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 is my first book by Melissa Landers, but certainly won't be my last. In fact, her Alienated trilogy is already in my TBR pile! I have to say I quite enjoyed this one! It was a fun adventure in space filled with mystery, pirates, and a good dose of humor and budding romance!
Solara is eager to leave Earth and find herself a new place to live with a job as a mechanic and basically have the independence she craves. The thing is, she's an orphan with no credit to her name and on top of that, she's been branded a criminal, a small one, but still. No one wants to hire someone they can't trust. So she hides them behind gloves. Much to her dismay, the only one willing to hire her as a servant is Doran Spaulding, her nemesis from high school and a general pain in the you-know-what! And naturally, Doran makes her life on the carrier ship a living hell.
I was surprised by how quickly the circumstances that lead to Doran and Solara changing roles and boarding a pirate ship happen. Solara will do whatever it takes to gain her freedom and independence and if it involves using a clueless Doran, then all the better right?
Since this is told in multiple third person points of view, we even get inside Doran's head for a bit. And learn that he has his own ulterior motives as well for wanting to get to the outer realms. His father had sent him on a "secret mission" and it's one he plans to fulfill to the letter. He quickly learns, along with Solara and the crew aboard the ship, that someone has turned against him and made him out to be a fugitive when he really hasn't done anything illegal at all.
I really enjoyed the characters in this story! True, Doran was a complete asshat in the beginning. But having read earlier reviews, I knew that was bound to change. Though it was going to be hard to believe that he could change himself, I was delighted to see the process. Other members of the crew, such as Cassia and Kane were another entertaining duo! These two bickered with one another constantly, but yet, you know there was something between them. It takes awhile before their story unfolds, but I loved watching these two bicker with one another! It always got a laugh out of me! And I think I heard the next book in the duology will center around them, so yay!
Then there's Renny who's another older sort and a kleptomaniac but he's got a good heart. And Captain Russo was another delight! He seemed like he would be the sinister sort, but in truth he was much more fatherly like than I expected! You can't help but love these guys!
This book had so much action to it! A subtle kind, as our characters are itching to get to their destinations, there's always more trouble afoot. Enforcers are after Doran, and Solara by defauly, as are Daeva, which is like a super police squad with no morals or conscience other than to get the job done, and of course more space pirates! With enemies hot on their tails at ever turn, this gaggling crew will have to work together. More importantly, Solara and Doran will have to work together!
As for the romance of the story, I have to say I really enjoyed the slow burn! Solara and Doran started out hating each other then move onto being comrades, then friends, and eventually, something more! I really enjoyed this than anything more direct from hate to love. There's always so much more in between that happens with feelings, I think their progress just added fuel to the fire and once they realized that there's more to their feelings, it was just even more emotional than I could've expected!
There were quite a few laughs in this one too! Solara and Doran have a way with one another. Even if they weren't aiming for laughs, it was still a funny thing to see! Especially with their teasing! And of course, Kane really got the most laughs!
The suspense and pacing to this was spot on! I quite enjoyed the shocking reveal that came up towards the end! I was kind of expecting it too...like literally moments before it was revealed! LOL! There was yet another moment that took me by surprise and left me with all the feels. But it was definitely a fitting moment.
The ending itself kind of leaves me thinking we're not fully done with this line of the story. Yet, things are left in a good place. No cliffhangers really, other than just the sense of wondering what our band of misfits will do next! And I'm itching to find out!
Starflight was one wild read! If you're looking for adventure, romance, humor, suspense, and pirates...in SPACE, then I highly urge you to check this read out! It's an adventure you don't want to miss out on!
Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars