Series: Starflight #1
Genres: Science Fiction, young adult
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble
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...
I have had this book since it was released but I had put off reading it. Why? Mainly because I had my fill of teen romances and was ugh with it all. I know I shouldn’t hate, and they are 18 which is a full two years older than most YA characters but still, I did not have any real desire to pick it up.
I was a fool. This book was entirely wonderful. It was so reminiscent of the show Firefly that I could not help but be in love after the first hundred pages. I know that I should not compare it to a television series made movie but I cannot help it because dang it, who did not love that series?? Sigh, miss it. Anyhow, yes I plan on doing a review. 🙂
Solara Brooks is an orphaned girl who is a talented mechanic yearning to build a life that is hers only. She has spent almost her whole life in an orphanage getting by on the kindness of others. Recently she has come into some trouble, the kind which has severely curtailed her dreams and puts her in a position that she is willing to become a servant for travelers on a space liner destined for a resort location, if that someone would only finance her way to the outer realm. A place that has been rumored to prize skill over beauty, and she was a skilled mechanic.
I love this character. She is very believable. She is spunky, gutsy and not afraid to break the rules. She is a quick thinker and decency oozes from her even though she has had a rough life. I love that as a character she developed but not who she was. She is decent, honest and loyal. The changes that we see in her are more about acceptance of her past mistakes and allowing others to get behind her defenses and allow herself to embrace those around her.
Being the last person looking to cut a deal on the loading platform was bad, especially considering that we are talking about space flights and the next one was not scheduled for a few months away, but even that was not as bad as the option that just showed up. Doran Spaulding, heir to the galaxy’s largest fuel corporation and complete narcissistic douchebag who tormented Solara during high school. Rock meet hard place and even though it sickened her to do it, Solara indentured herself to Doran.
As expected this arrangement did not go well. Doran was what he seemed and he did enjoy tormenting Solara. Although she accommodated his every request it was her refusal to discuss the reasons for her felony tattoos (the “trouble” I eluded to earlier) that led to the plot twist that put them both on the Banshee. Oh my, that situation had me chuckling to myself. Once the tables are turned the story takes off and the plot thickens.
This is where we get to meet the crew of the Banshee and they are an eclectic crew indeed (I am so fan-girling at the firefly-iness of this crew). The captain agrees to take them on for an astronomical price but time is precious and Solara is running out of options. They buy their way onto the ship and set off for the Obsidian Beaches to drop off Doran and then to the outer fringes and freedom for Solara.
This crew is a no questions kind of crew and it seems like they all have a story to tell. Shortly after joining the Banshee Doran learns that he is wanted for questioning on Earth for a crime he says he did not commit. It also comes out that his father had sent him on his intended “vacation” in order for Doran to deal with some secret that is at the coordinates his father gave him. This is where the story really picks up. I do not want to be a spoiler so I will just use some descriptive phrases to “montage” my way past this: space pirates, dirty fighting, love interest, deadly betrayal, and close calls.
Through all of this Doran goes from being a real jerk to a person who realizes that he has more to offer and is willing to take on the responsibility to be that person. So endearing Doran has become (my yoda moment). I also love the relationship building between Doran and Solara. It is believable and makes you just want to hug the book. It is not your typical YA mindless lust-mance, their relationship is built first on trust, then friendship and loyalty. It is exactly right.
The action continues and there is a plot twist that just makes it all the more interesting. The camaraderie that develops between the crew members is fantastic. The book is filled with humorous dialogue and at one point I had actually burst out loud laughing and had a hard time containing myself. When I had finished the book I found myself thinking about how I wanted to know more, wanted for the story to carry on and I hope that I am not disappointed in the next installment of the series because I have very high expectations.
This was a light read with good characters and space pirates! Who doesn’t love space pirates?!! Such a good read, you would not be disappointed. Get your hands on a copy as soon as you stop reading. It is that entertaining. What are you doing still reading?? Go….get the book….read it. Ha ha ha