Written by Melissa Landers
Published by Disney Hyperion, February 7, 2017
My star rating: 4.5 stars
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.
I held off on reading this one for a while. I enjoyed the hell out of Starflight but, when I realized that Solara and Doran weren’t the main characters in this one, I feared that I wouldn’t like it as much – silly me and my irrational fears! A few chapters in I quickly realized that the perspective change wasn’t going to make a difference and I was all in!
Before I get into my thoughts on the book itself, I have to say that Melissa Landers has officially become an auto buy author! I absolutely ADORE her writing!! This series isn’t the most original story line, and things are often predictable, but none of that matters!! She adds all these tiny little details that propel you on a fast paced adventure ride that you don’t ever want to end! There was never a point in this book (or Starflight) where I was bored and wanted the chapter to end. I wanted to soak in every detail and begged for more. She writes with detail, emotion, action and so much more. This series was just SO entertaining!!!
In Starflight we followed Solara and Doran on their adventure from Earth and how they ended up members of the ship Banshee. One held the other as an indentured slave, they made daring escapes, they were drugged on a different planet, and they encountered space pirates – yes I said space pirates! But this one follows Cassia and Kane, who were members of the Banshee when Solara and Doran joined the crew, after information was revealed at the end of Starflight. I won’t go into detail about that because if you haven’t read Starflight it will spoil things! But the characters were just as amazing as Solara and Doran were in book one – in fact I may have even enjoyed them a little bit more. I felt very attached to them and their relationship and loved the humour that they brought to the table. They bickered back and forth all the time. Fighting was their love language. Here are a couple insults Cassia threw his way:
“Scum eating son of a crotch smuggler”
“Idiot son of a two assed mule”
What made their relationship even more interesting is that they were apart for almost the entire book! Things were revealed about their past, their families, and the events that brought them to the Banshee in the first place. They struggled to figure out their future and if it included them together or apart. Cassia is such an amazing character! She’s so strong, smart, loyal, and dedicated. It was such a joy to watch her grow and figure out if she should embrace her duty or her heart. And then there was Kane – I was rooting for him the whole way through!! And he didn’t have it easy that’s for sure!
I was a little sad that this one didn’t include much of Solara and Doran at all. They were kind of mentioned just in passing throughout the book and only really showed up to add a few lines to the conversation. The ships new captain was given a bit more to the story as his past came into play. I wished that we got a little more detail from this story line as well.
The pace was so fast and steady. I expected it to start off slow but it jumps right in at warp speed (HA! See what I did there? It’s a space book….. warp speed….. go ahead and roll your eyes. It’s fine). The first book was all about an adventure in space and built a world – well a universe actually. Since we were already aware of the world, this one focused a little more on one planet and added layers of detail to the characters and story line laid out in book one. I absolutely enjoyed the political/royalty aspects of this book mixed with conspiracies and rebellion. The last 1/4 of the book had me reading so fast and hanging on to every word!
If you’re looking for a book that will take you on a seriously entertaining adventure through space, with relatable characters, and space pirates – here it is! I absolutely enjoyed this duology!!! Have you read this series? Do you think book 2 compared well to book 1?
Until next time, happy reading!