Starflight by Melissa Landers (Contains Spoilers)

Title: Starflight by Melissa Landers

Release Date: February 2, 2016

Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction

I received this novel in my February Uppercase Box.  It is a young adult science fiction novel with romantic and dramatic elements and I was thoroughly intrigued.  Not to mention the fact that Landers is active on instragram and liked and commented on all of my posts about the book.  She is a lovely human being and obviously engaged with her audience.  That alone made me appreciate her book more because it was obvious how much she cared about her work and her fans.

But to start the review I would like to start with the cover, for one thing.  The saying is always “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but as visual beings we all tend to do that.  In that aspect alone, this book excelled.  I absolutely love the galactic elements of this cover and if I had first seen it at the bookstore I would have picked it up right away.  I also love how the back cover featured a quote instead of a small summary.  The quote seemed to sum up the relationships of the characters well and bind together all of the themes of the story.

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Even though this book was publicized as being a “firefly inspired novel for the next generation” Landers said that she did not base the novel on the television series “Firefly”, but instead was inspired by the memory loss element of the 1980’s film “Overboard” which features Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.  With “Overboard” being one of my favorite movies of all time, I was very impressed by this reference.  Don’t be mistaken, this book is nothing like “Overboard” except for the fact that the main male character, Doran, loses his memory and regains it back during the course of the novel.

I did like this aspect of the novel, however, I do feel that it could have been done better.  Doran lost his memory for only a short amount of time before regaining it and this seemed to make that part of the novel almost insignificant.  I would have liked it better if Doran had not regained his memory all at once, but I do understand why she did it that way.  She needed Solara to get away with kidnapping him so that she could afford fair to get on another ship, but she also needed him to be present again to really fall in love with her and form their relationship as well as being an active participant of the novel.

The main premise of this novel was about Solara, who is a felon, running away to start her life on a new planet.  Along the way she and Doran become part of a ship full of felons and have to fight off galactic pirates as they travel to different planets and experience life on a new ship with people who end up becoming like family.  I thought that the way Landers progressed the relationships of all members of the ship was lovely, and there were some extreme plot twists as one member of the ship passes away and another person related to a member of the ship turns out to be alive when he was believed to be dead.  There was a lot of action in this novel and it kept me reading the whole way through.  Each character had many different faces and it was hard to get a solid grasp on any of them, because they all seemed to have secrets that unfolded during the novel.  This was a strong writing element and proved to me that Landers is very skilled with character development.

Landers did, however, use a lot of sexual scenes as well as one accidental drug related scene and younger readers should be aware of this.  I thought that these scenes were tasteful and necessary to the action and progression of the story, but they are something that is not usually seen in young adult novels.

Overall, even though I do not usually pick up science fiction novels I was very fascinated by this novel and thought that it was a beautiful, multi-faceted story.  I highly recommend this book for anyone, even those who do not normally read science fiction.  This book serves as a great introduction to its genre.  4/5 stars for beautiful writing, but one star off because of the rushed element of Doran regaining his memory.

Buy the Book: Starflight by Melissa Landers

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