"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..."
Carolyn's thoughts on the book:
Starflight is pure fun, a YA rom-com set in Firefly-esque world - light but by no means fluff, with plenty of plausible adventure within a fantastic sci-fi setting. Solara Brooks is a classic teenage delinquent, with an arrest record tattooed across her knuckles for all to see, and just desperate enough to reach the lawless outer realms that she becomes a slave to her worst enemy. But in a hilarious plot twist, Solara takes advantage of the situation (and Doran's temporary memory loss) to switch roles with Doran, becoming his employer. What seems like the perfect set-up for a hilarious romantic comedy quickly becomes a fast-paced and fascinating tale of space pirates, politics, outlaws, government experiments, secret relatives, a princess in disguise, hidden planets, and adventure.
Aboard the Banshee, a ship of dubious legality, the reader is introduced to a host of original and entertaining characters - each with a unique backstory. The story of Cassia, one such crew member, will be explored in the next book in the series, Starfall, which I can't wait to read!
Readers can look forward to a universe similar to Firefly and the Lunar Chronicles. The lush setting of a futuristic, inter-planetary world isn't simply a backdrop for the action, but rather functions as an essential part of the story - deep world-building that creates and shapes the plot. Lander's attention to detail doesn't stop at setting, however; Starflight is brimming with all sorts of action and adventure. Landers achieves a bounty of plot points quickly and effectively, but the pacing was a little fast for me (to be fair, I read an ARC of Starflight that I received last June, a full eight months before the book came out, so I can't attest to the published version's pacing). Readers must make an effort to absorb all of the minutiae of the plot points, because Landers deftly intertwines everything together and you may get lost if you're the type to frantically read under the bedcovers at 2:00 AM (the lack of sleep doesn't help, either).
Starflight is a treat for fans of romance and sci-fi alike, and I look forward to whatever Landers has planned next.
Carolyn is a teen blogger who shares her favorite YA reads and favorite book related finds with readers on Fridays.