cover image Starflight


Melissa Landers. Hyperion, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-4847-2324-1

Landers (the Alienated series) begins an SF series with a fast-paced story featuring palpable chemistry between its two leads. In the far future, Solara Brooks hopes to indenture herself for passage off Earth in order to escape the stigma of the felony convictions tattooed on her knuckles. Unfortunately, she has to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, a former classmate and heir to a powerful fuel corporation. Doran can't stand Solara, and when he finds out about her convictions and threatens to have her kicked off the ship, Solara has to make a choice. One stun gun and a kidnapping later, Solara and Doran find themselves on the Banshee, a ragtag ship with an equally ragtag crew that includes a kleptomaniac and a captain with a marsupial living in his pocket. As the Banshee dodges police, pirates, and assassins, the crew discovers a conspiracy with galactic ramifications. Solara and Doran have distinct voices, highlighted in alternating chapters, while the other characters switch between being badasses and lovable goofs. Equal parts action and comedy, Landers's story should leave many readers awaiting the sequel. Ages 12%E2%80%93up. Agent: Nicole Resciniti, Seymour Agency. (Feb.)