(ARC Review) Starflight by Melissa Landers

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 8.01.13 PMStarflight
Release date: Feb. 2, 2016
Author: Melissa Landers
Genre: YA Speculative Fiction (Sci-fi)
Themes: Space-travel, trust, forgiveness, love, friendship
Rating: 4 stars
Why did I read it?: I read the author’s Alienated series and loved it, so I requested this ARC.

Landers, Melissa. Starflight. Disney-Hyperion, 2016. Print. ISBN-13: 978-1484723241.
Formats available: hardcover. Paperback $13.49 (amazon.com)


Synopsis (from amazon.com)

Solara Brooks needs a fresh start, someplace where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. The outer realm may be lawless, but
it’s not like the law has ever been on her side.
Still, off-world travel doesn’t come cheap; Solara is left with no choice but to indenture herself in exchange for passage to the outer realm. She just wishes it could have been to anyone besides Doran Spaulding, the rich, pretty-boy quarterback who made her life miserable in school.
The tables suddenly turn when Doran is framed for conspiracy on Earth, and Solara cons him into playing the role of her servant on board the Banshee, a ship manned by an eccentric crew with their own secrets. Given the price on both Doran and Solara’s heads, it may just be the safest place in the universe.
It’s been a long time since Solara has believed in anyone, and Doran is the last person she expected to trust. But when the Banshee’s dangerous enemies catch up with them, Solara and Doran must come together to protect the ship that has become their home-and the eccentric crew that feels like family.

My Thoughts:
**I received this book as a free egalley from netgalley.com in return for an honest review**

The author describes this book as a “romantic Firefly, or Guardians of the Galaxy” and I think thats a fair statement. Starflight is a fun and fast YA romp through space. Written from the dual perspectives of the male and female main characters, we see these two people who grew up in vastly different social strata (and who butted heads throughout high school) forced together on a perilous race across galaxies. Both are hiding secrets from the other, and neither trusts each other, and yet Doran and Solara will find they need to rely on each other to overcome enemies new and old. Together they find that sometimes you put your trust in the wrong people, and sometimes you are forced to rely on those you don’t trust at all.

I enjoyed this book, though I never really connected to Solara as a character. I felt that Doran was a more strongly developed and fully realized character than Solara, and just didn’t feel the author put an equal amount of time in developing Solara as she did Doran. I actually found myself connecting with his feelings, fears, and character arc more than Solara’s, which I found unusual ini a YA book as usually the female character tends to be the more fully developed of the two. The world building was pretty good, we’re given just enough understanding of how this world (or worlds, really) work that I’m intrigued to learn more about it in the following books (this is the first book in a planned series). There are several other characters introduced which were interesting and fun, though very under-developed thus far. But I believe that is intentional, as the following books feature those people as main characters, I believe, therefore it seems we are not meant to “get to know them” too much in this book.

The pacing is pretty good, a tad bit jumpy here and there, and several of the plot devices felt a bit “expected,” but there are a couple of twists in there to keep it from being stale, and overall I found this to be a satisfying space-travel story. I will absolutely pick up the sequel to see what happens next, whenever it should be released!


Liked it? Loved it? Gotta have more of it?
There is a planned sequel to Starflight, but no title or release date has been provided yet!

In the meantime you might like to try:


Extras:

  • Melissa Lander’s Starflight series website
  • This book is still months away from being released so I’m hoping more extras will be coming soon!

About the Author:
Melissa Landers is a YA author who often writes fun and fast-paced alien or space-travel romances.

Find her online:

Waiting on Wednesday – 1/6 – The Crown’s Game

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 8.46.25 PM

Waiting on Wednesday is brought to us by Breaking the Spine.

Its a weekly meme where we can share the upcoming releases we are so excited about!


 

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 12.00.52 PM.png

The Crown’s Game
by: Evelyn Skye
Release date: May 17, 2016

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.


Why am I waiting on it?

Um…did you read that synopsis? It sounds like a mix of hunger games, throne of glass, and a bunch of other books I love. As long as its story is original (and not actually a compilation of these other popular books) I foresee this being an excellent fantasy book! I’m hopeful the story will be as good as its synopsis makes it sound (or better!), and cannot wait to give it a try.