It’s Melissa Landers week!  We brought you the review of Melissa Lander’s Alienated earlier and Preview today, First Reads Fridays feature one our most anticipated books of 2016, Starflight, which will be out next Tuesday, February 2nd.

From the book flap:


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…


Overall:  You may think that bringing together a runaway felon, a spoiled pretty boy, a rag-tag outlaw space crew, space pirates and intergalactic espionage would be a recipe for a hot mess, but Melissa Landers wields her writing like a stunner primed for life-saving use and gives us the most amazing intergalactic ride this side of the outer realm.  This book is a quick, fun ride.  It’s just as perfect for a cold and rainy winter night, but could just as easily be a summer beach read.  There are twists and turns you wouldn’t expect at every corner and Landers will keep you engaged to the very last page.


Judge a Book by its Cover:  This book cover is GORGEOUS. It’s so beautiful that it actually inspired an outfit.



Me Talk Pretty:  Lander’s sarcasm and wit will make you LOL your way through this book.  Here are some prime examples:

“Her best lines always arrived an hour too late.”

“It’s like English is your second language and your native tongue is Jackass.”

“If you faint among pirates, don’t bother waking up.”

Kick-Ass Factor:  Solara is a gritty space mechanic with prison tats and dirt caked under her fingernails. She’s a survivor and really quick on her feet.  You would expect her to kick everyone’s ass, but she’s also not afraid to accept help when she’s in a tight spot.

Body Count:  When one of your characters is a 7-foot tall pirate chief named Demarkus and crazy sub-cortex suppressed Daeva are on your tail, you expect their to be a BIG body count.  I won’t give anything away, but you won’t be surprised and you may even find yourself laughing or cheering along the way.

He Said/She Said:  This novel is written in Solara and Doran’s alternating viewpoints.  You get the story from both their perspectives, which endears both of them to you in ways that wouldn’t have been possible had the novel on been told from one of their POV’s.  They have a complicated relationship that slowly burns throughout the book and you’ll be grateful for the changes in narrators to bring you the evolution of them.

Don’t Believe the Hype:  This is a fun ride, beginning to end.  You’re not going to want to miss it.

Open tab/Last call: Landers has, once again, proven her Sci-Fi writing chops.  I’d keep the tab open, even if it turns out they only serve space mushrooms.

Starflight, 320 pages, published by Disney-Hyperion, expected publication date February 2, 2016.  You can preorder your copy here.

You can find more details here.