Author: Melissa Landers
Genre: Young Adult | Sci-Fi | Romance | Adventure
Publication Date: February 2, 2016
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..(goodreads)
This was one of the most fun adventures I've read in a long time!
Plot: If I had to describe Starflight in one word, it would be fun! We've got Solara who is looking for a way to a distant planet and Doran who hates Solara and toes the line of abuse in terms of his relationship with her. From there, it was nonstop action full of pirates, intoxicated nights, brainwashed feds, and a romance for the ages! Initially, I had no interest in Starflight because I didn't enjoy Alienated, but the tone, language, and characters were so completely different that it was hard to believe that it was written by the same author.
For all of you readers who hate starting a whole new series, you'll be happy to know that Starflight is a standalone novel. I was a bit disappointed at the end of Starflight because I didn't feel as though every character's story arc was tied up nicely, but seeing as there is a companion novel, I can't help but believe that the second novel will answer all of my pressing questions!
Characters: What I loved about Starflight was that everyone had a mysterious past. Solara is branded as a felon, but we don't know why. Doran is an all around jackass with a secret to hide as well, but we don't know why. It's these secrets and small revelations that truly had me invested in the characters. It doesn't hurt that Landers threw in a healthy dose of humor to make the characters seem more lively.
I mentioned that Doran was a bit of an ass which really worried me in the beginning, but there is redemption! Starflight is not a romance-centric novel, but it was done nicely.
Some of the secondary characters seemed as though they had so much more to give besides being supporting characters which I believe will be addressed in the companion novel. It's always a good sign when you find yourself equally invested in the secondary characters as the primary characters.
Worldbuilding: I've mentioned before that sci-fi and I have such a love-hate relationship because I get lost in all the science jargon and intense worldbuilding. Starflight is the perfect sci-fi novel for readers who are looking to take a dip in the genre. It is not overly heavy with intergalactic politics and jargon.
Audiobook Narration: I bought the audiobook on a whim and as much as I enjoy the pretty hardcover, I'm really happy that I decided to go with the audiobook. Amanda Dolan captured Solara's voice from the start, and while her male narrations weren't as impressive, I really appreciated her dedication to each role.
Short N Sweet: If you're looking for a fun adventure akin to Disney's Tangled, read Starflight!