Thursday, May 11, 2017

Starfall by Melissa Landers

When Princess Cassia Rose fled her home world of Eturia to escape an arranged marriage, she had no idea her sudden departure would spark a war. Now after two years hiding as a ship hand, she is finally returning to her beloved home, but not in the way she imagined. Shackled by bounty hunters, she is violently dragged back to account for her crimes. Her only solace is that the Banshee crew managed to evade capture, including Kane Arric, her best friend...with occasional benefits.

Meanwhile, Kane and the rest of the crew of the Banshee plan a desperate rescue mission. But when they arrive on Eturia, Cassia isn't exactly in need of heroics—she's claimed her birthright as Eturia's queen, but has inherited a war-torn planet simmering with rebellion. Cassia must make alliances, and Kane, the bastard son of a merchant, isn't a choice that will earn her any friends. Kane knows he will never find someone to replace Cassia—and is certain she returns his feelings—but how can he throw away his own promising future waiting on a queen?

When the outer realm is threatened by the dangerous Zhang mafia, Cassia, Kane and the rest of the Banshee crew uncover a horrifying conspiracy that endangers the entire universe. In the face of unspeakable evil, Cassia must confront her own family's complicated legacy on Eturia and decide once and for all who her real family is.
This was a fun read. I absolutely loved the first book in the series. And while I knew this would be about different characters, I still had high expectations. This series has a definite Firefly mixed with Cowboy Bebop vibe. I love all the spaceship drama and strong character development.
That being said, it was not as good as book 1. The lead characters just did not have the spark that the original main characters did for me. Cassia is interesting. Her story though is very familiar. She has the same sort of dystopian/revolutionary story arc as many leading ladies in YA. Little add-ons to the story did make this a little different. And Cassia was a lot tougher that I originally made her out to be.
I guess I did ship the two leads –just not in the same way I shipped the two leads in the first book. I almost feel like its unfair to always be comparing this to book 1. Like if this was book 1, I’d have no comparison and I’d probably like this more.
I enjoyed seeing all the characters again. And one thing I really loved was being able to get right back into the swing of things. I felt like I never left the crew. I didn’t have to readjust to them. I just naturally got back into their stories. I also love that the crew got to go explore and figure out how to solve the problems on Cassia’s planet.
There’s still this overall sense of camaraderie and humor amongst all the characters. And I guess that’s what really makes this book shine. I could see this being a great tv show, maybe something done by Joss Whedon…A girl can dream.
All in all, it was joy to read this. It was not as good as the first book in the series. The couple was lacking a spark that I hope they’d have. And there were definite dystopian elements I’m kind of bored of seeing at this point. The characters and setting though were just as strong as before. I also loved the humor and how easy it was to fall back into the story again. All in all, I give it an 8/10.

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