Review of Starfall by Melissa Landers

StarfallStarfall (Starflight #2)
By: Melissa Landers
Release Date: February 7th
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher

My Rating:
star

Summary:
When Princess Cassia Rose fled her home world of Eturia to escape an arranged marriage, she had no idea her sudden departure would spark a war. Now after two years hiding as a ship hand, she is finally returning to her beloved home, but not in the way she imagined. Shackled by bounty hunters, she is violently dragged back to account for her crimes. Her only solace is that the Banshee crew managed to evade capture, including Kane Arric, her best friend…with occasional benefits.

Meanwhile, Kane and the rest of the crew of the Banshee plan a desperate rescue mission. But when they arrive on Eturia, Cassia isn’t exactly in need of heroics—she’s claimed her birthright as Eturia’s queen, but has inherited a war-torn planet simmering with rebellion. Cassia must make alliances, and Kane, the bastard son of a merchant, isn’t a choice that will earn her any friends. Kane knows he will never find someone to replace Cassia—and is certain she returns his feelings—but how can he throw away his own promising future waiting on a queen?

When the outer realm is threatened by the dangerous Zhang mafia, Cassia, Kane and the rest of the Banshee crew uncover a horrifying conspiracy that endangers the entire universe. In the face of unspeakable evil, Cassia must confront her own family’s complicated legacy on Eturia and decide once and for all who her real family is.

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed the first book, Starflight, so I was so excited to see that Landers was writing a companion book. All the same characters are in this story but this time we are reading from the point of views of Kane and Cassia. The events of this novel take place after what happened in Starflight and I loved seeing some of the after effects woven into this new storyline.

I always found the relationship between Kane and Cassia to be intriguing and knew there was much more to them than what we saw (with them as side characters) in the first book. I was so happy to see them as the center of this story. Cassia is an exiled princess and this book sets her back on her home planet. I loved that with this princess angle the story sort of felt like a sci fi/fantasy because her and Kane come from different social classes (star-crossed love), and an evil king set out to do anything to seek revenge.

Landers has a way with character chemistry and tension. She builds up the feelings between characters it’s tangible for the reader. That’s my favorite aspect of her writing and she didn’t let me down in Starfall. Not only does this book have romance but a great rebellion story. I wasn’t exactly sure how Landers would get these characters out of some of the situations they found themselves in so this was a page turner. I couldn’t stop reading because I was so eager to find out what would happen next.

StarfallIG

Final Thoughts:
I recommend these books to anyone that loves science fiction and quirky casts of characters. You could pick up and read either book first but I think publishing order (Starflight then Starfall) so that you don’t come across character spoilers.

Review of Starflight by Melissa Landers

StarflightStarflight
By: Melissa Landers
Release Date: February 2nd 2016
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

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…

My Thoughts:
Starflight was so much fun to read-  it had all the things that I love in a science-fiction novel- rag tag ship crew, hate to love relationship, space-pirates, lots of action with a dash of romance. This was more in line with the Firefly type of science fiction… no heavy science talk or theories to digest. The pacing was fast with equal amounts of action and witty dialog between the characters.

This story starts with the main character, Solara, needing to escape Earth and try to make it out to the outer realms to establish a new life for herself. Of course, as these things go, the only way for Solara to get out of her current situation was to rely on the one person she dislikes the most- Doran. It’s all fairly predictable how these two will slowly grow to respect each other but it’s still so much fun to watch them warm up to one another. Landers’ does an amazing job creating character chemistry through their dialog and actions. As the reader, you feel their attitudes mutate and grow into something more.

Though I fully felt the chemistry between the leads I did struggle a small amount with Doran’s character arc. He was such a jerk to Solara in the beginning and in their past it was a tiny bit hard to believe he’d change his general attitude that easily. Overall, I think that Landers did a decent job of presenting him in a manner that was believable. But, I would have liked a tiny bit more time taken to develop his transformation and to have seen him push back a bit more at the situation he found himself in. Regardless of this teeny tiny complaint I still fell easily in love with the relationship and story.

The side characters were really fun as well and added a lot to the story. You’ve got to have the rag-tag crew in this type of book and Landers provides. Each crew member has a story to tell and though we only get bits about their past it’s enough to create empathy and compassion for their character. I was fully invested in each crew member on the Banshee.

In this type of sci-fi there is something so right about space lawlessness and a bunch of  criminal types creating their own law and order. I loved how Landers incorporated that with the outer realm as well as the pirate ship Solara finds herself on. These bits were so well done and fun to read. Though you could sort of see where the story was headed it never felt overly predictable and easily kept my interest. I wanted nothing more to be reading this book start to finish.

Final Thoughts:
Starflight was the type of book you want to completely lose yourself in and read start to finish in a sitting. With the fast pacing, character chemistry and witty dialog it was easy to love and left me wanting a follow up book. I’d love to read many more adventures with this cast of characters.