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Can’t Take The Sky From Me

Take a Firefly-esque romp around the galaxy in Melissa Lander’s novel, Starflight.

Can’t Take The Sky From Me

BOOK REPORT for Starflight (Starflight #1) by Melissa Landers

Cover Story: Eat My Dust
BFF Charm: Yay x2
Swoonworthy Scale:
Talky Talk: Firefly Adjacent
Bonus Factors: Motley Crew, Conspiracies, Space Pirates
Relationship Status: Take Me Aboard

Cover Story: Eat My Dust

Hmm, I wonder what they’re zooming away from? (Read the story and you’ll find out!) I have no complaints with this cover; the colors are eye-catching, it conveys the salient plot points (space, spaceship, on the run), and my overall takeaway is: pretty. I’m a sucker for space.

The Deal:

Solara is a recent high-school graduate, marked by the law and aged out of the system, with nothing on Earth left to live for. When she’s offered a chance to be a mechanic and own her own little piece of land in the rough, lawless outer realms, she jumps at the chance. To get there, however, she needs money, or she needs to indenture herself to a Richie Rich who can sponsor her way.

Enter Doran, heir of the Spaulding empire and wealthy playboy with a mean streak. As he’s about to board a pleasure cruise with his girlfriend, he spots Solara—the object of his torture all through high school—waiting in the servants’ area for someone to choose her and he can’t resist the bait.

But through a twist of fate, Solara ends up reluctantly kidnapping Doran and hiding aboard the Banshee, a vessel-for-hire. But once on the ship, nothing is what it seems, and Solara and Doran will have to figure out if they can trust each other and work together long enough to stay alive and go their separate ways.

BFF Charm: Yay x2

Solara is a young women who hasn’t had a lot of love or luck in her life, but she’s found her purpose (fixing things) and she’s tenacious enough to go after what she thinks will give her a secure future and home to call her own. I couldn’t help but like her.

On the surface Doran is a stereotypical popular jock, used to getting his way. He hides his insecurities better than most, but he once had a heart that he’s buried for protection. As he began to reexamine his relationships with his family and how they changed him, Doran grew on me.

Swoonworthy Scale: 7

Doran’s turn from supreme jerkwad to romantic option may not be the most convincing, but Landers applied enough heat to this enemistry to make something I couldn’t resist.

Talky Talk: Firefly Adjacent

It is so hard not to make surface comparisons to one of my favorite space-cowboy shows. Landers has brought together a diverse crew that is just on this side of the law, traveling around a universe that boasts various levels of terraformed planets and a centralized space-government. The plots are nowhere near similar to Firefly, but I really bought into the camaraderie and action that paid homage to a fun space-romp. Things move at a brisk pace and with enough twists and turns to make any soap opera proud. 

Bonus Factor: Motley Crew

(Sorry, the other kind.)

Solara really lucked out on the first try, picking out the perfect getaway ship. Everyone has their role, from Cassia and Kane, the ship’s medic and cook, to the sticky-fingered but loveable first mate, Renny. The half-man, half-mechanical Captain Rossi also has an awesome pet sugar glider who sounds adorbs. 

Bonus Factor: Conspiracies

One of the book’s larger plots centers on someone being framed for missing cases of a new alternative fuel source. Looking into this only drags the crew deeper and deeper into a larger web of conspiracy that they may not make it out of alive.

Bonus Factor: Space Pirates

Yes, I said space pirates, complete with shiny treasures and swords and tattoos. Despite a somewhat confusing resolution, this was one of my favorite parts of the story.

Casting Call:

Marie Avgeropoulos as Solara

Dylan O’Brien as Doran

Relationship Status: Take Me Aboard

Sometimes you just need to get away and spend your time with friends, dodging Enforcers, earning fuel chips, and getting drunk on Hellberry wine.

FTC Full Disclosure: I purchased my own copy of this book. I received neither money nor peanut butter cups in exchange for this review. Starflight is available now.

Stephanie Johnston's photo About the Author: Stephanie is an avid reader who moonlights as a college Educational Advisor. Though she now calls Orlando home, she grew up all over the U.S. Aside from her obsession with YA books and book-related activities, Stephanie loves watching way too much television, reading organizational/DIY blogs, planning awesome parties, Halloween decorating, and playing live-action escape games.