“Starflight” by Melissa Landers
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: February 2nd, 2016
Writing Quality: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.
How much I enjoyed it: 2 1/2 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 just want to say thank you to Disney-Hyperion and the lovely lady who allowed me to borrow a galley of “Starflight.” In no way has this affected my review. In all fairness, “Starflight” was a pretty good book. Melissa is a good writer who created a fast, readable book, but I personally didn’t fall in love with this story or its characters. There was just something missing for me in the main and secondary characters, and that prevented me from connecting with them in “Starflight.” Besides them missing something to make me like them, they were kind of irritating at times and there wasn’t anything that endeared them to me while I read this book; they felt a little two-dimensional, so I lacked the attachment to root for them and feel involved in the story. I also didn’t buy into the romance due to my lack of emotional connection with these characters and their circumstances. I have a felling that a lot of people will like this book and its characters, but sadly I am not one of them right now.
Melissa did do a good job of making sure that this book’s pacing didn’t drag, and I was able to read it over the course of an evening. It was entertaining, but again, there was nothing in particular that drew me into the story and the world she had created, so I remained very distant. Melissa Landers’ world in this book was interesting, if a bit generic, which would have been fine if I had found something, anything, to make me grow fond of this book. Generic and reused it okay, and I don’t usually call people out on it if I find something in their work that I end up loving. Not all of us have perfectly original ideas, and that’s okay, but what I look for in these recycled stories is at least one character or an environment/world that draws me in, makes me root for that character or world to rise above the difficult circumstances set before them. In “Starflight,” I felt like it was “Firefly” meet “Guardians of the Galaxy” minus the endearing characters and humor. Neither of those entertainment pieces are perfectly original, but there are elements to them that make their stories and characters really stand out in my mind. “Starflight” was good for what it was going for, it just didn’t stand out to me, and it wasn’t the kind of science fiction or romantic adventure story that I like.
If you like Melissa Landers’ “Alienated” series, then I’m pretty sure you’ll like this one. I haven’t read her other books, but from what I’ve heard about them and read in “Starflight,” the two series are similarly written (adventure stories, alien science fiction, romance, random crude humor dispersed throughout, the last one being a major turn-off for me, personally). I love alien stories (thank you, Roswell!) and various types of science fiction, but “Starflight” and its characters just did not do it for me. “Starflight” was a well-written story, and I’m sure that a lot of other people will like this book, it just wasn’t for me.