There’s a spoiler disclaimer at the top of this section’s homepage, so if you’re here and reading this now, I’d assume you’ve seen all the warning and caution signs. But just in case! I’ll say it one more time: there are spoilers from this point forward! Read at your own risk.
Welcome to the spoilery review of Starflight by Melissa Landers! This is where I’ll share my thoughts and feelings about the characters and events in Starflight without having to tiptoe around potential spoilers. Enjoy! 😀
The universe that Landers has created for this story is dazzling. The planets we’ve seen are both breathtaking and kinda creepy, mainly because she brings to life some aspects of terraforming (transforming a planet’s environment so it can sustain human life) that I’ve never really thought about before. Like it being so beautiful as to come across as slightly synthetic when you look close enough (or take your time to literally smell the roses). Or a planet not having other life forms like birds, because it would be too expensive to transport them from Earth! Eerie! Definitely something I’ve never thought about.
And of course, given the title, readers are bound to spend a good amount of time on the Banshee. And let me just say, I absolutely love how this ship flies!
Favorite: The Banshee! I would not mind spending my time flying through space on this ship. It wasn’t fancy or luxurious – on the contrary, I recall it being described as a bit of a deathtrap. But! It felt homey 🙂 Extra points if it comes with the same crew.
Solara Brooks: I liked Solara pretty consistently throughout the book. She was determined and steadfast, but also capable of adapting when necessary. She was dealt a hard hand and made the most of it the best she could. Although, if I’m being honest, I didn’t like how she conned Doran onto the Banshee with her. But that basically ended up saving both their lives anyway. And she saved the day more than a few times. And she’s not the first character to make me wish I had some hardcore mechanic skills…
Doran Spaulding: I hated! really, really didn’t like Doran at the beginning of this book and I was convinced that I’d feel the same way throughout the remainder of the story. But I ate my words. Landers wrote his story in a slow and steady way that made for some realistic character progression. Doran didn’t ignore the fact that he was an enormous jerk or feign ignorance. He recognized his behavior for what it was **cough**APPALLING**cough** and took necessary and conscious steps towards being a better person. I loved how we slowly learned more about him just as he was getting to know more about himself as well.
The Crew: I loved the Banshee’s quirky and eccentric crew! They were so much like a dysfunctional family 😀 Complete with adorable pet – I see you, Acorn! The Captain, Renny, Cassia, and Kane were excellent travel companions. Not perfect companions, but they didn’t need to be perfect. They were awesome as they were.
Favorite: Doran – remarkable, given the degree to which I sincerely disliked him at the beginning. But he had so many layers and he proved and redeemed himself countless times. (Okay, I could probably count the times, but I’m not going to). I love how he developed throughout the story 😀
Swashbuckling: Space Pirates! 😀 What?! 😀 These pirates were rough, tough, sinister, and just a tad comical, making for the perfect swashbuckler. I like how Landers didn’t try to turn them into good guys. This wasn’t that type of story. (Not that I have anything against that kind of storyline. I loved Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s just that I think bad guy pirates worked out much better for Starflight). I loved the showdown between Doran and Demarkus. I didn’t expect Doran to pull one over on him like that. And in true piratey fashion, Demarkus couldn’t just let Dora the Red win fair and square. Tsk tsk.
Fine Line Between Love and Hate: I’ll say it again. Given the a**hole-ish nature of Doran at the beginning of the story, I couldn’t see him and Solara working out. Ever. However, I was happily proven wrong J The development of their relationship was perfectly timed and tested and advanced naturally. It was refreshing to read a slow and steady romance. (Not that I don’t also enjoy the instalove!). And there were more than a few steamy moments 😉
Betrayal: I did NOT see Cassia’s betrayal coming. I totally thought it was Kane who stabbed Doran in the back. And if not Kane, my second guess was Renny. Just because. I was dumbfounded, because looking back, they actually went through quite a bit of crud together as a crew up until that point and she still chose to turn him in. Ugh. I guess I understand her reasoning though.
Surprise Ending: Evil Not-so-evil twin! Wow, we learned a ton about Doran as this story unfolded. 1) He had a twin that died in a ransom gone bad. 2) Nope, his twin’s still alive and living in secret on a faraway planet with his mom, who abandoned Doran. Yikes! I was so bummed that Doran’s dad was…well, basically a bad guy!
I had so many questions at the end! Did Doran ever confront his dad? Did he get to reconnect with Gage? Can we please have more of Doran and Solara?! Were they able to clear their names or will they be on the run forever??? I don’t knooooow!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book 😀 Heck – I loved it! I now wish, more than ever, that space travel was commonplace. I’d take the nitty-grittyness of it all any day! I can’t wait for the companion novel/sequel. And I’m secretly not-so-secretly hoping some of my questions will be answered even as side-notes in the next novel **pleeeeaaase and thank you!** 😀