Series: Starflight #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion on 2016-02-02
Genres: Action & Adventure, Love & Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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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...
This book was so good! Guys, really, it was like taking These Broken Stars and mashing it together with Firefly. (This is the moment I take to tell you that if you haven’t seen Firefly yet, GO WATCH IT NOW.) I’m not sure what I was expecting when I picked up the book but it wasn’t that. I was immediately drawn into Solara’s story and then her relationship with Doran (who I almost always called Dorian before correcting myself) and then the crew of the ship they hire and their adventures and everything. I really enjoyed it and I hope you guys will too!
My favorite part of Starflight was the relationships. All of them. None of the relationship in the book seemed to be trivial. They were all important and interesting and well devleoped. And I loved that. Starting with Solara and Doran, the relationship developed overtime and had to overcome many obstacles before being able to trust each other. And I loved watching it all play out. It felt a bit like the romance in Under the Never Sky between Perry and Aria. And in case you didn’t know, they’re my all time favorites. So this is a big deal! The rest of the relationships, including those that happen on the ship and a few that were completely unexpected, are all also really well done and full of emotions and intrigue and I hope we’ll get to learn more about the crewmates in later books.
I also really loved the plot and the pacing in this book. Sometimes it takes a while to feel rooted in a story and its characters but this one I connected to almost right away. The book is told in third person so we get more than just Solara’s story. Though the book does start with hers but we’re able to get backstories on several characters and feel their emotions without having to be told what they’re feeling or seeing by any of the characters. I almost always prefer first person but this was done really well that I can’t even imagine it told in any other way.
As far as the challenges the characters face along their journey, I think there’s still a lot more to develop in that area for future books. The set up was definitely clear in this book so it isn’t hard to know what’s coming next, but the book was a good length at just over 300 pages and cut off in a good spot. There’s no cliffhanger but there’s definitely more story to tell. I can’t wait to find out what Doran will do next, especially in relation to his family and what he now considers to be his purpose in life. I’m looking forward to finding out what the League is going to do and how much and by whom they’ll be pursued by in the next book. There’s a lot left to learn about and I’m excited for it, but I’m also SO SO glad that the book doesn’t end on a cliffhanger that is going to drive me crazy for a year!
The last thing I really liked about this book was that it wasn’t overly complicated. I loved Illuminae and These Broken Stars but sometimes it felt like there was almost too much going on. Too much to keep track of, too many names and companies to keep straight, too much action coming from several different places, just too much. This book was straight-forward. It’s not showy or in your face. It’s not simple nor does it shy away from surprises or unexpected events, but the writing just felt more concise than some of the other fantasy or space books I’ve read. And I actually really liked that.
With so many great, relateable characters, an interesting plot, a few surprising twists, and a romance that turns enemies into lovers, it’s really no surprise at all that I loved this book. I hope you guys will give this book a chance. Especially if you’ve loved YA books set in space or are a fan of Firefly, I really think you’ll like this one.