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4.6 16
by Melissa Landers

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Solara Brooks needs a fresh start, someplace where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. The outer realm may be lawless, but it's not like the law has ever been on her side.

Still, off-world travel doesn't come cheap; Solara is left with no choice but to indenture herself in exchange for passage to


Solara Brooks needs a fresh start, someplace where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. The outer realm may be lawless, but it's not like the law has ever been on her side.

Still, off-world travel doesn't come cheap; Solara is left with no choice but to indenture herself in exchange for passage to the outer realm. She just wishes it could have been to anyone besides Doran Spaulding, the rich, pretty-boy quarterback who made her life miserable in school.

The tables suddenly turn when Doran is framed for conspiracy on Earth, and Solara cons him into playing the role of her servant on board the Banshee, a ship manned by an eccentric crew with their own secrets. Given the price on both Doran and Solara's heads, it may just be the safest place in the universe.

It's been a long time since Solara has believed in anyone, and Doran is the last person she expected to trust. But when the Banshee's dangerous enemies catch up with them, Solara and Doran must come together to protect the ship that has become their home-and the eccentric crew that feels like family.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Teens will be bracing themselves during the swashbuckling space pirate action scenes... A great choice for fans of raw sci-fi action, reminiscent of the lawlessness presented in the television series Firefly."

School Library Journal

"This is a lively tale of romance, space pirates, conspiracy, and made (as opposed to genetic) families. Over the course of the book, all the characters round out nicely, as does the romance... Landers has a firm hand on the plot, which includes a rousing fight scene or two, as well as a nifty twist at the end."



"A perfect blend of sizzling romance, action, and suspense."—#1 New York Times Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout


"Filled with intrigue and suspense, this book will appeal to both sci-fi and contemporary YA fiction fans."—


"A thought-provoking take on a familiar story of integration. Fans... who like their star-crossed lovers served up with a side of sci-fi, will find this satisfying and relish the possibility of sequels."—


"Readers will love the seamless blend of suspense, humor, and romance set against an interstellar landscape. Dual narratives and a tightly plotted mystery keep the suspense running high, and the chemistry between Aelyx and Cara smolders. This is a fun, genre-blending series that is sure to appeal to a wide audience and will only gain traction as it continues."—

Publishers Weekly
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–up. Agent: Nicole Resciniti, Seymour Agency. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Her knuckles inked as a convicted felon, Solara is eager to make her way to the Fringe, the outer edge of the solar system, where society is rough and she can start over, hoping to use the mechanic skills she developed in the orphanage. In order to afford transport, however, she finds herself indentured to Doran, the snotty son of a fuel mogul who tormented her throughout high school. Solara quickly turns the tables by electronically stunning him and switching master and owner identification bracelets. After a series of mishaps, the two of them end up on board a run-down smuggling ship, the Banshee, where the lines between passenger and crew soon blur. Meanwhile, it turns out that the galaxy patrol is looking not for Solara but Doran—wanted on felony charges himself. As the two open up to each other, hate wanes and romantic sparks fly. Teens will be bracing themselves during the swashbuckling space pirate action scenes and an over-the-top climax as Doran's childhood history is revealed. VERDICT A great choice for fans of raw sci-fi action, reminiscent of the lawlessness presented in the television series Firefly.—Leah Krippner, Harlem High School, Machesney Park, IL
Kirkus Reviews
A penniless girl and a wealthy boy, enemies, are stuck together on an outer-space journey. Solara has no family, no connections, and knuckle tattoos advertising her criminal record. She wants to turn her mechanical skills into a vehicle for self-sufficient life in the outer realm, but that's far from Earth, so she needs someone to hire her for the trip and pay her passage. Enter Doran, her high school nemesis, "heir to the galaxy's largest fuel corporation [and] first-string varsity football star." Glaringly visible genre tropes include the gruff, motley spaceship crew that becomes family; the pirates and purposely brain-damaged torturers in pursuit; the alternating-between-protagonists third-person narration; and the enmity between Solara and Doran that will obviously turn to lust and love. Despite a far-future time frame and outer-space setting, Landers' worldbuilding leans on such earthly details as rubber bands, Popsicle sticks, milled cider, funnel cake, and a barn dance with fiddles (on a distant planet). There are no nonhumans or extraterrestrials, and there is little science or technology beyond the outer-space premise. The protagonists are white; their two brown-skinned shipmates (whose blond "dreadlocks" are mentioned again and again) are stereotypically angry. For multiple narrators, creativity, and suspense in outer space, see Beth Revis' Across the Universe series and Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner's Starbound series instead. The less-imaginative end of outer-space adventure romance. (Science fiction/romance. 12-16)

Product Details

Disney Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Melissa Landers (melissa-landers.com) is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn't afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public-just ask her husband and three kids. She lives outside Cincinnati and in the small town of Loveland, "Sweetheart of Ohio."

Customer Reviews

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Starflight 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
AsTheBookEnds 5 days ago
For more of my reviews, visit my blog As The Book Ends (asthebookends.com) When Doran and Solara are forced to become allies due to unforeseen circumstances, they team up with a rag tag crew of people, all of whom are running from their own pasts. Add in a clunker of a ship, and you basically have the book version of Firefly. To be entirely honest, I didn’t expect much from Starflight. I assumed that the romance would be completely cliche – you know the one I mean, guy is only mean to girl because he secretly has a thing for her, their circumstances force her to see the good in him, and then BAM – they’re in love. Fortunately, Solara and Doran’s romance was much more fun than that. Their hate at the beginning of the book is completely genuine. Doran is a spoiled, pompous jerk and Solara is reluctant to trust him and completely unwilling to like him. Over the course of the book they faced space pirates, humans who have been chemically lobotomized and love to cause pain, and deceitful, manipulative parents. The constant strife they faced bonded them in a very organic way that was a blast to read about. The secondary characters and their interactions really made this book for me. I adored the rest of the crew and am ecstatic to start the next book in the series, Starfall, which features Cassy and Kane. Landers’s knack for writing witty one-liners caused me to burst out laughing like a lunatic on more than one occasion. The one thing that kept me from rating Starflight 5 stars was the lack of suspense in the book. Although I never knew what would happen next, I also never doubted that the main characters would escape the precarious situations they were in. I didn’t experience the stomach dropping dread that comes from worrying about the lives of favorite characters. That being said, the means by which Doran and Solara escaped various situations were always clever and certainly made for an entertaining read.
Anonymous 4 months ago
I was kind of hesitant to finish this book at first because Doran was such a disappointment. But after things began moving I'm glad I read it. Hope to read more like this good story in the future.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Solara, a young unwitting felon is desperate to get off the planet and travel to the outer rim where she hopes to secure a job and start a new life as a mechanic. But her last hope comes in the form of servitude to her high school archnemesis, Doran Spaulding. Smelling the desperation on her, and warmed by the chance to torment Solara once again, Doran agrees to hire her. But the spoiled jerk may have just bitten off more than he can chew. Smacks a little of Firefly, but is not a blatent knock off. So if you are a fan of the show you'll likely enjoy this. There is also a bit of swearing, if that kind of thing bothers you, but it's pretty minor (no f-bombs) and infrequent.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Niccely done, great read, romance mixed with sci fi..
KateUnger 6 months ago
Starflight is a mildly sci-fi-y, futuristic novel with great squad goals and a hate turned love romance. Solara has aged out of an orphanage, and she’s desperate to reach the outer realm to start a mechanic job. She convinces Doran, an enemy from school, to take her on as an indentured servant, so she can gain free passage on a huge tourist vessel. With a little trickery and a stun gun, she gets Doran to believe that he is the servant. They join up with an unlikely captain and his crew, thus beginning a wild adventure. The beginning of this book almost reminded me to Titanic in space, but it quickly shifted into more of a Firefly type feel. It’s written in third person, so the romance wasn’t too angsty. The banter between Solara and Doran immediately drew me in. Then once I got attached to the characters, I was routing for them the whole way. This book is the first in a series, and while I cannot wait for the next book, there isn’t a cliffhanger at the end, so I didn’t mind that the next book hasn’t been published yet. http://opinionatedbooklover.com/review-starflight-melissa-landers/
Ambur 11 months ago
Ahhh!!! I've been considering rewatching FIREFLY lately and this made me want to do that even more!!! I remember when I first saw the cover and read the description for STARFLIGHT months ago that it sounded like it had a similar vibe to FIREFLY and it really did!! The story, the characters, it all was absolutely fantastic!!! I really, really loved this book, and I'm already eagerly looking forward to re-reading it in the future! While it did have a similar feel to FIREFLY, the plot and story in STARFLIGHT was still completely different, but it did have that whole space cowboy/bandit type feel with a cast of crewmates that are more family than coworkers. I loved that it had that same type of dynamics, and I really loved the characters!!! Solara and Doran were amazing and I loved slowly getting to know the others!! I also absolutely loved the world-building and I'm always a fan of space as a backdrop to a high-stakes adventure! If you like FIREFLY, or even just stories involving some badassery in space, I think you'll love STARFLIGHT, too. It also gets mega bonus points because I "ship" Solara and Doran so freaking much (pun totally intended :P)!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mollyreads More than 1 year ago
Actual Rating: 4.5 Loved it. This book was way more than I expected. Lately, I’ve been let down by some “pirate” novels that have come out. But this one, a sci-fi oddly enough, finally filled that need for a good story with some pirate badassery and a slow burn romance. The characters are well-developed and all around likable – from Solara and Doran to the Banshee crew. It was a very entertaining read that really had me consumed in the characters and plot.
ShopeSS More than 1 year ago
This book took me by surprise in the best ways possible. It quickly claimed a spot on my Favorites of 2016 List. Starflight is action packed, filled with witty banter, and finding your "family" in the most unexpected times. Pages could not turn fast enough and if I could, I would climb on board the Banshee and become part of the family.
bookyabber More than 1 year ago
Starflight is an action packed story where everything that can go wrong inevitably does. It’s fresh and new and exactly what I crave from YA science fiction. With subtle humor, action, and fear inducing scenes, Melissa Landers crafts a well developed, very well written space exploration story. This book is action packed and fast paced! From the very beginning until the very end, you will be drawn in and overtaken by the excitement of this book. The pace is fast and it was never dull or lacking. I was completely engrossed. The plot is best described as intense but also very clever. Several plot lines intertwined throughout the whole book, making it interesting, deep, and gripping! The characters were so perfectly created and by the end of the story, had developed exponentially. I cared for these characters almost immediately. They are so well written. The whole book is, Melissa Landers is a seriously talented writer. There is a romance in this book, but it does not, in any way, take away from the plot. It takes a backseat as the story is prominent in the foreground. That being said, the romance is still very, very enjoyable. It was subtle and real. Overall, I loved this book. I gave it 4/5 stars because I just couldn’t wrap my mind around some of the science that was incorrect. I realize that it’s fiction and anything goes, but the science was wrong and it wasn’t explained why it had worked. There weren’t any special circumstances for the science to be wrong. So there were some parts that made me cringe and for that I had to remove a star. Science not withstanding, this story was incredible. I loved the action, the complex and deep plot, the characters and their relationship toward each other, and the writing – it flowed with ease and was captivating.
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
I got this arc at SDCC and while I'm quite picky about my sci-fi, I loved the premise and was eager to read it. And it was perfect. Love love loved Solara and Doran. They don't really know each other, but they've made up their minds. It was extremely entertaining to watch their relationship evolve. The rest of the crew is fabulous and unique. I hope we get more from everyone. The plot was engaging; I was hooked right from the beginning. There's action and snark and swoons and a few twists that I didn't see coming. The ending isn't a cliffie, but I can't wait to see what happens next. **Huge thanks to Hyperion for handing out arcs at SDCC**
PaperTypeAdventures More than 1 year ago
Wow what an adventure! I absolutely loved this book! It was such a fun read! Check out my full review here: http://papertypeadventures.blogspot.com/2016/02/starflight-by-melissa-landers.html
JessicaCoffee More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars* Starlight, Starflight, how did you and I so sadly not get along right? Starflight has mostly everything one would want in a space romance: spaceships, well-written characters (and great character arcs), good looking MCs, a girl mechanic who likes to fix things, an adorable space creature, fights, tattoos, mushrooms... and yet, it still felt like something was missing. It took getting about halfway through SF to figure out why: Ms. Landers' first books (Alienated, Invaded, plus the novella--can't think of its name right now, sorry) were written in a different voice. Comical. Snarky. There was just... more to it. Starflight, however, is different (the narrator is a bit more withdrawn, maybe? and not as quick-witted), and in going into SF expecting it to be the same, I was left disappointed. (Also: I've found that many readers who never read her first series have, for the most part, really, really liked this book, which is a) great to hear, and b) confirmation that it's more of a me problem than anything.) Then, upon finishing SF, I came across this: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1031727441?book_show_action=false. I really think my reading experience would have benefitted had I seen this beforehand. You know? Because the book was written well. I DID enjoy it. There *was* romance, and it *was* sci-fi, and there *was* space travel and shenanigans. (Oh, and I've never seen Firefly or Overboard, so that's possibly another issue???) This is why I still gave it the 3.5 rating. I did like it. I just liked the other series more. So... my suggestion? If this is your first Landers read, totally check it out. You'll likely enjoy it. Not too much space stuff, a cocky jerkface and talented introverted girl who meet a bunch of people who, in turn, make them better people too, with a nice ending to boot. There are funny, sarcastic parts ("Doran," she whispered with a weak smile, "I would never accuse you of being noble." Hehe) and getting it together/growing up parts and romantical parts. If this is *NOT* your first Landers read, however, check out the blurb. Read the above linked post by the lady author herself. Then go into Starflight knowing what to expect. I still can't wait to read the next Landers book, of course, because LANDERS! *I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
NicoleMoy More than 1 year ago
4.5 star overall! "He wanted her to be the Solara he'd come to know--his Solara." - ARC Starflight is an intergalactic space travel journey like no other. The two main characters are total opposites from each other. Solara Brooks is a hardworking mechanic trying to find a way to the lawless outer realm but has a felony conviction. She is so desperate to aboard Spaceliner Zenith, she agrees to be Doran Spaulding's indentured servant for passage on the Zenith. Doran, heir to the galaxy's largest fuel corporation, was a varsity football star back when Solar and Doran were at the academy together. He ridicules her when they were in school and still does today. Unexpected circumstances occur and the duo end up on Banshee running away from the law. A vessel of misfits end up bonding over secrets and past lives while encountering space pirates! The novel is written in dual POV. The writing is fabulous and mesmerizing. Melissa Landers does a fantastic job with character development with not only the main characters but also with the secondary characters. Landers is able to capture sci-fi perfectly in Starflight. Solara is witty, independent and knows what she wants. Doran, on the other hand, is a spoiled, rich jerk. Despite their differences, they learn to become civil toward each other. Landers has done an incredible job with the slow burning romance. However, I found it interesting when Doran isn't super mad when he bumped into someone unexpected at the end of the novel. He is upset at first but then he bonds with that person like nothing ever happened. I would think Doran would hold a grudge a bit longer since it took forever for him to warm up to Solara. I highly recommend Starflight to readers who like adventure and sci-fi. I can't wait to read the companion novel to Starflight about Cassia and and Kane.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Starflight by Melissa Landers Book One of the Starflight series Publisher: Disney-Hyperion Publication Date: February 2, 2016 Rating: 5 stars Source: ARC won from a giveaway Summary (from Goodreads): 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... What I Liked: Fiction set in SPACE - I love it! Maybe I'm swept up by the Star Wars craze (cannot wait to see The Force Awakens!) but this book gave me Star Wars vibes - in a good way! A ragtag crew of fugitives and criminals, bounties on heads, pirate bosses, crazy schemes, a little thievery here and there - this book was so fun. This book reminded me of Mindee Arnett's Avalon duology, in a way. I'm really loving these space-y books! Solara is off to the fringe, the outer realm, to a newly terra-formed settlement called Vega. Problem is, she has no money to get there. She takes on an indenture with one of the riches heirs in the universe, Doran Spaulding, who relishes in making her wait on him hand and foot. But as circumstance would have it, both Doran and Solara need to leave the ship and board another, fleeing for different reasons. And while they loathe the idea of relying on each, it might be the only way to survive the journey. I LOVE this kind of science fiction. Space is a big open place that we know little about, even with all the advances and missions and telescopes that we've had and done. I love how Landers paints the picture of a spacecraft for transport, of each outpost and settlement, of how life is on Earth, in the shuttle, and so on. It's a unique system, and life in this particular world is very different from what we are used to. As always, Landers sets up the world of her story impeccably. This book is told from both Solara's and Doran's POV - third person for both. Personally, this is my favorite type of narration, in which we get to experience both the male and female protagonist exclusively, but not in first person. Landers does this well! It's clear that she's very comfortable writing in such narration, and I really enjoyed it. Solara and Doran both grow a great deal in this book, and the characterization is so well-written. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down!