Review: Starflight by Melissa Landers

Author: Melissa Landers
Series: Starflight #1
Genre: YA, sci-fi, romance
Pub Date: February 2nd, 2016
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Purchased

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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…



TITLE: boring | nothing special | pretty good | caught my eye | perfection | music to my ears
COVER: not my favorite | goes well with rest of the series | boring | generic | pretty | series cover change | beautiful | HEART EYES
POV: 1st | 2nd | 3rd limited | 3rd omniscient | multiple POVs | too many POVs
CONCEPT: original as heck | run of the mill in genre | average | has potential | great idea, bad execution
MOOD: dark | hilarious | light hearted | romantic | depressing | suspenseful | fluffy | mysterious
PACING: snail’s pace | couldn’t keep up | mix of fast and slow | slow in the wrong places | fast in the wrong places | what even is pacing?
CHARACTERS: i’m in love | couldn’t connect | too many | well developed (all) | infuriating | annoying | precious babies | underdeveloped (all)| a mix of good and bad | diverse | okay | new favorite characters
ROMANCE: none | steamy | fluffy | OTP status | cute | center stage | barely there | cheesy | instalove | slow burn | i ship it | love triangle
DIVERSITY: none | lgbtq+ | racial | religion | disabled | mental illness | body


This book was a no-brainer for me. Everyone I’m friends with on goodreads rated it 4+ stars (and this is like 10+ people) so I had little doubt I would love it. Ever since I read Illuminae, I’ve been itching for some more sci-fi goodness, so I dove into this book as soon as I could. Remember that doubt? Well, I should really stop assuming all my friends giving it 5 stars = me giving it 5 stars.

So, Starflight had an intriguing plot. To be honest, I kind of forgot what it was about when its release date rolled around, so I went into the book just expecting some sci-fi goodness. What I got? Not exactly that. The story itself was intriguing, but it moved incredibly fast almost all the time. The first 50 pages should’ve been expanded way more, and some of the lagging parts in the middle should’ve been cut. This is probably the fastest paced book I’ve ever read, but it didn’t work well at all.

This book suffered from too many plotlines. First there was the Daeva plotline, a group of people chasing after the Banshee (who I still don’t quite get?), Demarkus the pirate and his gang, the mystery of what Doran has to do, the romance subplot, the reason why the crew is so secretive, etc. Most of them were undeveloped and left me wanting more, but I also had a hard time keeping track of them all.

I’ve come to learn that I can’t truly love a book unless I love the characters, and for the first 100 pages or so, maybe more, the 2 main characters annoyed the shit out of me. Both Solara and Doran were completely unlikable and they were so wretched to one another during this time. Once you actually get into the book, they become much better characters, but I still couldn’t connect with them. They felt like just an average, cookie-cutter characters with nothing special to them. The side characters all blended together and I could never tell them apart, even at the end of the book. They were also underdeveloped, and there were too many subplots to devote time to them.

I didn’t really understand the romance. I’m a huge fan of love-hate relationships, but they didn’t just hate each other, they were horribly cruel to one another in the beginning. If Doran had treated me the way he treated Solara, there would be no way in hell I’d get with him. But, putting that aside, the relationship between them was well developed, from enemies to friends to ~more~. It was one of the better things about the book, and while I didn’t care about the characters so I didn’t really ship them, I can admit they worked pretty well together.

The one thing this book really had going was the writing. It was one of the best things–if not the best–about the novel. The author has a really great writing style, so it helped out with some of the lackluster parts of this book.

OverallStarflight was very lackluster to me. The pacing was way too fast and I couldn’t connect with the characters at all, but the writing was beautiful and the relationships between the characters were well developed. I didn’t hate this book, but it didn’t leave an impact on me at all, and there was nothing really special about it. I seem to be the black sheep with this book, so who knows? Maybe you’ll like it more than I did.


Have you read Starflight yet, or are you planning to? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!


2 thoughts on “Review: Starflight by Melissa Landers

  1. Sarah Cone says:

    I agree with you & Laura. For me it doesn’t matter how beautifully written a book is, if I can’t connect and care about the MCs then it won’t be an enjoyable read for me.
    It really is a bummer, the synopsis had me very excited to read this book because it sounded like a great concept.So yeah, I’m taking this one off my TBR.(My hubby is lucky I love him because I could totally give him a heart attack right now by telling him that my TBR actually got shorter.) 😉
    Thanks for the review, Alex! 🙂


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