I received Starflight by Melisa Landers in my monthly Uppercase Box.
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…
Starflight met every one of my expectations based on the synopsis. The world building, or galaxy-building really, was on point and it hit the spot as far as my sci-fi fix. I immediately fell into Solara’s world and enjoyed the different organizations gunning for their ship, whether it was the enforcers or black-market pirates.
The slow burn romance between Solara and Doran was perfect. Their enemies-to-friends-to-lovers story was entertaining and sweet. There is a lot going on in this book, but their story took center stage. The occupants of the Banshee have their own secrets that slowly unravel as Solara and Doran try to guard their own as they make their way to the outer realm.
My favorite scene in the whole book was the pirate challenge. I don’t want to give anything away but it’s a huge turning point for Solara and Doran. It was exciting, leaving me breathless in anticipation. It was very well-written.
The overall themes of second chances and family really shine in this novel. It’s the first book in a series so there were a lot of things left open-ended. With the many plot strings left to play with, I can tell that this series can build into something epic. There is more than one person on the Banshee that can change the world, or worlds, as they know them and I can’t wait to watch it all unfurl.
STARS: 4. 5 of of 5