Written by Melissa Landers
Published by Disney-Hyperion, Feb 2 2016
My star rating: 4 stars
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 bookish sister Robin A.K.A The Other Weasley over on the app Books Amino (if you have the app find her HERE – she reads more than anyone I know and can tell you about those books in the most entertaining of ways!!) explained this book best. She said “Runaways and space pirates entertained the crap out of me.” And that’s honestly the best way to sum up my thoughts on this book!!
Solara Brooks (an orphan raised by nuns) is a convicted criminal running from the authorities. Her plan is to make it to a fringe planet (far enough that she cannot be extradited) where she was promised a chunk of land. It was going to be her fresh start. Unfortunately the only way to get there is to offer her services and an indenture to a rich boy from her school who she couldn’t hate any more. The rich boy, Doran, is the heir and only living child to the mega company Spaulding Fuel. He’s gotten everything he’s ever wanted (except for maybe his parents love and acceptance) and hates Solara right back as she won an award given out by his father. But they find out after a short period of time that they have more in common than they thought. I was a little apprehensive going into this because it sounded like a set up for insta-love. I guess there was but very slight. These two characters hated each other so intensely and tried to make the others life a living hell for the longest time. It wasn’t until they found themselves in a life and death situation that they were able to start to work together, see past their issues, and take a clearer look into who they were as people. Their relationship ended up being quite interesting!
Eventually they found themselves aboard the Banshee, accompanied by a mish-mashed crew. There was the Captain who is older than anyone they’ve ever met, a thief, a brute, a smart quirky girl, a sugar glider (yes the animal!), and a few more. Solara and Doran couldn’t trust each other let alone this new crew. I loved reading about these relationships! Everyone was so different, they all interacted with each other in different ways, they each had a strange and difficult past, and yet, they were a family. Their pasts come to the surface slowly but you spend the whole time wondering if you can really trust them. The dialogue between characters was flowing and easy, and the one liners had me giggling the whole way through! If I was stuck in space I wouldn’t mind being stuck with these guys! Here’s one of my favourite quotes:
“It’s like English is your second language,” she said. “And your native tongue is jack ass.”
This book was the fun, laid back, exciting adventure I was craving! There were so many fantastical dramatic elements that kept me smiling and turning pages. It’s not a beautifully written and thought provoking read at all but it was SO adventurous and entertaining! There was criminal convictions, space pirates (YES I SAID SPACE PIRATES!), unexpected weddings, daring escapes, space travel, secrets, lies, conspiracy theories, and so much more!! I’ve been reading quite a few books lately that were either heavy in content or heavy in fantasy, so this was the enjoyable reset that I’ve been needing!
My problems with this were minimal. Some of the events were predictable, but honestly I wasn’t reading it for the purpose of critiquing it. This book reminded me what it is to read for enjoyment. I was able to throw myself into this crazy new world and just sit back to enjoy the ride. I plan on picking up the sequel Starfall quite soon (as soon as I finish Flame in the Mist!!)
Have you read this series? What did you think of it?
Until next time, happy reading!