About the Book

Title: Shadow Run (The Kaitan Chronicles #1)
Published: 2017
Series: The Kaitan Chronicles
Swoonworthy Scale: 5

Cover Story: Mind the Hatch
BFF Charm: Yay x 2
Talky Talk: He Said, She Said
Bonus Factors: Space Scoundrels, Hidden Identities
Relationship Status: Joining the Crew

Cover Story: Mind the Hatch

As Shadow Run is a book that takes place in part on a spaceship—the kind of well-loved ship that might be mistaken for garbage by certain individuals without an eye for the classics—this cover, which looks a whole lot like a spaceship hallway/hatch, is very appropriate.

The Deal:

Fishing for Shadow isn’t easy. Shadow, which gathers in space like fish schools in an ocean, is a dangerous substance, and causes madness in those who are around it for too long. But for Captain Qole Uvgamut, it’s the only way to make a living, and her family has been doing the work for generations. So long, in fact, that Qole and her brother have possibly developed an affinity for using the substance in unusual ways.

This affinity is what drives Nev, a galactic prince, to join Qole’s crew under false pretenses—he sees the rumors about her gift as a way to change the universe, and if it helps solidify his family’s position of power, all the better for it.

But both Qole and Nev have a lot to learn about power, in all its forms.

BFF Charm: Yay x 2

2 BFF charms

At first, Nev is a little obnoxious. He thinks he knows what’s best, and will push until he gets his own way, even if he hurts people in the process. Without meaning to, of course, he’s just single-minded and working “for the greater good.” He soon realizes, however, that just bullying one’s way through life isn’t the way to get people to work together, regardless of how well meaning his intentions might be. He also has a lot to learn about life outside of his family’s palace; thankfully, he’s not so blind to the truth that he avoids change.

Qole, too, takes a while to warm up to. As the youngest Captain of a Shadow fishing vessel ever, she has a lot to prove. And because her ship, the Kaitan Heritage, is practically an antique, she also has to work harder at her job of keeping her crew safe than others. But she’s a dedicated, strong, confident young woman who knows that she’s skilled, and that confidence makes her crew want to follow her to the ends of the earth, and makes her the kind of friend who’s great to have around.

Swoonworthy Scale: 5

Unsurprisingly, Nev and Qole butt heads. Qole thinks he’s a liar; Nev thinks she’s not seeing the bigger picture. Also unsurprisingly, they each feel a strong connection to the other that they don’t quite understand … until they do.

Talky Talk: He Said, She Said

Shadow Run’s chapters are split between Nev and Qole’s points of view. I’m assuming that AdriAnne Strickland and Michael Miller each took a character (I always assume this when there are multiple POVs and multiple authors, however, and I might be very wrong.) For the book, this split really works; we get to read about events through both characters’ eyes, and get to know what they’re thinking both when they’re together and when they’re apart. The two POVs balanced each other nicely, too, just as the characters did for each other. I didn’t have to rely on checking the chapter’s opening pages to see who was who, either, which I think says good things about the authors’ abilities to create distinct characters.

As much as I enjoyed Shadow Run’s plot, however, I’m more fascinated by the world in which Nev and Qole live, one that has mysterious technology that failed for some unknown reason generations ago, but might have a connection to Qole’s affinity toward the Shadow. I’m really hoping we get more information about the universe’s backstory in subsequent books. (The way Shadow Run ended leads me to believe that we will.)

Bonus Factor: Space Scoundrels

Group of rebels from Star Wars: Rogue One

I love science fiction stories in which a group of disparate individuals have to band together to fight for what’s right, especially when said characters are complex individuals who might not always keep on the right side of the “law.” It’s not a new trope, but it’s one of my favorites, and it’s one I hope never dies.

Bonus Factor: Hidden Identities

The crew of the Kaitan Heritage are a unique bunch, and many of them (in addition to Nev) have hidden identities or personal histories that they keep close to the vest. It’s fun learning about them, and I hope the revelations we get in Shadow Run have consequences or interesting way of tying into the story later in the series.

Relationship Status: Joining the Crew

I’m glad I took a chance on adventure with you, Book, because our first date was a lot of fun. There’s more to learn about each other, however, and I hope you’ll be more open about your backstory when we meet again.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Delacorte Press, but got neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. Shadow Run is available now.

Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.