Hello dear readers, and welcome back to the blog! Today I’m interviewing Octavia and Rondo, the main characters of Olivia Cole’s A Conspiracy of Stars!
In A Conspiracy of Stars, Octavia has only ever had one goal: to follow in the footsteps of her parents and become a prestigious whitecoat, one of the scientists who study the natural wonders of Faloiv. The secrets of the jungle’s exotic plants and animals are protected fiercely in the labs by the Council of N’Terra, so when the rules suddenly change, allowing students inside, Octavia should be overjoyed.
But something isn’t right. The newly elected leader of the Council has some extremist views about the way he believes N’Terra should be run, and he’s influencing others to follow him. When Octavia witnesses one of the Faloii—the indigenous people of Faloiv—attacked in front of her in the dark of night, she knows the Council is hiding something. They are living in separate worlds on a shared planet, and their fragile peace may soon turn into an all-out war.
With the help of Rondo, a quiet boy in class with a skill for hacking, and her inquisitive best friend, Alma, Octavia is set on a collision course to discover the secrets behind the history she’s been taught, the science she’s lived by, and the truth about her family. (via Goodreads)
Hello, Octavia and Rondo! Welcome to the blog! Tell us a little bit about yourselves!
Octavia: I’ll start. I’m focused on functional nutrition and its role in our survival as newcomers on this planet.
Rondo: <teasing> Relax, we’re not being tested.
Octavia: I wasn’t done! I’m…um…I’m a greencoat in N’Terra and I enjoy…science. And researching mammalian species.
Rondo: She’s not really this boring. Well, she actually is. But she’s really funny when she’s not trying and relaxes sometimes.
Octavia: Excuse me?
Rondo: Maybe we should move on to the next question.
If you had a free day with nothing to do, what would you do?
Rondo: I’ll take this one since her answer is going to be “study.” I’d sit outside the Greenhouse and learn new notes on the izinusa.
Octavia: He plays really well.
Rondo: She’s lying. She’s just never heard anyone else play it but me.
Octavia: If I had a day with nothing to do, I’d want to listen to him play the izinusa.
Rondo: <looking surprised> You would?
Octavia: <embarrassed> Next question.
If you could spend a day with someone you admire (alive, dead or fictional) who would it be?
Octavia: I’d really like to have my grandmother back. Just for a day. She disappeared when I was eleven and there’s so much I want to ask her: what she remembers, what she misses about the Origin Planet, what it was like to step out onto Faloiv for the first time. <pauses> Rondo, you go. <wipes eyes>
Rondo: Captain Williams, the pilot of the Vagantur that brought us here. The ship crashed but she still managed to land us with no casualties. I’d like to shake her hand.
Octavia: <sniffs> She’s not very popular with some of the Elders.
Rondo: They just want someone to blame.
Octavia: I know how that feels.
What’s the most important trait to you in a friend or romantic partner?
<Rondo and Octavia exchange embarrassed looks>
Octavia: I mean…I think friends are…
Rondo: Important to have. And…
Octavia: People should be friends first, you know.
Octavia: Trust. I need to be able to trust my…friends. No secrets.
Rondo: <stares at her> No secret worth keeping from a friend. Not if you care.
What do you like best about yourself, and each other?
Rondo: She’s funny, like I said.
Octavia: You’re the only one that thinks that!
Rondo: Maybe I’m the only one paying attention.
Octavia: <smiling> He’s kind. And he’s…different. Our whole world is based around science and he just…doesn’t care. Forget science, he wants to make music.
Octavia: It sounds beautiful!
Rondo: Say that about yourself.
Octavia: <opens mouth, shuts it>
Rondo: This girl… <shakes head>
What do you like the least about yourself, and each other?
Octavia: I’m boring.
Rondo: You’re not boring. You’re careful.
Octavia: He’s always talking about feelings.
Rondo: Well damn!
Rondo: She doesn’t want to feel anything.
Octavia: Not true.
Rondo: It is true.
Octavia: I just think feelings get in the way of truth sometimes. Logic can be more beneficial.
Rondo: <shakes head> See?
What is your most treasured possession?
Octavia: My grandmother left behind a piece of yellow fabric that she brought with her from the Origin Planet. I’ve never been there, obviously, but whenever I see it, it makes me feel like I’m home. Like home can be anywhere that yellow is.
Rondo: The izinusa. I don’t know who made it – I guess it’s from the Origin Planet too, but sometimes it’s the only thing that makes me feel like I make sense.
What do you always keep on you?
Octavia: You don’t want to be without water on Faloiv. It’s a death sentence. Maybe if my Nana had some when she went missing…
<she drifts off>
If you were in need of comforting, what would be the best thing that someone could do for you?
Octavia: <still thinking of her grandmother>
Rondo: If we could just get out of the Greenhouse once in awhile that would be comfort enough. Not to go into the labs. Not to study a new species. Just to be. Just to breathe.
Rondo: What comforts you?
Octavia: Sunshine. And…
Rondo: And what?
Octavia: The izinusa.
If you could teach everyone in the world one thing, what would it be?
Rondo: I’ll let you take this one.
Octavia: In this world? <thinks> My mother tells me empathy is my greatest asset. Sometimes I think it’s too rare. So…empathy. Yeah.