Starflight by Melissa Landers

Starflight by Melissa LandersStarflight by Melissa Landers
Published by Disney Book Group on February 2nd 2016
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 309
Buy on Amazon

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.

“I guess we’re stuck with each other.”
“Guess so,” she said. “Too bad you make lousy tea.”

3 1/2 stars. Out of all the 2016 releases promising exciting things, lots of action, thrills aplenty and badass pirates, Starflight might have been the one I expected the least from. I heard bad things about Landers’ Alienated and the blurb doesn’t even try to hide the romance (including, it would seem, a bunch of cliches).
The only thing drawing me in was the comparison to Firefly. And, you know what? It was pretty spot on.
Somehow nearly every sci-fi/pirates/action book I’ve read this year has managed to be drowned by romance or tediousness (Passenger, The Girl from Everywhere, Blackhearts) and yet this book – that is sold as a light, romantic space opera – is packed with action, interesting characters and dynamics, and a sense of love that goes way beyond the romantic, putting friendship and loyalty first.
Oh, and it’s often hilarious too.
Solara is a tough heroine who is not afraid to break the rules to get what she wants. She’s living in a hard world and her options are limited, so who cares if that douchey rich guy gets caught up in her plans? He deserved it anyway.
Her criminal antics land her on a spaceship with a strange assortment of characters – a kleptomaniac, an impossible flirt, a grumpy but lovable captain, and a girl with secrets – and she soon gets caught up in way more than she bargained for.
The relationship between Solara and Doran Spaulding is not surprising; what is surprising is how well it actually works. Because my first impression of Doran was “this guy is an asshole” and I found it really hard to believe I would come to like him. BUT, as it turns out, there’s nothing like a bit of love/hate comedy, memory loss and vengeful pirates to change your mind about someone.
I doubt anyone will gain new perspective from this book, but it is an enjoyable story about a bunch of unlikely companions coming to trust one another. Light on science, but full of drama, humour and warmth.

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

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