SPSFC Finalist Review: A Star Named Vega by Benjamin J. Roberts

We’ve made it to the finals of the Self-Published Science Fiction Competition (SPSFC), and six of the seven finalists are new reads for my judging team. The farther we get into the competition, the more highly recommended each book comes–each of the seven has been hand-picked out of a 30-book slush pile by one of the ten judging teams, and each fell in the top quarter of a semifinal round consisting entirely of the books that had been hand-picked by those first-round judging teams. Every book we read from here out has multiple other bloggers singing its praises. But, as we saw with the previous two rounds, we still bring a variety of interests, likes, and dislikes to the table, and a book hitting with one reader doesn’t always mean it will hit with everyone. Along with our scores–which will be averaged with the nine other judging teams to determine the winner–we’ve done our best to explain what we like or dislike about any given book, but it’s up to the readers to try to extrapolate from our tastes to their own tastes.

Today, we’ll be discussing a YA adventure featuring a young soldier and a teen graffiti artist bound for the opposite sides of conflict: A Star Named Vega by Benjamin J. Roberts.

Jay’s Review and Rating

Overall, it’s a well-executed story with a few aspects that intrigued me but nothing that paid off in such a way that would really sink the hook. It’s solid work that seems aimed at the lower end of the YA audience, and I think the enjoyable lead and interrogation of both societies will serve nicely for that target. For an adult reader, it’s a book that goes down smoothly but doesn’t have that element that really makes it stick with you. 

Jay has rated A Star Named Vega 6/10. For more detail, check out his full review.

Esme’s Review and Rating

Esme Did Not Attempt A Star Named Vega.

Lilyn’s Review and Rating

I truly thought just by the look of the cover that it was going to be a middle grade read, which I was excited about. It turned out to be a young adult read, which I was considerably less excited about. The writing is solid, but my general impression of the book was a strong “okay.” It lacked the magic to bring the story alive but still told a good tale.

Lilyn has rated A Star Named Vega 5/10.

Bill’s Review and Rating

Bill Did Not Attempt A Star Named Vega.

Tracy’s Review and Rating

For the most part A Star Named Vega is a good read. I enjoyed Rel and Aster and the plot is intriguing enough. I think the book may have been a bit too young for me. It’s hard to explain that because I’ve read plenty of YA and Middle Grade books. Perhaps it’s more a case of not having the depth I wanted or better/unique surrounding characters. And that’s not a YA/Middle Grade problem because plenty deal with heavy issues and have stellar all-around casts. Perhaps it’s a me thing, not a book thing, I can’t be sure. Regardless, this is a quick read that I can see people enjoying

Tracy has rated A Star Named Vega 5/10.

Official Scores

Jay 6
Esme DNA
Lilyn 5
Bill DNA
Tracy 5
Team 5.33

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