Book Review: Starflight (Starflight Book 1) by Melissa Landers

Solara grew up an orphan and has now been branded a felon, so she's more than ready to head to the outer realm where she can finally have her freedom and be respected for her skills as a mechanic... but first she needs someone to indenture her as a servant and pay for her passage. That person ends up being her high school bully, Doran, heir to the galaxy's fuel company. But things go wrong and they end up as fugitives and passengers on a small ship called the Banshee where they work together to evade authorities, find a family among the crew, and reevaluate their futures.

Book Review: Starflight (Starflight Book 1) by Melissa Landers | reading, books, book reviews, science ficiton, sci-fi romance, space opera, young adult
Title: Starflight
Book Number: Book 1 of TBA
Pages: 369
My Rating: 4 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon, Publisher


I have to admit, this isn’t a book I’d have picked up on my own—I don’t normally go for books set in space unless there’s another reason I want the book, like aliens—so I didn’t really think I’d like it. But fellow blogger Amber @ Du Livre happened to compare the book to Tangled in her review, my favorite movie, which convinced me to give it a try, and I’m so glad I did because this book was fantastic!

Despite the fact that I gave it 4 stars rather than 5, I can’t say there was anything actually wrong with it (the rating is just a matter of personal taste). So here, I’ll just list for you all the great things about the book:

– Both main characters were likeable and developed. Solara was intelligent and hardworking and had her priorities straight (I totally cheered when she took off the dress because that was the same exact idea I had, and I was glad she valued her life over her modesty because it is a major pet peeve of mine when characters would apparently rather die than let someone see them in their underwear). Doran was terrible toward Solara at first, but he was intelligent in different ways, calm under pressure, and not all bad. And both characters grew over the course of the story.

– The whole cast of characters was likeable, kind of quirky, and eclectic, but in a lovable (rather than exaggerated) way.

– The plot and backstory were complex, creative, and well-thought-out. And they totally had me gripped.

– There was lots of action but also plenty of slower moment. And there were a lot bad situations the characters got into but also some happy, fun ones (I loved their day at the festival <3). And there was fighting but also awww-worthy moments. In other words, everything was balanced, and no one thing was ever overwhelming.

– The progression of Solara and Doran from enemies to friends to lovers was perfectly paced and completely believable.

– Solara and Doran’s friendship and then relationship were touching and sweet.

– The found family aspect was sweet too—I always love that.

– This wasn’t an overall funny type of book, but I did have some laugh-out-loud moments.

So yeah, this was just a really enjoyable, well-written, fun, and sweet book! And I’m so glad I decided to read it πŸ™‚


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  1. Greg

    Ooh Starflight. I’m about halfway through and I like it. I’m not loving it but I like it- the problem is I’m after The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet and everything is paling in comparison- which sucks as I’m trying to be objective. I love Solara (so far) and Doran is growing on me. πŸ™‚ And i like the crew. In many ways this is a very similar book to Long Way- the found family elements. But I have half the book to go and can’t wait to see where it leads.

    I love that she stunned him and was perfectly willing to continue doing so if necessary lol.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Awww, yeah, I can see how that’d be a problem if you just read something similar and keep making comparisons. But maybe I ought to give that Small Angry Planet a try if they’re similar!

      Gotta give the girl credit for getting shit done, haha. It’s not like he didn’t deserve it!

      1. Greg

        Just finished. Loved it a lot more by the end. I like how their relationship evolved. And yes I think you would LOVE The Long way- very character driven (deeper than this one but this one has more action), some humor and very diverse.

        I’m ready for Starfall now!

  2. Prabhleen

    I read it way back when it was released, and I have literally the same thoughts as you!! The festival thing was the best, and I also laughed out loud a lot of times. Sci-fi isn’t my go to genre, but I was surprised that I liked this one. The only problem I had was that Doran’s character development felt a little off to me, if you get it?

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’m glad you loved it too! That festival was so fun <3 Apparently this book surprised a lot of people, it was just that good lol. I don't think I had a problem with Doran's character development? But at least that was the only problem you had πŸ™‚

  3. Geraldine @ Corralling Books

    I haven’t read it yet, but I do remember the hype about it last year! It sounds like such a special and unique book, from your review – and I’m in the mood for that right now!
    P.S. Those names are so unique! Doran and Solara? EPIC.

    1. Kristen Burns

      It was such a great book! And I thought it was unique. I definitely recommend it πŸ™‚

      They are cool names, but I think my mind kept trying to change it to Dorian lol.

  4. Ashley G.

    Oo, this sounds really good! I always hear people like this book and it sounds like maybe it’s because the book has a good balance of everything. I like everything books. Also HATE TO LOVE relationships are the best! (Although since it’s a space book, it kind of makes me think of the trend in Star Wars’ romantic relationships. . . aw, well. Obviously, Star Wars knows that hate to love relationships are the way to go.) And that cover! YEEESSS! I must read this.

    Awesome review!

    1. Kristen Burns

      It is really good, and exactly, it’s just got this great balance of everything! If you like hate to love, you’ll probably love this πŸ™‚ And I love the cover too!

  5. Dragonfly

    Tangle is a favorite too. I did carry this book around a few days. A new hobby I have now that I can read. I carry them and take pics for my bookstagram. Which reminds me… I have to message you. So I hope one day to go back and actually READ it. I love the whole bookstagraming thingy it’s fun but books are to be READ damn!
    So lot’s of hype [I remember that’s why I carry it around] Tangle, quirky, and eclectic characters, complex plot. That should be enough right? SMH!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol so your new hobby is carrying around books but not reading them? Bookstagram is just too difficult for me. I don’t have any good props, don’t have many physical books to use, etc.

      It is a great book though! Next time you carry it around you should definitely also read it πŸ˜›

  6. Amber Elise @ Du Livre

    YAAY so happy you liked this one Kristen! I was a bit worried honestly. I didn’t think I would like this one as much because Doran was SUCH a jerk, but wow that character development! AND YES! I loved their pirate family.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Well I am glad for both of us that you gave this one a try and didn’t let Doran’s jerkiness put you off lol. His character development was great! And the family was so cute <3

  7. Lola

    I keep going back and forth on whether to buy this one or not. I am pretty sure I want to read it at some point. And from your review I think there’s a good chance I will enjoy it as I do like space stories and the characters and plot sounds good too. Although I am not too fond of enemies to lovers type of romances, but it seems to go to friends in between first here, so that’s good. It also got compared to Firefly, which i did enjoy and I figured this won’t have any of the dark elements that tv series had. I like how you describe the characters, they all sounds like fun to read about. And the found family thing is something I usually enjoy in book as well. Great review!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I haven’t watched Firefly, so I can’t make a comparison there, but I wouldn’t say this book is dark. I don’t think you’d have any problem reading it. And they do go to friends first. I thought the relationship progression felt believable. I feel like this might be something you’d like πŸ™‚ Do you have a library card or anything? It’s a pretty popular book, so libraries might have it. I borrowed it from Hoopla. Thank you!

      1. Lola

        Yes I think I might enjoy this one and glad to hear the relationship progression felt believable. I don’t have a library card, here you have to pay for them and then per book as well and most books in libraries here are dutch so not sure if they would have this one. I still have some Christmas money left, so i am considering buying it with that.

        1. Kristen Burns

          Well that sucks about the libraries. Having to pay for a card and then having to pay for each book defeats the purpose of getting a card in the first place :-/ Although I’m kind of perversely happy to know the US does one thing better than the Netherlands since we generally seem to do everything wrong lol. I do think you’d like this book though!

  8. Bookworm Brandee

    I’ve had this book on my shelf forever, Kristen. I just know I’ll like it but keep passing it over. However, I think I’ll pick it up sooner than later since you liked it so well overall. I get that it isn’t your type of book – I was actually surprised to see you were reviewing it – but sometimes it’s good for us to step outside our comfort zone, right? πŸ˜‰ I’m thinking there are a few books which you added to my shelf and I’ll be reading soon that will be stretching me. πŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      I do read fun, sweet books… sometimes lol πŸ˜› It really was a fun one! I think you’ll like it. But hmm, I will be curious to see how my recs affect your reading comfort zone πŸ˜€

  9. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I get you not wanting to read books in space, but then I think space is awesome and I would totally read this book. I mean, I am feeling a physical need for this book based upon the summary alone. It is my kind of book and from your review it isn’t a total flop either. I am a fan of enemies to lovers and the fact that they’re stuck going on the run together in space, well, they just means I have to buy it. If only the price would drop a bit more I could talk myself into it.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I think maybe I’m becoming more open to space books. But if this book sounds good to you, then I definitely recommend it! Especially if you like enemies-to-lovers. And yes, I like stories where characters are stuck together whether they like it or not. Maybe you can find it at your library?

  10. Caitlin @ Words and Other Beasts

    Great review! I’ve had my eye on this for a while so I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it. The enemies to lovers trope has to be one of my favourites! It’s also great to hear you enjoyed this even though books set in space aren’t your usual thing, it shows that Starflight is obviously an all round good book.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! I definitely think you should try it, especially if you love enemies-to-lovers since I thought that part was well done. And exactly! When a book is out of you usual but you enjoy it anyway, you know it’s good πŸ˜›

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s really fun, I think you’ll like it! And it’s nice when even books that aren’t “funny” can manage to include a few lol moments πŸ™‚

  11. Lori

    I’m really hoping to read this book this year! I’m happy to hear that you liked it. I’m sometimes not a fan of enemies to friends, but it sounds like it was done well.

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s a really great book! I’m somewhat apathetic toward the enemies-to-lovers trope. I don’t like or it dislike it. But it was done really well here.