Starflight by Melissa Landers


It always surprises me when people are aghast that I'm able to read a book in a day, or in a matter of hours in a single sitting. I'm aghast that they are aghast. And it makes me so sad to think that they never had a book that was captivating enough to make them want to plow through it in one sitting, like this one.

This, like Alienated, is just a ball of fun. Sure, there is drama and intrigue and plot twists and betrayal; but above all else, this is fluffy wonderfulness.

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...

Solara and Doran were just awesome. I loved the crap out of these two. Solara is feisty and independent. She grew up with people looking down on her, but she's willing to fight to get to where she wants to be, where she can be free and away from those looks. Doran was one of the characters stereotypes I really like. He seems like an asshole, and he kind of is an asshole, but he learns from his mistakes and sheds that holier-than-thou attitude.

Melissa Landers knows what I like. I love shippable couples with tension for days, and sci-fi adventure that's uncomplicated but gripping. This book had both, obviously, and I loved it. But my favorite thing about this book was the romance. It's slow-building, and not dramatic for the sake of drama. It's authentic. And each bump with Solara and Doran is a bump that helps their relationship.

Melissa Landers builds characters and worlds that are simple but captivating, and loved living vicariously. Will this book change your life? Definitely not. But books don't have to change your life to be enjoyable and loved. This is written simply. This isn't meant to be philosophically analyzed for days or years. It's meant to be read in one sitting, gobbled up and reread again.
Though this could have been a great standalone, I'm excited to see what will happen in the sequel.

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