evil Sinja who seek to control the entire universe. All that stands in their way is a boy named Daniel Coldstar, whose journey will change the galaxy forever.

The Relic War (Daniel Coldstar #1) Details

TitleThe Relic War (Daniel Coldstar #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 7th, 2017
PublisherHarperCollins
ISBN-139780062126054
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Young Adult

The Relic War (Daniel Coldstar #1) Review

  • Mrs.
    January 1, 1970
    A Hero's Journey tale with all the excitement of a summer blockbuster movie, underscored with important themes about friendship, trust, truth, and knowledge.Daniel Coldstar has the pacing of an action movie. It reads like a screenplay, carrying the reader along in a virtually non-stop flow of story, character development, and excitement. YA science fiction is not a genre I'm usually drawn to, but only because I haven't given it a shot. I literally read this book in one sitting (about 280 pages, A Hero's Journey tale with all the excitement of a summer blockbuster movie, underscored with important themes about friendship, trust, truth, and knowledge.Daniel Coldstar has the pacing of an action movie. It reads like a screenplay, carrying the reader along in a virtually non-stop flow of story, character development, and excitement. YA science fiction is not a genre I'm usually drawn to, but only because I haven't given it a shot. I literally read this book in one sitting (about 280 pages, it took me a couple hours). It was like watching a movie. At the same time, Daniel Coldstar is a very literary book with outstanding sensory detail and deep philosophical themes. The book is driven by big questions. For Daniel, and the reader, it's "Where did he go? Why is he back?" at the beginning. Questions drive the story - the search for answers pushes the character to action. Even bigger questions lurk in the subtext. Author Stel Pavlou tackles the very contemporary theme of truth. What is it? How do we know? What does it mean to seek it? Who controls what is true?I'm an English and rhetoric teacher, so I love to dig into the underlying messages, Hero's Journey, and themes of a book, but don't get me wrong, this novel is a fast-paced action adventure I didn't want to put down (and didn't put down, until I finished it). It's funny, too. Lots of little chuckles and smirks from me at many points. I laughed out loud at a scene where Daniel takes on a distinctly "Han Solo-ish" tone in response to a question about his robotic friend. It's a very, "No. No problem. Why?" moment that echos my favorite thing in the world, Star Wars, both literally in the rhythm and beats of the conversation and thematically. Can Daniel trust these people who appear to want to help him? Can he trust anyone? With his spotty memory (erased, but by whom? Why?), can he even trust himself?The cast of characters includes terrifying "Overseers" and "Nightwatchers," wizard-like mentors, quirky sidekicks, and a protagonist who is at once wise beyond his years and a typical 12 year-old boy. The latter provides lots of opportunities for contemplating big questions about the human condition as well as awkward preteen encounters with (gulp) GIRLS.I was given an advanced copy of the book, which is scheduled for release near the end of this year. I expected to like the book, but I actually loved it. Yes, it took me on a fantastic adventure at lightning speed, but it is a smart book that doesn't talk down to its target audience of 8-12 year-olds. As a result, adults like me can enjoy it as well. It has positive messages for male and female readers. The book brings its story to a satisfying conclusion, but clearly sets this up as a series of books. I highly recommend this book, and I'm looking forward to the next one in the series!
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    We read this to our 8 yr old and it literally rocked her world. If you are a fan of the Star Wars, Percy Jackson or Harry Potter type stories, you'll love Daniel Coldstar! Pavlou presents brand new worlds to take in and lots of fun sci-fi imagery and concepts, nail-biting action, and really solid and enjoyable characters (from heroic to awesomely creepy!). It already feels like a classic. There are some wonderful events and twists that challenge your critical thinking skills, and kids get to wit We read this to our 8 yr old and it literally rocked her world. If you are a fan of the Star Wars, Percy Jackson or Harry Potter type stories, you'll love Daniel Coldstar! Pavlou presents brand new worlds to take in and lots of fun sci-fi imagery and concepts, nail-biting action, and really solid and enjoyable characters (from heroic to awesomely creepy!). It already feels like a classic. There are some wonderful events and twists that challenge your critical thinking skills, and kids get to witness how easily the truth can be manipulated into confusing lies. A really great, imaginative and original story. So fun! (We read an ARC of this book and I can only imagine it is going to do very well.)
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  • Scott Fillner
    January 1, 1970
    "Finding the truth is a lifelong journey and it is never an easy one. That is the way of the truth seeker. Remember, the biggest mistake we can make is to stop asking questions; not only of others, but ourselves."Normally I am not one who turns to Sci-Fi when I am looking for a book, but this book was full with action and intrigue. I can't wait for the next story in the series . This story comes out in November.
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    By the first paragraph I was totally hooked, and stayed hooked right to the end. I can't wait to read the next one!!!This is a great syfy book for any age, I'm an adult and I loved it.It is nice to be able to find a good syfy book, especially one that is more original. I won this book in a goodreads giveaway.
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  • Cassie Knight
    January 1, 1970
    If you enjoy sci-fi books, you will probably enjoy this one.
  • Steve Manzani
    January 1, 1970
    Daniel Coldstar: The Relic War is a book that should be on middle schoolers shelf. An epic tale of a boy lost on an unknown planet, with an equally lost memory. What emerges is an adventure that takes Daniel through the galaxy not only in search of where he is, but more importantly who he is. To help his new found understanding along the way, is a cast full of characters eager to help Daniel to find his pathway out of the mines and to become the hero he’s meant to be. But this is so much more th Daniel Coldstar: The Relic War is a book that should be on middle schoolers shelf. An epic tale of a boy lost on an unknown planet, with an equally lost memory. What emerges is an adventure that takes Daniel through the galaxy not only in search of where he is, but more importantly who he is. To help his new found understanding along the way, is a cast full of characters eager to help Daniel to find his pathway out of the mines and to become the hero he’s meant to be. But this is so much more than a simple sci-fi book. Our hero has to relearn if you will, what he is even fighting against., as he doesn’t always know who to trust or believe. Daniel teaches vital life lessons about friendship and courage and morals. I would give this my highest recommendation and eagerly look forward to the next installment of this series. I was fortunate to be given a ARC copy of the book, but that in no way obligated me to write this review. All the credit goes to Stel Pavlou and Harper Collins for recognizing this wonderful story.
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  • Susan Walker
    January 1, 1970
    This story keeps the reader entertained until the very end. It has lots of twists and turns. Add to that its an outer space adventure.
  • Pop Bop
    January 1, 1970
    Slow, Slow Start and then It's Pure Space AdventureO. K., let's be honest here. This book starts verrry slowly. I've been in these grim, gritty, dystopian mines populated by child slaves a lot. Alien Overseers with electric prods, memory wipes on our disoriented hero, gruel - the whole ten yards. My thought was that we better get a relic found and a plot going pretty soon. Sure, everything is well described and nicely atmospheric and dark and alien and loaded with portent, and sure we have hints Slow, Slow Start and then It's Pure Space AdventureO. K., let's be honest here. This book starts verrry slowly. I've been in these grim, gritty, dystopian mines populated by child slaves a lot. Alien Overseers with electric prods, memory wipes on our disoriented hero, gruel - the whole ten yards. My thought was that we better get a relic found and a plot going pretty soon. Sure, everything is well described and nicely atmospheric and dark and alien and loaded with portent, and sure we have hints about who's going to be the sidekick and why our hero is going to be the hero, but let's get going. What held me was that all of this was done well, the grit was very creative, there were touches of dry humor that hinted at more energy and zip to come, and our hero was engaging enough to keep my interest. Well, exactly at page 52 we hit pay dirt and the story takes off. Within two pages we have a powerful relic, an escape, and a bunch of new hints and suggestions about what, exactly, is going on. The book continues with an I'd-tell-you-more-but-I-don't-have-the-time-right-now vibe, but at least you get enough to figure out most of what's going on most of the time, and that vague hidden-explanation ploy is an honorable way to build and maintain tension. Anyway, from the escape on this tale opens up and goes epic.The chapters still keep opening with Daniel seemingly never knowing where he is, what he's doing, where he's going, or what happens next, but that becomes part of the fun. Early on Daniel ends up with a cybernetic rat sidekick, and while that sounds a little precious it turns out that his pal, Hex, is just what the doctor ordered. Apart from being very funny, in a deadpan sort of way, Hex ends up being the monologuer who guides Daniel through the next steps in his grand adventure. After that, well, we fall in with a gang of teen heroes and the epic adventure begins. These new players round out team Daniel nicely, and we get a buddy-friendship adventure that is spirited, good-natured and immediately comfortable and well-balanced.The upshot is that by the halfway point we have a lot of players, we have a fine cast of root-for-able characters, we are committed to Daniel, and it appears that we're the good guys trying to save the universe from the bad guys. If that feels pretty Star Wars to you, well, swell. I've been ready for a new Star Wars that isn't actually part of the ever-growing Star Wars franchise, and this looks like it will serve quite nicely. And being well-written, fast paced, funny in a lot of different ways, and creative in a not-overworked fashion certainly helps. This was a nice and fun find.(Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
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  • Delia
    January 1, 1970
    Sci Fy is not a genre I usually choose and I was a little nervous about reading it. My daughter and I won an ARC and I decided to give it a try. I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed it! The imagery was so clear and I could see this becoming a movie. Any troubles reading this came from Sci Fy being a foreign genre to me and not the writing.
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  • Jill Fisch
    January 1, 1970
    I just finished reading Daniel Coldstar: The Relic War and I am already missing Daniel and the other characters. I was swallowed up by the book and loved spending time in the worlds of the book. The descriptions were so vivid that I felt immersed in the world of Daniel Coldstar - the beautiful, the heart wrenching and the mind-boggling world of Daniel Coldstar. If you loved Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and Hunger Games, you will love Daniel Coldstar. One of my favorite quotes from the book: "Reme I just finished reading Daniel Coldstar: The Relic War and I am already missing Daniel and the other characters. I was swallowed up by the book and loved spending time in the worlds of the book. The descriptions were so vivid that I felt immersed in the world of Daniel Coldstar - the beautiful, the heart wrenching and the mind-boggling world of Daniel Coldstar. If you loved Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and Hunger Games, you will love Daniel Coldstar. One of my favorite quotes from the book: "Remember, the biggest mistake we can make is to stop asking questions; not only of others, but of ourselves."Not only is the book a fast-paced, action-packed adventure, it is also a funny story about friendship, growing up and the search for truth.
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  • Windee
    January 1, 1970
    I'm an equal opportunity reader and I do like reading books geared towards middle grades. I received this ARC from a friend who thought that I'd really enjoy the book and I did. The book starts out a little slow as the author is building the world, characters and language all at once. After about 50 pages - the story line and the adventure for Daniel Coldstar really picked up. I enjoyed the plot and characters and the "twist" at the end. I too really liked the quote "Remember, the biggest mistak I'm an equal opportunity reader and I do like reading books geared towards middle grades. I received this ARC from a friend who thought that I'd really enjoy the book and I did. The book starts out a little slow as the author is building the world, characters and language all at once. After about 50 pages - the story line and the adventure for Daniel Coldstar really picked up. I enjoyed the plot and characters and the "twist" at the end. I too really liked the quote "Remember, the biggest mistake we can make is to stop asking questions; not only of others, but of ourselves." I thought what a great lesson to give the kids that would read this book.I have nieces that are in the middle grade category and I wouldn't hesitate recommending this book to them.
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  • Rebecca Winckler
    January 1, 1970
    Review from my 13 year old daughter, Ella.I found the novel Daniel Coldstar: The Relic War very entertaining and a great privilege to read prior to its publication. This story is very exciting and constantly has you wondering what is going to happen next. I enjoyed the new planets, characters, and artifacts Mr. Pavlou has created. I loved were it took my imagination! There are so many wonderful characters, but I have to admit, Hexadecimal is my favorite. The plot was intriguing and exciting and Review from my 13 year old daughter, Ella.I found the novel Daniel Coldstar: The Relic War very entertaining and a great privilege to read prior to its publication. This story is very exciting and constantly has you wondering what is going to happen next. I enjoyed the new planets, characters, and artifacts Mr. Pavlou has created. I loved were it took my imagination! There are so many wonderful characters, but I have to admit, Hexadecimal is my favorite. The plot was intriguing and exciting and I couldn't wait for what was next! I really hope there will be a sequel to this story, I would love to see the story continue. In my opinion, both girls and boys around my age would love this story!
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  • Lorie Barber
    January 1, 1970
    So, WOW. "Nothing is freer than the truth... but lies serve a master." This middle-grade sci-fi has series written all over it, and has some tough questions that are very relevant today. Daniel Coldstar reminds me of other great fantasy series protagonists (Harry and Percy, to name just two) and it's clear that Daniel's quest will be long, arduous, and have dire consequences if it goes wrong. I'm looking forward to learning more about the future universe Pavlou created and seeing where Daniel's So, WOW. "Nothing is freer than the truth... but lies serve a master." This middle-grade sci-fi has series written all over it, and has some tough questions that are very relevant today. Daniel Coldstar reminds me of other great fantasy series protagonists (Harry and Percy, to name just two) and it's clear that Daniel's quest will be long, arduous, and have dire consequences if it goes wrong. I'm looking forward to learning more about the future universe Pavlou created and seeing where Daniel's journey takes him!
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  • Daniel Guo
    January 1, 1970
    Daniel Coldstar: The Relic War was a pretty good book; however the characters were not well introduced. Later on in the story I started to understand who the characters were, but every time a character was in a sentence, I had to think back about who that character was. On the contrary, the plot was well done. It had me reading until 2 in the morning just to finish the book. This book is very detailed, and describes the setting vividly. For anyone looking for a book with sci-fi, action, fighting Daniel Coldstar: The Relic War was a pretty good book; however the characters were not well introduced. Later on in the story I started to understand who the characters were, but every time a character was in a sentence, I had to think back about who that character was. On the contrary, the plot was well done. It had me reading until 2 in the morning just to finish the book. This book is very detailed, and describes the setting vividly. For anyone looking for a book with sci-fi, action, fighting, or some good futuristic wars, The Relic War is perfect.
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  • Debbie
    January 1, 1970
    I read this to my eight year old daughter and my husband as we drove in the car. It was very entertaining! There were some twists that I did not see coming and neither did they. We enjoyed the mystery surrounding the events early in the book and how that unfolded. It obviously left room for a sequel and we look forward to that!
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    This addicting space adventure quickly draws you in to the mystery of how Daniel came to be where he is and the larger implications of his situation. With themes of truth, perspective, friendship and... betrayal, this book is difficult to put down. Plus it is great fun to find a book our whole family (ages 8 to 80) can enjoy! When will the next one be out?!?
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  • Victoria Graham
    January 1, 1970
    I loved how the conflict is based. The agents of truth, the truth seekers, want peace, but the agents of lies, the Sinja, want war for their own gain. The characters are well developed with their various histories and personalities. The humor is definitely targeting young adults! A fun read!
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  • Wendy Conley
    January 1, 1970
    This book was so fun to read! I highly recommend it! There were so many twists and turns with every chapter. I loved how we learned more and more as the story unfolds... it was captivating and a real adventure!
  • Eric
    January 1, 1970
    Thoughtful and wildly entertaining story. I could not put down the book and read it straight through. A definite must read for any sci-fi lover.
  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    We read an Advance Copy of this book, and we loved every single page of it! I read the book over several nights to my 8 year old daughter, and each night, she would beg me to keep going. From its first pages, the story really makes its characters come alive. It sets in motion a battle between the forces of good and evil. Each chapter leaves the reader wanting more, the energy building to propel the story forward. The pace was masterfully done. From my perspective, I loved the author's lively wor We read an Advance Copy of this book, and we loved every single page of it! I read the book over several nights to my 8 year old daughter, and each night, she would beg me to keep going. From its first pages, the story really makes its characters come alive. It sets in motion a battle between the forces of good and evil. Each chapter leaves the reader wanting more, the energy building to propel the story forward. The pace was masterfully done. From my perspective, I loved the author's lively word choices, his clever use of descriptions and sound, and his story-telling abilities. I, too, was drawn into the story and found myself eager to continue reading, even though I'm typically not a fan of sci-fi lit. For me, the fantasy and sci-fi aspects were not too "out there;" they were thoroughly easy to visualize and added to the story line. My daughter and I cheered together for Daniel when he overcame obstacles, despaired with him when he faced heartache, and found ourselves on the edge of our seats, often. We are already eager for the next book in the series.
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  • Sharon
    January 1, 1970
    This book is outside the genres I usually read, but I had seen comments about it from friends online and was fortunate to receive an advance reader copy, so I decided I would give it a whirl. The first 50 pages or so were a little tough for me to get through, with the author introducing not only multiple characters but an entirely new universe. However, after that point, things moved fast, and I really enjoyed the book. It left me wanting more of the characters and the story line.There was a twi This book is outside the genres I usually read, but I had seen comments about it from friends online and was fortunate to receive an advance reader copy, so I decided I would give it a whirl. The first 50 pages or so were a little tough for me to get through, with the author introducing not only multiple characters but an entirely new universe. However, after that point, things moved fast, and I really enjoyed the book. It left me wanting more of the characters and the story line.There was a twist near the end of the book that I definitely didn't see coming! (Don't want to say more than that and spoil it.) Actually, I didn't predict the ending of the book at all, which to me is a sign of a good book.Daniel is a relatable character, and I found the universe in which this book is set very intriguing. The author is very imaginative!
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  • A. Joy Meyer
    January 1, 1970
    Such a fun adventure! My husband and I took turns reading this book with our daughter most nights before bed. She would continually ask to read more and more chapters, pushing back her bedtime, and even asked to read it in the mornings before my husband left for work (how cute is that?!) So many interesting characters and unexpected surprises. The Chapters are short, you fly through them. We enjoyed every one!
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  • Kimberly Bower MLIS (gladeslibrarian)
    January 1, 1970
    @DanielColdstar is an engaging #scifi adventure for all ages. There's a whole new world to explore this Fall. I can't wait to share this @JrLibraryGuild selection with students.
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