Review: Empress of a Thousand Skies

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Empress of a Thousand Skies by: Rhoda Belleza

My Rating: 5 Stars

Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an wants vengeance.

The only surviving heir to an ancient Kalusian dynasty, Rhee has spent her life training to destroy the people who killed her family. Now, on the eve of her coronation, the time has finally come for Rhee to claim her throne – and her revenge.

Alyosha is a Wraetan who has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. Despite his popularity, Aly struggles with anti-Wraetan prejudices and the pressure of being perfect in the public eye.

Their paths collide with one brutal act of violence: Rhee is attacked, barely escaping with her life. Aly is blamed for her presumed murder.

The princess and her accused killer are forced to go into hiding – even as a war between planets is waged in Rhee’s name. But soon, Rhee and Aly discover that the assassination attempt is just one part of a sinister plot. Bound together by an evil that only they can stop, the two fugitives must join forces to save the galaxy.

Beware spoilers ahead!

Empress of a Thousand Skies was taking the book community by storm. Not surprising considering that synopsis. Coupled with all the 5 star author reviews. I was hesitant to pick it up. While I enjoy Sci-Fi, I have found that the most popular YA Sci-Fi has not been for me. I was in the bookstore and I saw Empress of a Thousand Skies. I started to skim and knew that I needed to buy this book. I am happy to say that I enjoyed it!

Rhee is preparing for her coronation. She has finally come of age to take the throne. While preparing Julian’s (her best friend) father comes to see her. Much to Rhee and the readers surprise he attempts to kill her. In self defense Rhee murders him and creates a ceremonial killing. To let whoever sent him know that she’s coming from them. Before the whole ship blows up she is rescued by a stranger.

Aly is quite disappointed to hear that Rhee was murdered. Her murder disrupts a peace treaty between all the planets. After filming an episode for DroneVision Aly and his partner Vin go to investigate a mysterious space pod. While Vin goes off, Aly comes across the pod and opens it. Much to Aly’s surprise there is a grown man murdered in a ceremonial killing. Aly realizes that Rhee is alive and attempts to connect his superiors. After being chased by unknown droids Aly is framed for murdering Rhee.

Empress of a Thousand Skies really surprised me! I was not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. The writing is in third person in the points of view off Rhee and Aly. There’s a planet map and a character list. It is divided into parts and in the beginning of the those parts there is a text of history. Which gave some interesting incite and provided for extra world building.

Once I begun reading I had my doubts. Rhee wasn’t exactly that likable and she could be really stupid. Every time I would think to myself ‘Huh that doesn’t make any sense’ or ‘This is really dumb’. I swear it was like the author could read my mind! Belleza would then come in to show and explain us why that certain thought process was written as such. This is how the whole book went for me. I came to appreciate this because it made the characters feel real and flawed. Not Mary Sue’s or Special Snowflakes.

My favourite thing about Empress of a Thousand Skies was how well the diversity was done. Aly is a black and Rhee is Chinese. Black stereotypes was actually used as a plot device to propel the war to come. Aly dispels all these stereotypes and I really felt for him. Rhee also mentions who everyone hints at her too small eyes and make other jabs at her.

Sometimes it felt like I was reading about our world. Belleza did an amazing job showing how fear, racism, and hatred can propel a war. And how easy it is for some people to believe everything they are told. 

Religion does play a huge part of the story. As there are so many races’ each one has their own religion and belief system. A part of the peace treaty is respecting each planet’s religion rather than colonizing them. 

Another plus is that there’s barely any romance! It is hinted but the romance takes a backseat for the plot. This is a journey book. There’s a considerable amount off travel/running away. I felt that it was done well! As it was actually fast paced. To be honest a lot of the plot is predictable. But I still found myself enjoying it and was eagerly awaiting the next chapter.

You know all those cheesy future movies which always show a cell-phone in the brain? Belleza actually does that. The Cube is inserted into the brain and has some cell-phone features. You can call people and even message them. You also have to update it. What’s most interesting is that you can replay memories. Rhee does this quite often.

Now of course once she escapes Rhee has to deactivate her Cube. Rhee begins to experience ‘Organic’ memories. Like flashbacks coming to her whenever she thought of something. It was really interesting to read about her comparisons of the Cube vs. Organic memories. Similar to how we discuss people missing out on experiences for their phone. The Cube becomes a huge plot point as it can be hacked.

Belleza doesn’t hesitate to kill off characters. There are 4(?) characters killed off in Empress of a Thousand Skies. I did think some of these characters would play an important role. I was surprised when they were killed off. I wonder how many people will die in Blood of a Thousand Stars?

Despite what the synopsis says Aly and Rhee do not meet each other. They vaguely look at each other but never actually interact. They happen to be in the same places at the same time but again no interaction. I really don’t understand why the synopsis states as such. 

Rhee spends a majority of her story arc consumed by revenge. Her point of view is written formally. Rhee’s family is a huge part of her arc, as she believes they were murdered. Her sister in particular was in a lot of flashbacks. I enjoyed reading about the flashbacks as they give some more insight into her past.

Rhee has a crush on Julian and the two have known each other since they were children. Surprisingly Julian will likely make an appearance in Blood of a Thousand Stars. He comes in the last chapter. Considering that she killed his father it would be very interesting to see where their relationship goes.

Rhee has a crew of sorts. The guy who saved her (Dahlan) brings a few people to help Rhee in her quest to take the throne. Dahlan himself is consumed by revenge. They each have that in common. Which made for an interesting relationship between the two. Rhee grows a bit past her revenge and chooses to act instead of chasing various people.

Aly’s point of view is much more chill than Rhee’s. There are made-up swear words and he uses them often. Aly is actually a refugee from one the planets that used to be at war with Rhee’s planet. His family also plays a huge role and why he does not want to go back home. There are some flashbacks about his family and his time in a refugee camp. I felt that they were well written and I enjoyed reading it!

Vin who is his co-worker on the tv show DroneVision is vital to the story. It is revealed that Vin is in fact a spy and has had suspicions of the attack on Rhee being staged. Aly doesn’t exactly take this too well. But I really couldn’t blame him as it was a lot to take in. Still their friendship was fun to read and well written.

Aly meets a girl whose name is Kara while on the run. Kara is looking for her mother who was a scientist. She went missing along with other important people at a summit meeting. The two make an alliance to help each other. It’s through Aly’s point of view that readers find out about the Cube experimentation.

I am giving Empress of a Thousand Skies an extra star for all the issues that Belleza discussed. Without getting preachy.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Empress of a Thousand Skies! I will definitely be reading Blood of a Thousand Stars. I highly recommend it for everyone.     

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Review: There Once Were Stars

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There Once Were Stars by: Melanie McFarlene

My Rating: 1 of 5 Stars

Peace. Love. Order. Dome. That’s the motto that the Order has given the residents of Dome 1618 to live by. Natalia Greyes is a resident of Dome 1618, a covered city protected from the deadly radiation that has poisoned the world outside for four generations. Nat never questioned the Order, until one day she sees a stranger on the outside of the dome. Now Nat wants answers. Is there life outside the dome and if so, what has the Order been hiding from everyone?

Beware spoilers ahead!

I had heard about this book through Twitter. There was a blog tour going on at the time. It sounded interesting so I added it to my shelf. I came across some reviews that mentioned cluttered writing style. Rather than buy this I downloaded a sample. I didn’t enjoy it. 

The book begins with Natalia’s 18th birthday. Her parents died when they exited the dome due to the radiation. Since then Nat has been living with her grandparents. Now that she is officially an adult she has to start working.

Behind everyone’s back she sneaks out and spies on the outer edge of the dome. She wants a better understanding of what happened to her parents. She falls asleep and wakes up to seeing strangers roaming outside of the dome. This shouldn’t be possible because of all the radiation.

This was a case of ‘It’s not you but me’. When I started reading this it felt off. Yes the writing style was a bit of a mess here-and-there. But for some reason it felt really weird to read the sample. I wasn’t interested in knowing about Nat’s life so I ended up skimming a lot of it. I also found it somewhat boring. I never felt any anticipation when she fell asleep and woke up to strangers. I felt nothing the whole I read and skimmed it. I could not bring myself to read more. 

Overall this book was not for me. But I still recommend it. I think it would actually be a good Sci-Fi. 

Review: Wolf by Wolf

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Wolf by Wolf by: Ryan Graudin

My Rating: 1 of 5 Stars

Her story begins on a train.

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule. To commemorate their Great Victory, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s Ball in Tokyo.

Yael, a former death camp prisoner, has witnessed too much suffering, and the five wolves tattooed on her arm are a constant reminder of the loved ones she lost. The resistance has given Yael one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female racer, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move.

But as Yael grows closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

Beware spoilers ahead!

DNF

This book was recommended to me by my dear GR friend Chantal! Click on her name to read her review. 

I had been hearing about this book for quite a while. I never paid attention to it. It wasn’t until I came across Chantal’s review that I decided to give it a go. Unfortunately it wasn’t for me.

The book begins in the year 1944. Yael and several other Jews are being transferred to a death camp. Everyone around Yael is either screaming or crying. Once they reach their destination the men and women are separated. Yael sticking to her mother comes across a very peculiar man. He continues to stare at Yael. Eventually he tells one of his people to get Yael sent to a lab for experiments.

The reason I couldn’t finish this book is because of the experiments. Yael was 6 when she was experimented on. To me it was horrifying. I kept on cringing when I read the first chapter. I should’ve known that I wouldn’t be able to finish this because of the experiments.

Overall this book was not for me. But I still recommend it to fans of dystopia and sci-fi.  

Review: Under the Never Sky

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Under the Never Sky by: Veronica Rossi

My Rating: 2 of 5 Stars

Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.

As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions.

They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers a barbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers. Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love – one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY

The first book in a captivating trilogy, Veronica Rossi’s enthralling debut sweeps you into an unforgettable adventure.

Beware spoilers ahead!

DNF

This book was recommended to me by my dear GR friend Reynita! Click on her name to read her review.

I had heard about this book a few years ago. Back when it came out Under the Never Sky was extremely popular. At that time dystopian books were popular. I didn’t think much of it at that time. It wasn’t until I got a personal recommendation from Reynita that I considered reading it. I was in the mood for a well done dystopian book with a good romance. Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy it. 

The book begins with Aria and her friends sneaking out. She hasn’t heard from her mother for awhile so Aria assumes the worst and wants to find her. She’s convinced some guys to take her and her best friend Paisley.

Things don’t really go that well. They manage to sneak out but Aria finds out that the guy leading them keeps wanting to touch her. And he tells her that if she doesn’t agree to him he’ll rat her out. Realizing what a terrible position their in Aria and Paisley try to come up with ways to sneak out. 

I couldn’t bring myself to finish this book because of the weird sentences. While the writing style was alright there were odd sounding sentences here-and-there. I had a hard time trying to understand some of these sentences so I DNFed it. I’ve rated this a two star because the plot does sound interesting as is the world they live in.

Overall I did not enjoy this book. I recommend it to fans of dystopian books and anyone who likes a well done romance. 

Review: The Trials

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The Trials by: Stacey Kade

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

After being on the run, Ariane Tucker finds herself back where she started—under the cruel control of Dr. Jacobs, head of the research facility that created her. Now she must participate in the upcoming trials; a deadly competition pitting her against other alien hybrids, each representing a rival corporation.

But Ariane is no one’s weapon. She is prepared to die if it means taking down those involved in Project Paper Doll. They destroyed all that she holds dear, including Zane Bradshaw, the one person she trusted and cared for the most—the person she was forced to leave behind, bleeding and alone.

As her plan takes shape Ariane will need to depend on, now more than ever, the other side of her heritage—the cold, calculated instincts born from her alien DNA. With Zane gone she has nothing left to lose.

With heart-pounding action, and plenty of surprises, the gripping conclusion to Stacey Kade’s Project Paper Doll series delivers a powerful finish that will keep fans hooked to the very end.

Beware spoilers ahead!

Ever since I read Kade’s former series The Ghost and the Goth I have been a fan of hers. Last year I decided to actually get into this series. After reading the sequel I couldn’t wait to read this book! I am happy to report that this was a great book!

The book begins with a prologue in Ariane’s point of view. She’s at GTX and now has to enter the trials. In order to do so she temporarily stops a soldiers heart. At this point she is listening to everything Dr. Jacobs tells her to do. When Ariane reaches the trials she will find a way to destroy the trials and anyone else who ran it. Even if it means she’ll die in the process.

You are then taken to the first chapter which takes place a month after The Hunt. Ariane is doing sit-ups. She’s started some hardcore training for the trials. And in the background Rachel is ranting. Apparently she now works as Dr. Jacobs intern. Rachel basically gets paid to ‘watch’ Ariane. Ariane assumes that Dr. Jacobs has set this up as a way to get a reaction from her.

Ariane tries her best to tune Rachel out. But eventually she stops what she’s doing and responds to Rachel’s rant. Which prompts a nasty reaction from Rachel. Almost like she thought that she was talking to walls. The two of them get in a bit of a fight. Then Dr. Jacobs arrives with Rachel’s money.

Once Rachel leaves Dr. Jacobs tries asking Ariane what was their fight about. She doesn’t give him an answer and instead he decides to talk about the trials. They’ll begin a week from where chapter starts. And it’s taking place in California. Aside from that Dr. Jacobs does not know anything. Everything else is on the down low. The next day Dr. Jacobs wakes Ariane up and has her get ready. It is revealed that the trials are taking place early.

This book was so good! Even better than the sequel! It was much darker than The Hunt. And there was way more action. From the minute Ariane reaches the trials it’s a roller coaster of emotions and action. There were high revelations! And some character deaths.

The character arcs were very well done in this book! Ariane wants to go through and find a way to stop the trials from ever happening again. If that means she’ll have to die along with the people who run it and the competitors, she’s content with that. Ariane believes that she isn’t meant to live a very long life. And that everything in her life has lead her up to this moment. Surprisingly it wasn’t annoying to read about the fact that she gave up on living. While it was sad that she thought that way I understood her reasoning. Zane’s finally found a way to not be useless. He’s now just like Ariane. And he feels great. Throughout the book he constantly tells himself and Ariane that he’s happy with how he is only to find out that having abilities isn’t all that cracked up to be. I enjoyed reading about Zane. It was interesting to see him change his mind and come to few a realizations.

We are introduced to a few new characters. It was actually pretty cool to read about Dr. Emerson John. I can’t really say that about the other characters because I didn’t like them. Dr. John’s research was fascinating as well as his take on the hybrids. Ford and Carter came in along with Rachel. I really loved Carter and Ford. There brother and sister relationship was sweet to read about. While I still don’t like Rachel I understood her more and really felt for her.

It was interesting to read about the trials. I truly did not expect it all to go down the way it did. I loved how throughout the whole book it was questionable whether or not the hybrids are all evil based on their genetic make-up and the reason’s behind their creation. The Good or Evil theme was pretty cool! The ending was realistic considering the characters and their situations. While it isn’t the happiest ending I understood why it had to end that way.

I gave this a four star because while I love the series I simply did not love this book. I felt that there should’ve been some more strings to be tied up. But alas it was still a good conclusion.

Overall this was a good conclusion to the series! I recommend it to fans of light-hearted Sci-Fi and fans of the author.

Review: The Hunt

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The Hunt by: Stacey Kade

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Ariane Tucker has finally escaped GTX, the research facility that created her. Now that she’s on the run, Zane Bradshaw is the only person she can trust. He knows who-and what-she is and still wants to be part of her life.
But accepting Zane’s help means putting him in danger.

Dr. Jacobs, head of GTX, is not the only one hunting for Ariane. Two rival corporations have their sights set on taking down their competition. Permanently.

To protect Zane and herself, Ariane needs allies. She needs the other hybrids. The hybrids who are way more alien and a lot less human. Can Ariane win them over before they turn on her? Or will she be forced to choose sides, to decide who lives and who dies?

Beware spoilers ahead!

I have always been a fan of Stacey Kade’s books. A few years ago I used to read her first series The Ghost and the Goth and I loved it! I had decided to start reading this series last year and I do not regret that choice!

The book picks up from right where it left off. Ariane and Zane are in a dumpster trying to reach for her father’s emergency bag. Ariane is attempting to reach it but because of her height she can’t. Zane reaches the bag and gives it to Ariane. They go through the bag and find fake passports and a lot of money.

They also find a letter that is meant for Ariane. Zane gives Ariane some privacy to read the letter. As she reads the letter she finds out the information that was revealed to her at the end of the last book. Along with more. According to her father Ariane will have to worry about David Laughlin and Emerson St. John. Both men have taken Alien DNA and Human DNA and created people like Ariane. Both men are also her competitors in the trials. And Laughlin will want her dead if she remains in the USA.

Ariane realizes that she has put Zane in even more danger now that she has Laughlin after her. And possibly St. John. At this point she can’t bring herself to tell Zane so the two set off. They find a truck that was left for Ariane and they leave to find Zane’s mom.

This book actually surprised me! I liked it a little more than I did the first one. The plot was really interesting and there were some big reveals in this book. It was nice that this book wasn’t as info-dumpy as the first one. There was more action in this book! Ariane and Zane immediately set off to accomplish a plan.

I loved reading about the character development in this book! Ariane starts to develop teamwork skills as she’s always worked on her own before. When Ariane meets the new hybrids she finds herself a family. It was really sweet! When Zane meet his mother his whole world is turned upside down. He doesn’t know who she is anymore and whether he really is like her. Throughout the book Zane feels that he is useless to Ariane’s plan. Especially after meeting some of the other hybrids. He wishes that he could help her more than he already does.

The other hybrids were really interesting to read about! I honestly thought that they would be these monstrous hybrids. But I was proven wrong as I read more. While yes they have more of their Alien side they do care about each other. And family is very important to them. Laughlin is even more disgusting than Jacobs! I felt like vomiting when I read a certain scene in the book. St. John makes an appearance in the book but doesn’t really do anything until the last chapter. You literally know nothing about St. John in this book. But he is a main character in the last book.

There are more interactions with Ariane and Zane. More romantic moments. Which was fun to read about! I love reading Kade’s romances because while the characters love each other they’re also best friends. It was nice to read about Ariane actually getting closer to Zane.

After reading three other books from Kade (four including The Rules) her plot does become a bit predictable. I knew who Zane’s mother would be. Considering Zane’s arc it does kind of become obvious what becomes of Zane at the end of this book. It wasn’t annoyingly predictable. Simply predictable. Also this is a light-hearted Sci-Fi series. Kade focuses more on the characters and their development rather than the science behind Project Paper Doll. This is a four star because while I love the plot I just didn’t love this book.

Overall this was a great book! I’m reading the last book right now and it’s so good! I recommend it to fans of the author, and anyone looking for a light-hearted Sci-Fi.

 

Review: Starflight

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Starflight by: Melissa Landers

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

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…

Beware spoilers ahead!

This book was recommended to me by my GR friend Alyssa! I had heard about this book from Netgalley. Around the time Passenger was available for request. At the time I didn’t think much of it. It sounded like some space book that I wouldn’t enjoy. It wasn’t until I read Alyssa’s review that I was sold! I do like reading Sci-Fi books with a large focus on the characters. And I am happy to say that I did enjoy this one!

The book begins with Solara waiting and hoping for someone to choose her as an indenture. The first woman who Solara approaches denies her because Solara is a criminal. In this world criminals have to get tattoos on their knuckles. So that people can identify them as criminals.

Solara has been offered a job position on the Fringe. An Outer Realm that won’t care about her tattoos or the crimes she’s committed. There are no rules in the Fringe. Which is exactly why Solara is desperate to become an indenture. At this point she is the only indenture that it left. Solara sees a girl passing by and offers her services as a maid. The girl ignores her. The girl’s boyfriend says that he’ll definitely be interested in her services.

The girl’s boyfriend turns out to be non-other than Doran Spaulding. The guy who made her high school life absolutely miserable. The two converse for a bit. Then Doran offers Solara to be his indenture. Seeing no other choice she agrees.

During the month Doran has mistreated Solara repeatedly. He sends her on the most ridiclous chores (get his clothes, fetch him water, etc.), and he doesn’t allow her to get a full night’s sleep. Solara does not say anything to him, because angering him means getting dumped off in the middle of nowhere.

That night Doran calls Solara to his room. He asks her to help him with some of his work. As she is starting up the tablet, Doran freezes and stares at her hands. Solara realizes that she forgot to put on her gloves. Doran tries to get her to explain what crime did she commit. But she doesn’t tell him because she doesn’t like to talk about it and it doesn’t really concern him.

Out of nowhere he kicks her out of his room and resumes his work. Solara is shocked by this but decides to brush it off and go to bed. The next day she realizes that there is something definitely wrong. Doran hasn’t called her for his morning snack and so forth. Then she receives an instruction for her to meet Doran outside.

She does so and he informs her that because she wasn’t honest with him he’s kicking her out. Solara explodes because he didn’t have to know about the crime she committed and thus far she had been listening to his every command. She finally tells him everything she’s wanted to tell him. They fight for a bit until it becomes clear to Solara that she’s doomed.

Then an idea strikes her. Solara carried her taser with her just in case of dire emergencies.  Once you taser someone they lose their memory temporarily. If she can taser him she may be able to steal some of his money so that she can pay for her own expenses. The idea doesn’t sit well with Solara but it’s either that or die. Solara pretends to make peace with Doran and tasers him. She makes a dash for the ship to transfer the money. But then realizes that she’ll have to tag him around the entire way.

Doran wakes up with no memory of anything and feels like he’s had a really bad hangover. Solara lies and tells him that he was indentured to her. And that they will need to do some shopping for supplies.

While in the mall Solara buys Doran some medicine and gets her supplies. The mall guards start yelling for Doran and she makes a mad dash for the ships that are set up. She chooses the Banshee and offers to pay them double the price if they could leave right away for the Fringe. The Captain agrees and they are whisked off.

I seriously did not except to like this book this much! I had a basic idea of what was going to happen but man am I impressed. I’m surprised I’ve never heard of this author until December 2015!

I liked how the author created the world. It was interesting and I was happy that it didn’t confuse me as most Sci-Fi’s do. The book switches back and forth between Solara and Daron, all in third person. The writing style is good and I enjoyed reading about Doran and Solara! The plot doesn’t really show itself until much later in the book. The plot was always present it’s just that our characters were kept out of the dark.

The characters are very complex and have a lot of layers to them. The minute you assume you know what they are like the book surprises you. When readers meet the crew of the Banshee there’s more than meets the eye to every character on board.

Solara has been an orphan for as long as she can remember. She’s been told by the Nuns who ran her group home, that because her parents couldn’t afford her they left her in their care. Solara wasn’t the best example of a student. She went to detention quite a bit. But she has  an incredible talent with fixing machines. Thus she went to a private school run by Doran’s father. Solara unlike Doran is more gifted at being a mechanic. Which is what started the feud between them. Solara didn’t get to graduate from the academy because of the crime she committed. She didn’t hurt anyone and she thought that she was doing a greater good by committing the crime.

Doran is extremely rich. His father runs this well known company and Doran works with him. Doran out of pure jealously of Solara started making her life miserable in high school. He lost some of his fathers respect when Solara won an award and Doran didn’t. He does have a past but I’m not going to reveal it because that would spoil the whole book for you.

In the beginning Doran was not at all likable. He was awful and actually thought of himself like a God because of his status and his money. It isn’t until his friends believe that he committed a crime that he starts to become appealing. Doran actually became one of my favourite characters! Solara is likable and hard-working. Circumstances have hit her hard she can’t achieve everything she deserves. Renny is a very nice person but is also a kleptomaniac.  He’s an extremely gifted thief who almost never gets caught. Cassia spends most of her time yelling at Kane, but aside from that she’s a good person and is an excellent healer. Kane is their resent cook. He’s also a major flirt. Kane and Cassia remain mysterious for a majority of the book. Captain Rossi is like a father to all of them. They are one very weird but happy family.

The romance is really slow burn. Which was good considering how Doran treated Solara in the beginning. It was lovely to read about how they gradually became friends and something more! I’d have to say this is one of the most beautiful romances I have ever read.

The book also does have some important themes present. I liked how it focused on the regrets we have and working our way to make it up to the people we care about. Also the importance on acceptance and family was lovely!

I should add that this is light-hearted Sci-Fi. Meaning that there is more focus on the characters and relationships rather than the world. It didn’t bother me at all because I like my Sci-Fi books like that. Also because the plot doesn’t come until later on it’s quite slow. Again I didn’t have a problem with this because I knew that going into the book. As for my rating. While I thoroughly enjoyed this book I didn’t love it. Hence the four star.

Overall this was a great book! I am looking forward to reading the sequel! I recommend it to everyone because there’s something in here that I think everyone will like.