Starfall is the sequel to Starflight and continues the adventures of the crew from that book, although this time the the focus is on Cassia and Kane, rather than Solara and Doran. We learned in the first book that Cassia was a fugitive from her planet, and a member of the royal family besides, while Kane is her best friend and love interest. This one picks up shortly after the first book, with the two of them running afoul of bounty hunters, and then getting pulled into the civil war happening on their home planet.
This one feels just like the first one, which I liked, it's a fast- moving space opera with a likable crew and a fun ship dynamic. I wasn't crazy about Cassia or especially Kane in the first one, so it was nice to get to know them here. They did grow on me, even if their relationship rankled at times. They're clearly in love but the civil war pulls them in different directions, and there's just too many misunderstandings and arguments for my liking. I have limited patience for situations that could be handled with communication. So that's my biggest problem.
I also thought this started a bit slow, even though the bounty hunters show up early- or maybe I just wasn't into it. I didn't think this was as strong as the first outing for about the first half, but around the halfway point my interest picked up as the story got more compelling. There are some twists and things that happen, including a mystery element about a possible traitor in the crew, that heightened my interest in the back half. It gets a little grittier too. The second half was a better book, I thought.
The other thing that struck me is, again, the realism factor. Just like in the first book some things just happen so fast. There's a situation with Cassia in the beginning that is introduced and resolved within three chapters, and that seems way too fast. I also never really felt like anyone was in danger- not really. That was lessened by the grittiness towards the end, but by and large I didn't fear for their lives much. I think if the stakes were higher it would pack more of a punch.
Having said all that, this is not a bad book. It's a perfectly good YA SF with fun characters and exotic planets, and if you like space opera and/ or liked Starflight you'll probably like this too. It's a breezy read, nothing too serious, and even though it does touch on themes of monarchy vs democracy and even drug addiction, the main theme here is fun.
Not got round to reading this yet. Really must get to it. Sounds perfect for me :-)ReplyDelete
A pretty good read!Delete
I was disappointed when I found out the second book would about Cassia and Kane rather than Solara and Doran but planned to read it anyway, so I'm glad to hear the characters grew on you and that this one still had all the same great stuff as the first, like the fast pace and the crew dynamics. As for lack of communication in books, it depends for me on the specific situation because I feel that it's oftentimes realistic---plenty of people in real life don't communicate either. Glad it was a fun book though! I'll get to it eventually :-)ReplyDelete
I was too, I didn't like them nearly as much. It's very much a similar book and they're in love but misunderstandings make it difficult. I think you'll like it but maybe not quite as much if you miss S & D too.Delete
And yes it does happen in RL and soe of it in this one was understandable, it just got a bit much for me. But not a dealbreak.
I have not heard of these books but they sound good! Thanks for sharing this great review!ReplyDelete
Thank you! They're a pretty quick read...Delete
Ugh. Misunderstandings and miscommunications ruin all the fun of reading romance for me as well. I haven't read this series yet but curious now.ReplyDelete
Yeah I'm not a fan of them either. I like realistic relationships and yes there are communication breakdowns in real life but in YA I don't want it to feel so artificial, you know? Like the misunderstanding is jsut there for the plot!Delete
This has been on my low priority TBR for ages now, and I'll probably get to reading it... eventually. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :) Great review!ReplyDelete
Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles
I think Starflight is a little better, this didn't feel like an ESSENTIAL sequel but if you like Starflight you'd probably like this too.Delete
That's exactly why even though I hate losing beloved characters, I really enjoy it when an author isn't afraid to kill them off. It makes it all that more real and the stakes and intensity higher. I love what you said about things that could be solved with communication LOL. I've met my share of couples IRL that could use that tidbit. I also like it when you are suspecting someone so that aspect appeals to me. Glad to hear the second half got a lot more interesting. Excellent review!ReplyDelete
Thank you Jaclyn. Yes this was a good story but just like the first book I just didn't feel that sense of danger to the characters. You just sorta KNEW they weren't going to die, so it was hard to get to into them. And yes about the communication! I can see breakdowns but this just felt like miscommunication for plot sake, which I know happens a lot.Delete
The traitor question was a welcome addition and did add a little tension. And the second half did get grittier, definitely. I hope you like it you ever read!
I haven't read the first book in this series yet but I do have it sitting on my bookshelf. This sounds interesting depite the slow start.ReplyDelete
Thanks Carole! Starflight's pretty good and if you like that one then this one may be your cup of tea as well. And if you like these kind of books I don't know if you've read The Long Way To A Small angry Planet but it's superb. :)Delete
This sounds like a perfectly enjoyable read but as someone who doesn't read much SF or YA I'm thinking I may want to pass. The realism sounds like it might irritate me and seriously agree on the communication! I think this is a problem that spans all genres - seriously people just TALK to each other. It makes life way easier.ReplyDelete
Yeah I don't think this is essential reading by any means. TBH if you wanted to read anything like this I would recommend The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet, that's just a phenomenal book all around.Delete
And yes- talk people! :)
I mean... I like fun, of course. Fun is good. But... so are high stakes, honestly. Sometimes I need things to feel more intense to really get invested in a book. More lately than I did before, I think. You know, I blame The 100. The stakes are always so damn high, so most books just can't compare to ALL the death and global destruction ;) I'll still probably give Starflight a go at some point, mostly because this series has pretty covers and apparently I am shallow like that :D Great review!ReplyDelete
Exactly. And I just didn't feel invested here, it was like going thru the motions and I knew they were going to make it! Starflight's okay but Long Way To A SMall Angry Planet is SO much better (don't remember if you've read that).Delete
And I agree about The 100! The pace is relentlessly quick and when I watch other shows (or read certain books) I often think they could take a page from the 100's book.
Sounds like this one might have a mild case of second book syndrome. I cannot stand stories that rely on miscommunication to create drama either so I can definitely understand where you are coming from. I still want to check out this series one day though! Thanks for the review!ReplyDelete
~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum
A little bit. I mean it's not a bad book, I just thought it's striclty average. And miscommunication is one of my pet oeeves. :) It's worth checking out though, I hope you like when you get to it!Delete
Glad that you liked this one, Greg. My sister loves YA especially science fiction. I think this will be perfect for her. I haven't read SC yet but I want to give it a try one day. Anyway, awesome review! :)ReplyDelete
It wasn't bad. It's a good YA pick. And thanks for visiting!Delete
SF is always a bit complicated for me but it's nice to see you had a nice timeReplyDelete
I think this sounds good and I ove books set in space. However, I am struggling so much with YA that I don't think it would work for me now.ReplyDelete
I already know this book is going to disappoint me. I started it the other day but haven't been able to continue. Something about Cassia and Kane's story so far just isn't really appealing to me like it did in Starflight. Plus, second-chance romances are so, so hard. I don't usually like them, and this one is no different. BUT I love YA sci-fi and Landers' books in general, so I'm going to give this book its fair shot. Here's hoping the book gets better for me!ReplyDelete
Wonderful review, Greg! Have a lovely weekend. =)
Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!
I've not read Starflight yet but the book is literally calling to me :P I see it everywhere in the blogosphere and the copies at the local bookstore are hypnotizing me :P Hopefully will get to read them soon! :) Great review Greg!ReplyDelete
I'm still not sold on this yet though I loved the first book. Glad to hear you liked it in spite of some flaws. Maybe I can enjoy it if I don't have the same expectations of the first book.ReplyDelete
I do enjoy breezy space opera, so this series might well be one for me to catch up with. Thank you for a great review, Greg:)ReplyDelete
Sounds like a decent sequel with how it had the same feel as book 1. I have Starflight on my to-read list, but haven't read it yet. Good to know this book is about different characters, I am glad to hear they grew on you when the story progressed.ReplyDelete
I'm with you Greg, I'm not the biggest fan of interpersonal issues between characters that could easily be solved if they just *talked to each other.* Ugh! But I do read a lot of romance novels, so I'm more or less used to it by now, haha. Sounds like the first book was much stronger, but I'm definitely still planning to read this duology!ReplyDelete
I've not read any of Melissa's books, but as someone who'd like to read more "space opera," I should pick these up. Since I liked (cheesiness and all) the sci-fi film with Channing Tatum (I forget its title), this might be a series I like. I'll have to look into it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!ReplyDelete