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Friday, March 18, 2016

Review: Starflight

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
Starflight (Starflight #1)
by Melissa Landers
YA Science Fiction
Amazon  /  Goodreads

Plot Summary:

Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She's so desperate to reach the realm that she's willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he's been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe...


There were many things that sold me on this book.  The comparison to the TV show Firefly.  The promise from the synopsis of a space adventure.  The sound of the main character who sounds scrappy and determined. The romance between two people who used to hate each other and the possibility of a great character arc.  And the mystery of Planet X.  So many awesome aspects to this novel, and I'm delighted to say that everything came together beautifully.  The story immediately pulled me in, as the reader finds out about Solara and why she is so desperate to get a ride to the outer realm.  And then Doran comes in with his ego, and his prejudices, and it was so satisfying to see him become a better person throughout this story.  The characters in this book are wonderful.

The crew of the Banshee, the ship Solara and Doran end up on, are a huge part of why this book was so entertaining.  The reader sees what Solara and Doran see, so it's interesting to get to know these characters gradually, and while you see that they are a close knit group, it takes time and plot development to understand why.  And then you feel a part of their group too.  I especially loved Renny who has a bit of a character flaw, but is still a warm-hearted, good person.  There's more to his character to explore in later books. Cassia and Kane have a unique relationship and a mystery about them too which was fun to explore.  There are some dangerous space pirates and a scary group of hunters to add to the mix of interesting characters as well as adding to the suspense!

The story is action-packed too - delivering on the adventure, as well as twists and surprises.  I loved how immersive the story is too - it was easy to imagine the futuristic world and the new technology.  And the story always felt grounded with the characters and drama.  I felt this was a solidly written, entertaining jaunt, and I was invested in the characters throughout.

The romance, always a draw for me, is developed beautifully  - Doran and Solara seem very unlikely to come to any sort of understanding with each other at the beginning, but with the gradual breaking down of their walls, and the circumstances they found themselves in - the romance was believable and heart-warming.  They are both complex characters with private tragedies, and it made sense that despite their antagonism, they came to understand each other better over time.

The story was engaging from start to finish, with the ending especially nail-biting and dramatic.  I think there is a lot more room for growth to discover more about the other crew members on the Bansheee, as well as more possibilities for fun and adventure, so I can't wait until the next book comes out!

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