While I enjoyed Starflight, I wasn’t very sure how I would feel about this one since it wouldn’t follow my faves, Doran and Solara, and instead focusing on two different crewmembers, Cassia and Kane. But to my surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed Starfall (Starflight, #2) by Melissa Landers.
When Princess Cassia Rose fled her home world of Eturia to escape an arranged marriage, she had no idea her sudden departure would spark a war. Now after two years hiding as a ship hand, she is finally returning to her beloved home, but not in the way she imagined. Shackled by bounty hunters, she is violently dragged back to account for her crimes. Her only solace is that the Banshee crew managed to evade capture, including Kane Arric, her best friend…with occasional benefits.
Meanwhile, Kane and the rest of the crew of the Banshee plan a desperate rescue mission. But when they arrive on Eturia, Cassia isn’t exactly in need of heroics—she’s claimed her birthright as Eturia’s queen, but has inherited a war-torn planet simmering with rebellion. Cassia must make alliances, and Kane, the bastard son of a merchant, isn’t a choice that will earn her any friends. Kane knows he will never find someone to replace Cassia—and is certain she returns his feelings—but how can he throw away his own promising future waiting on a queen?
When the outer realm is threatened by the dangerous Zhang mafia, Cassia, Kane and the rest of the Banshee crew uncover a horrifying conspiracy that endangers the entire universe. In the face of unspeakable evil, Cassia must confront her own family’s complicated legacy on Eturia and decide once and for all who her real family is.
This is what I love about Melissa Lander’s writing – she always starts it off with a bang. You don’t have to worry about waiting 100 pages for the plot to actually start, oh no, it’s off and running from the very first page. And it never stops. I even felt like like there was more action in this novel than its predecessor. It was one action-packed ride that I didn’t want to get off of! Usually novels with multiple POV’s tend to suffer from one not being as interesting as another. I’m happy to say that I never felt that way with this story. Both POVs were exciting and engaging.
Cassia and Kane were both fun characters, but I think I was just so attached to Solara and Doran after Starflight that I had a harder time connecting to our two new protagonists. Cassia is strong and independent, which I guess is a good thing since she’s the crowned heir to her kingdom and nobody wants a pushover in power. However, because she is a princess and has a bit of superiority complex, I didn’t particularly agree with some of her decisions. She thought that because Kane was beneath her that they couldn’t be together, even though she had feelings for him. This would cause her to blow hot and cold towards him, making out with him one minute and then being a total asshole the next. Listen, I get that she’s got conflicting emotions but when I see fictional characters do stuff like this (it happens more often than you think), I just want to roll my eyes because I just don’t see how anyone would really act that way in real life. I guess that’s why it’s just a story, huh? And Kane… well let’s just say that Kane has his own demons in this novel to deal with. And can I just say that he is one of the most loyal characters ever?! Like, I need him to be my best friend because I know 100% that he would always have my back.
My biggest issue with this book was the way that Doran and Solara were portrayed. They were literally pushed far to the wayside and basically turned into weak shadows of themselves. I mean, they were barely in the story and when they did show up, it was just as generic side characters. Maybe this won’t bother some people who aren’t as attached to them, but it really annoyed me. I WANT MORE DORAN AND SOLARA!
As always, Landers’ writing is easy to maneuver and makes for such a quick read. She does tackle some more interesting themes in this novel than what I was expecting and I loved it. I also enjoyed that we got to see Cassia’s homeworld that was mentioned in Starflight. I really loved getting to see how the politics played out there and how it affected Cassia’s character development. I’m always a sucker for some good politics in books. The manipulation and plotting that goes into it is so intriguing.
Overall this book is just a fun quick read. It’s perfect for a beach read or when you’re just in the mood for some science fiction that isn’t heavy on the science part. While this doesn’t follow the same two main characters as the previous book, I do recommend picking up Starflight first as there are some mentions to events from that novel, but it’s not required. Just be ready for fun ride!
Final Verdict: 4/5 Stars
Have you read Starfall or Starflight? What did you think of them? Do you prefer Solara and Doran over Cassia and Kane or vice versa?