Author: Melissa Landers
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi
Synopsis: 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…
If you enjoyed the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, you will enjoy this. This book is 100% entertainment from beginning to end and I loved it for that. Reading a lot like an adventure film, Melissa Landers doesn’t let up on the action front with the rapid pacing and the twist and turns. She creates our two main characters which are as different as they can be – Solara is from a group home and a mechanic. She’s dying to make it to the outer rim where she can be her own person and find a fresh start. Doran is a privileged arrogant brat who teased Solara in high school for being so poor. Landers throws them together in this high-flying space escapade filled with tense moments, serious chemistry and a lot of laughs. Throw in space pirates, a motley crew, a one-legged Captain, bounty hunters and escaped Princesses and you have a plot!
I just really loved this, it was actually fun – I laughed and was amused during their adventures and though this book is no literary masterpiece and it certainly had its clichés, it was well done. This is not deep, this is not going to make you cry, this will make you laugh along with the ride. You will enjoy yourself. I did it on audiobook and smiled stupidly while driving.
The banter between Solara and Doran was on point and it was a slow build to their romance which I cannot say how much I appreciate that in YA because it’s usually BAM we’re in love and it’s eternal and we will destroy the world to be together and so much fucking angst. With this development you see them slowly come to appreciate one another in their over the top moments filled with a mixture of tentative friendship and hilarity. A true Space adventure story and what I would classify as a ‘palette cleanser’ or a good one to get you out of a reading slump.
I will definitely check out more of Melissa Landers works.
And P.S. this would be such a blockbuster of a Summer film.