Starflight (Starflight #1), by Melissa Landers
Publish Date: February 2, 2016
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Length: 362 pages
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 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…
I really enjoyed the characters and overall plotline in this, despite some plot holes here and there. It was an extremely fun read, with a slow-burn enemies-to-lovers there-is-only-one-bed romance that had me grinning madly (although, to be honest, I was a little off-put in the beginning by how much of a bully Doran was to Solara, and how she tried to bring him down by saying he didn’t matter which didn’t make much sense?). I kind of enjoyed that for the majority of the story, Doran’s father seemed like almost an actually good father – always putting his son’s safety first, not letting Doran get away with abusing his privilege – and was honestly disappointed when it turned out he wasn’t so hot in the family department. Ah well you can’t win ’em all.
I will say I saw that plot twist at the end coming miles away – it was pretty easy to guess unfortunately. Still. Ouch.
I thought all of the characters were interesting, but felt that only Solara and Doran were ever really fleshed out. The others all had there one-and-done moments of self-explanation that gave some backstory to their current selves, but that was all. I think considering their various personalities, I would have loved to have learned more about them, or see more of their interactions with Solara and/or Doran, and as a group as well.
[SPOILER] My only major issue had to do with the pirates and the whole “marriage” thing. First of all, this is the future. Why the hell are there female pirates even allowing that bullsh*t to even be considered marriage? A token? That’s it? Also, what was that stopping Solara from leaving anyway? Marriage no longer means a man owns you honey. Just cause he wants a mechanic on his and thinks marrying you will make you stay, he’s got another think coming. Honestly it was all just a plot device to get Doran on Demarkus’s bad side and I was a little disappointed in how it all relied on another MAN challenging him for his bride. What sexist crap is this??? Heck why couldn’t Solara have fought him??? She is the one who gave Doran all the advice anyhow. [END SPOILER]
What is it with these ships and not having mechanics anyway? YOU ARE IN SPACE. YOU FOR SURE SHOULD ALREADY HAVE A MECHANIC. MORE THAN ONE IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT. Also an actual doctor or medic.
Honestly, though, aside from some plot devices that had me a little annoyed I did really enjoy reading this. It was fast-paced and full of just the right amount of slightly dis-believable sci-fi that I needed. And of course I enjoyed all of the characters and especially the romance between Doran and Solara. Looking forward to Starfall!