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3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon March 12, 2013
This is Michael Flynn's third book in the Firestar series. It follows Firestar and Rogue Star. It is followed by the last book in the series, Falling Stars. Some characters are carried over from these books and a few new ones are introduced. The pace remains slow and the style is reflective rather than action-oriented.

Central characters include:

Mariesa van Huyten remains influential in business and government circles, but has retreated to more of an advisory role. She enjoys some vindication of her fears about the danger posed by near-Earth asteroids. And she picks up new allies in her cause.

Jimmy Poole has mellowed, enjoying married life and the beginnings of parenthood. He no longer takes as many online risks as he did when he was CrackMan. While engaged in a consulting project to penetrate the security of the Leo space station, Jimmy finds a few well-hidden secrets. And he discovers the real identity of his employer.

Jacinta Rosario is a young cadet training for a career in space. Through her we feel survivor guilt about the sudden death of her fellow cadets, experience the rigors of academy life, and reconnect with one or two old space hands from the pass.

Earth's space pioneers learn a few more things about the solar system's asteroids, but this aspect of the series progresses slowly. Much of the action involves cat-and-mouse games in "the Virtch" as players hide and seek information online. The author plays some fun language games as he invents future slang. A wooden, largely-automated online presence is called an "algore," for example, and a cracker who gets cut off in the middle of a security penetration has been "bobbitted." Big fun.

If you have read the first two books, you will feel obligated to press on. Go ahead and press on. You shouldn't abandon the characters after learning so much about them.
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on February 26, 2002
After enjoying the first two books in this series, I eagerly awaited Lodestar. Now that I've finished it, I still eagerly await anything that resembles the first two books.
If you take the Jimmy Poole at the virtual OK Corral story arc out of this book, the remainder of plot progress takes up no more than a hundred pages. Jimmy on a virtual gambling boat, Jimmy fighting virtual attacks, Jimmy fighting not to be a jerk and read his wifes book. Geez! Nuke Jimmy and get back to the plot.
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on September 21, 2001
Others before me have written more articulately, praising this volume, (and rightly so), than I ever could. And I agree with them. However, I just have this to say:.....
Ok Flynn, you have me hooked. You've milked this 'Star series long enough. If you don't come up with a closer soon, you'll start losing readers. As for me,... I'll buy one more,....maybe two,....OK,OK,...three more 'Star books. But that's all!!! But by then you had better have resolved these issues:--Save Earth from the asteroids; Find out who the "Aliens" are, and why they did it..
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on July 6, 2001
I am a great admirer and have much enjoyed Michael Flynn's series. Lodestar is still pretty good, even though maybe not up to the first two. I admire Flynn's characters as he develops them.. and sort of miss some of the earlier ones (e.g. Barry Fast). I found myself skipping over some of the "hacker" text. I could sort of follow most of it, and it may have been dynamite to someone more computer-wise than I.... but it did drag on. I kept expecting more space travel to occur, and was disappointed when it was such a small part of the story. I do admire how with each successive book the cultural landscape becomes more removed and different from that of the present. He has some creative slang terms, most of which I can decipher. He does keep coming up with great characters, and making some of the established ones more interesting. I like his inclusion of and interplay among the topics of science, technology, politics, high-finance, even a bit of art, and makes it all into a complex and compellng story.
More SF should be written this well!
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on July 27, 2000
I had to laugh reading the other reviews above. I bought thebook at a [book store] and almost had to buy a cheap magazine to cover up that dustjacket. Thankfully no one else was in the checkout line as I paid for it. After getting home and starting the book itself, I was hoping for some more background on the Fartrip mission, but felt ok with the direction that Mr Flynn took. I also am wondering if this is to be a "Super-series" of books and have we been reading background for some epic stories to come ? I am looking forward to the fourth book, (just please not so silly a cover).
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on July 14, 2000
This takes the first two novels to the next level. I expect this series will go another two books at least. Poole was developed much more, as was Tani, his wife. More characters were introduced and some were taken out. It's the world as it might be.
Honest, I couldn't put it down. I almost gave it a five star, but not many books deserve that.
I loved the "virtch" world, as it seemed my more realistic than many of the cyberpunk stuff I've seen. It just brought the two previous books together and left me panting for more.
Write, Mr. Flynn. Write.
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on June 12, 2000
I waited what seemed like ages for this book to be released. I devoured the first two books in the series in no time flat and the publisher had "coming soon from Tor books - Lodestar" on the inside cover.
When I first saw the book on the shelf, I had to look twice to make sure it was what I had waited for. Judging by the cover, this has got to be one lousy book, I thought. After reading it, I can tell you it's not as bad as the cover would indicate. It's not a bad read, but it is no where near as good as the first two novels (Firestar and Rogue Star) in the series.
Contrasting Lodestar vs. Firestar and Rogue Star: Lodestar lacks a strong plot. There is a battle in cyberspace and we do see deeper into the twisted soul of Jimmy Poole (Crackman), but the resolution of this conflict is not satisfying. There are corporate battles, but these are not on the same scale as in the prior two books. The hero wins, I think, but it is difficult to figure out exactly what he won.
I expected Lodestar to bring some closure to the series. It doesn't. It is clear from the ending that there is another book coming. This concerns me because the characters developed in Lodestar are pretty weak when compared to those in the first novel. I don't think they were developed enough in Lodestar to carry another novel.
I wonder if Flynn wrote the book to fulfill a contractual obligation...
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on April 19, 2000
After constructing a magnificent, progressive universe with a cast of dozens of well-rounded, genuine characters in Firestar and Roguestar, Michael Flynn apparently has forgotten how the first two books were written. This book simply takes a sharp left turn, with regard to style, characterization, and plot. Whereas previous books had a sense of awe and suspense at first about Mariesa's Plan and then about the struggle to get the FarTrip expedition off the ground, the plot here is simplistic at best. Old characters make convenient cameos but are sorely underutilized. Simply put, this book feels rushed, written solely in order to meet a publisher's deadline and shows little of the depth or emotional power of the previous two titles in the series. LET IT BE SAID HOWEVER, THAT THE PREVIOUS RANT WAS WRITTEN ONLY BECAUSE THE FIRST TWO BOOKS WERE SO GOOD THAT THIS FEELS LIKE A DEFINITE STEP DOWN! Overall, the story, though somewhat lukewarm, is a good one, and fans of the series will enjoy seeing the children of Mariesa's program taking the most prominent roles. So check out Firestar and Roguestar, and perhaps by then you'll be as hooked as me. One last comment, someone really needs to tell Michael Flynn that for the next book to get a different cover artist. The circa-1940s fish bowl space suits make the novel's very serious and at times wrenching story look sophomoric and silly. Put that in your next contract, Mr. Flynn.
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on April 13, 2000
This is the third in the Future History-type series that Michael Flynn started in Firestar. It may well be the best yet, if you enjoy hard science SF with deep people underneath the glitter and steel. However, the dust jacket, with it's somewhat ludicrous '40's-retro look 'space suits', is a big disappointment. If I had never read any of Flynn's other works in the series, I would have passed on it, giving it a WIDE berth to make sure I didn't get seasick (or spacesick) -- and therefore missed an excellent read. In fact, I finished it for the first time two days after it came in from Amazon. (I had to finish what I was reading at the time.) That was last week; I just finished re-reading the first two books, so now I have to go back again and read it in sequence, to link everything up properly. But I gotta get rid of that cover...
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on March 8, 2000
Rogue Star, Firestar...Lodestar. Is this the big payoff to Michael Flynn's near future saga of an obsessed woman's crusade to get mankind back into space in order to protect Earth from falling rocks? Well, let's just say the story continues entertainingly. Last time we took a deep space trip to the asteroids and found that somebody was nudging them our way. This time we try to talk the world into doing something about it. Dealing with people, Flynn demonstrates, is always the toughest problem; past, present, or near future.
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