Title: Starflight (Starflight #1)
Author: Melissa Landers
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours
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.
You won't often hear me say this, but I really hope that the Powers That Be at Disney Hyperion make the decision to turn Melissa Lander's Starflight into a series. It is a book that has two very likable main characters, the setting is awesome, and there are plenty of secondary characters who could have spin-off books about them!
Solara is a rough-around-the-edges young girl who has had to work hard for everything she has and is more than willing to help colonize a new planet in the outer realm, since her past mistakes are tattooed across her hands and interfering with potential jobs. She also doesn't take bullshit off of anyone - Doran included. Doran is a pampered little rich boy who has more money and looks than good sense. Of course they have some personality conflicts, which leads to a slow-burning romance of which Melissa Landers is the YA master. (If you don't believe me, go read Alienated - so good!)
Every other character onboard the Banshee has a backstory that would be well worth checking out. I really want a short story or full novel about Cassia and Kane. I mean, there are rumors of this being a thing, and please let this be true!
There is a lot going on in the world of Starflight. I mean, it's set in outer space, so of course there will be lots of ground to cover, or lack thereof. There is just so much backstory to everything, that I just want to know more about it all. I'm not going to go into too many details because of spoilers, but Starflight has a rich world, and I want as much as Landers and Disney will give me.
I'm going to be honest with you and stop gushing for just a minute about something that I didn't like in Starflight. Towards the end, there was a plot point that happened that pisses me off more than anything. I mean, I understand why it was used in the book, but it's really annoying. I would have given Starflight five stars if it wasn't in the book.
If you're like me and have been waiting for really great YA, then Starflight is what you've been waiting for. We're finally getting more real-deal sci-fi being published, and this book is just as good as anything else out there. Do yourself a favor and have a copy in your hands on February 2, 2016.
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the book briefly for reviewing purposes through Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for an honest review. The book was likely provided to the tour by the publisher or author, which has in no way affected the outcome. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.