Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (294)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: Iceling
Author: Sasha Stephenson
Release Date: December 13, 2016
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin imprint)

From Goodreads:

Lorna’s adopted sister, Callie, is part of a mysterious group of non-lingual teens, Icelings, born on a remote Arctic island, who may not be entirely human. Now Callie wants to go home.

Seventeen-year-old Lorna loves her adoptive sister, Callie. But Callie can’t say “I love you” back. In fact, Callie can’t say anything at all.

Because Callie is an Iceling—one of hundreds of teens who were discovered sixteen years ago on a remote Arctic island, all of them lacking the ability to speak or understand any known human language.

Mysterious and panicked events lead to the two sisters embarking on a journey to the north, and now Lorna starts to see that there’s a lot more to Callie’s origin story than she’d been led to believe. Little does she know what’s in store, and that she’s about to uncover the terrifying secret about who—and what—Callie really is.

This sounds so weird! And very different. I'm super curious about this remote Arctic island aspect. If it leads to some kind of weird experiment or aliens or something.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Me on As I Descended

Title: As I Descended
Author: Robin Talley
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins imprint)

Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are their school's ultimate power couple—even if no one knows it but them. Only one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey. Golden child Delilah is a legend at the exclusive Acheron Academy, and the presumptive winner of the distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. She runs the school, and if she chose, she could blow up Maria and Lily's whole world with a pointed look, or a carefully placed word. But what Delilah doesn't know is that Lily and Maria are willing to do anything—absolutely anything—to make their dreams come true. And the first step is unseating Delilah for the Kingsley Prize. The full scholarship, awarded to Maria, will lock in her attendance at Stanford―and four more years in a shared dorm room with Lily. Maria and Lily will stop at nothing to ensure their victory—including harnessing the dark power long rumored to be present on the former plantation that houses their school. But when feuds turn to fatalities, and madness begins to blur the distinction between what's real and what is imagined, the girls must decide where they draw the line.

As I Descended is haunting, secretive, and atmospheric. Here are the many sides, the many faces of teens under pressure, haunted by their pasts and their futures, and how far they'll go to get what they want.

Maria is calm and collected on the surface, secretive and cautious down below. She's not about to rock the boat, to up end everything and everyone's hard work. She's fine staying back from the front, steering clear of the ghosts in her past. But they're always there. Haunting her. Following her. Calling to her, telling her they can help her, that she knows what she must do. But sometimes the ghosts aren't the ghosts she knows.

Lily is worried, near panic. She can't lose Maria, not as a girlfriend or as support. She can't lose everything they've worked toward, and she can't stand to see Delilah win everything as she lies and manipulates her way to the top. Not after Delilah hurt her so badly. Lily has a plan to keep her and Maria together, a plan that Maria has to follow through with. Lily pokes and prods, nudges at her to finally do something, and discovers she has to be the strong, ruthless one if they want to succeed.

This is a retelling of one of Shakespeare's classics, a tale of guilt and ghosts, of hatred and revenge and competition. What better place to set it than a high school, than a Southern boarding school full to the brim with geniuses, overachievers, and entitled white teens. What better setting than a former plantation marked by slavers and some rather suspicious and horrific deaths in its past.

In order to properly nail a revenge story, all the characters need agency. They need actual, credible reasons for doing what they do, for acting in order to ruin someone else's life. And all the characters here have that agency. This retelling was creepy. It was easy enough, as I read it, to picture myself on the grounds of the school, watching from the sidelines as events unfolded. As the first one fell. As the next one died. As the ghosts rose up. A must-read.

(I downloaded an e-galley of this title from HarperCollins through Edelweiss.)

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Me on This Week's Book Week (221)

This Week's Book Week is rather similar to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews only with far more rambling and a less witty title. ;)

Hi all! More summer weather, more of the same.

No books this week! I couldn't get out to the library or read much this week. I've pulled something in my neck quite badly, it's made sleeping and focusing on things a bit tricky, but hopefully it'll get better soon.

Reviews going up this coming week will feature As I Descended by Robin Talley (Tuesday) and The Graces by Laure Eve (Friday). :)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Me on Wink Poppy Midnight

Title: Wink Poppy Midnight
Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
Release Date: March 22, 2016
Publisher: Dial Books (Penguin imprint)

Every story needs a hero. Every story needs a villain. Every story needs a secret. Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous. What really happened? Someone knows. Someone is lying.

Wink Poppy Midnight is whimsical and complicated, a book about people, about how we see them and how they see the world.

Poppy is beautiful, popular, and ruthless. Everything she wants soon becomes hers. Including people. There's an apathy that runs deep in her, that stems from being denied by someone she wanted to matter to and being ignored by her parents. Midnight is a lonely boy, missing his mother and older brother, worried about his quiet father. But he's thrilled to have escaped Poppy in a sudden move to the edge of town. Once foolishly in love with her, he soon saw she didn't care in the same way. That she was only using him, lying to him. Wink is the dreamer, the girl who lives in books, in fables and tales. Who sees into the hearts of people. Because of who they are, because of what they think and what they do, it's hard to find any of them reliable characters, especially Wink, or likable characters, especially Penny. But those flaws make them realistic.

This is one of those hard to describe books. One of those whimsical and lyrical and imaginative books that don't shy away from the darker side of people. From the needy side and the obsessive side. The angry side. It also doesn't hide the magical side, the sides where summers are about picking strawberries and lazing about in haylofts and seeing stories and fantasies in real life. It's a book where I can't say if I liked it or not. But would I recommend it? Definitely. If you're a reader looking for something different, for something contemporary mixed with something magical. Something featuring three very different voices. Something that makes you question who is the hero and who is the villain.

(I borrowed a copy of this book from the library.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (293)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: Journey's End
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (Penguin imprint)

From Goodreads:

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins brings us a riveting middle grade fantasy-adventure, perfect for fans of Lisa Graff.

The town of Journey's End may not literally be at the end of the world, but it sure feels like it to Nolie Stanhope. Spending the summer with her scientist father in the tiny Scottish village isn't exactly Nolie's idea of a good time, but she soon finds a friend: native Journey's Ender Bel McKissick. 

While Nolie's father came to Journey's End to study the Boundary--a mysterious fog bank offshore--Bel's family  can’t afford to consider it a threat.  The McKissick’s livelihood depends on the tourists drawn by legends of a curse. Still, whether you believe in magic or science, going into the Boundary means you'll never come back. 

…Unless you do. Albert Etheridge, a boy who disappeared into the Boundary in 1914, suddenly returns--without having aged a day and with no memory of the past hundred years. Then the Boundary starts creeping closer to the town, threatening to consume everyone within.

While Nolie's father wants to have the village evacuated, Bel's parents lead the charge to stay in Journey's End. Meanwhile, Albert and the girls look for ways to stop the encroaching boundary, coming across an ancient Scottish spell that requires magic, a quest, and a sacrifice.

Oh, magical, fantastical middle grade. How I love you. This sounds super sweet, too. I love the idea here, the little Scottish village and the fog bank and the mystery surrounding it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Me on Been Here All Along

Title: Been Here All Along
Author: Sandy Hall
Release Date: August 30, 2016
Publisher: Swoon Reads (Macmillan imprint)

Gideon always has a plan. His plans include running for class president, becoming head of the yearbook committee, and having his choice of colleges. They do NOT include falling head over heels for his best friend and next door neighbor, Kyle. It's a distraction. It's pointless, as Kyle is already dating the gorgeous and popular head cheerleader, Ruby. And Gideon doesn't know what to do. Kyle finally feels like he has a handle on life. He has a wonderful girlfriend, a best friend willing to debate the finer points of Lord of the Rings, and social acceptance as captain of the basketball team. Then, both Ruby and Gideon start acting really weird, just as his spot on the team is threatened, and Kyle can't quite figure out what he did wrong.

Been Here All Along is a sweet, fast-paced story about friendships, relationships, changes, and being willing to trust those close to you with the truth, even when it descended into cliché and shallowness.

Gideon is the over-achiever, the super smart and super dedicated teen boy ready to take on the world and lead his peers as class president. He's a little awkward, he's a little short, and after some serious pondering and being honest with himself, he's nursing a major crush on his next-door neighbour and best friend. Now, how to hide it from everyone when he's a little obvious whenever he looks at him. Kyle is the sociable athlete with the cheerleader girlfriend, the sort of openly bisexual athlete. He's happy with Gideon at his side, with Ruby as his girlfriend, with basketball. But when there's a change in English teachers, things aren't as easy as they used to be. He's trying his hardest, putting in all the extra hours he can, but he's still not getting it. He needs Gideon to help him more than ever now, if things weren't a little awkward between them.

A fair amount of this book takes place in the high school both boys and Ruby attend, but it might as well be an empty building full of people. Days pass, time moves on, and there is character development, but I got nothing, felt nothing, from the setting. There was talk of classwork and teachers, a lot of Kyle's struggles center around school, but it was like a non-entity. Kyle is captain of the basketball team, but the important game was barely mentioned. Gideon wants to be class president, but where's all the planning and the campaigning?

This is a good book to pick up if you're looking for something quick, sweet, and a little silly. Gideon and Kyle are characters that are complicated when they're alone, supportive when they're together. There were some other characters, like Ruby, that felt like stereotypes and clichés, that felt flat and only there to serve a purpose as a vague nemesis/misunderstood character. A cute and fluffy book about two teen boys realizing they like each other more than friends, yes, but I was lost looking for something deeper.

(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Raincoast Books.)

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Me on This Week's Book Week (220)

This Week's Book Week is rather similar to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews only with far more rambling and a less witty title. ;)

Cripes, it sure has been hot here this past week. And the heat is sticking around for another few days. *melts into a puddle* And because it's nice and breezy, and because things are still blooming and seeding, I've been so tired and stuffed up.

I have a review buffer! It's been ages since I've had one, and one that goes on for a few weeks! This comes from me having time on public transit to read last week and I'd end up going through a book a day. Which I've missed. I love speeding through books.

So I picked up The Beauty of Darkness from the library the other day. Would you like to see a review of it? I was thinking about it, considering I reviewed the other 2 in the trilogy, but because of all the books that are coming out in September and October, it might not be posted until late October. Would that be okay?

Reviews going up this coming week will feature Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall (Tuesday) and Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke (Friday). :)
Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter (ARC from Raincoast Books)
The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson (e-book borrowed from the library)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Me on The Shadow Hour

Title: The Shadow Hour
Author: Melissa Grey
Release Date: July 12, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press (Random House imprint)

Everything in Echo's life changed in a blinding flash when she learned the startling truth: she is the firebird, the creature of light that is said to bring peace. The firebird has come into the world, but it has not come alone. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and Echo can feel a great and terrible darkness rising in the distance. Cosmic forces threaten to tear the world apart. Echo has already lost her home, her family, and her boyfriend. Now, as the firebird, her path is filled with even greater dangers than the ones she's already overcome. She knows the Dragon Prince will not fall without a fight. Echo must decide: can she wield the power of her true nature—or will it prove too strong for her, and burn what's left of her world to the ground?

The Shadow Hour is a continuation, a mad dash to hide and a madder dash in search of answers, of allies and survivors and knowledge. A race to stay alive and out of the shadows.

Echo is now full of power, full of fire. Full of whispers of past vessels long dead. She's still focused, still determined to protect those she cares for, those she loves and holds close. Like Caius. Like Rowan. Like Ivy. It's admirable, but she could get herself seriously hurt, or killed. Then who will be there to fight back against the darkness? Because when she woke up, when the firebird rose, something followed. Something deadly and full of shadows. Something ready to consume.

Caius' search for the firebird is now over but his draw to Echo is still there, combined with the new need to hide and survive. But he can't let go of his sister. There's a desire to save Tanith from herself, from her fury and need to rule. She's too blind with power and rage to save herself, and perhaps he's too blind with affection to see the danger in front of him.

I love the supporting characters, Ivy and Dorian and Jasper. They have their own struggles, their own missions. Their own lost feelings, their secrets and searches for places to belong to. For Ivy, it's a desire to continue being next to Echo. A desire for a continued purpose. For Jasper, after an appearance by someone fro his past, it's about his own value and self-worth. His own strength to say yes and to say no. And for Dorian, it's about a lifelong soldier being torn between his commanding officer, someone he swore he would never leave, and someone he could be willing to give up everything for.

A prophecy is fulfilled, the firebird has been found, but it's not over. There is no darkness without light, and no light without something to cast shadow. The eternal battle between light and darkness continues, striking down at safe spaces, drawing blood and claiming victims. I'm very curious as to how this trilogy will end.

(I borrowed an e-book copy of this title from the library.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (292)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: Timekeeper
Author: Tara Sim
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher: Sky Pony Press

From Goodreads:

Two o’clock was missing. 

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

The stunning first novel in a new trilogy by debut author Tara Sim, Timekeeper is perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Victoria Schwab.

Ooooo, time travel. And it's complicated time travel. And the characters aren't straight! More gay and lesbian main characters in fantasy and genre fiction! I'm really looking forward to reading this, seeing how the time travel goes and what the deal is with clock spirits and how everything goes wrong. Because it's bound to go wrong.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Me on Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy #2

Title: Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy #2
Writer: Chynna Clugston Flores
Artist: Rosemary Valero-O'Connell
Release Date: July 13, 2016
Publisher: Boom Studios/DC Comics

What the junk-Jen is missing?! The Lumberjanes and Gotham Academy crew regroup at camp to figure out how to find their missing friends.

(A bit of a quick note: I'll be doing brief reviews as the single issues come out, so they might be a little non-standard if you're used to my review layout/format.)

We're getting into the mystery now! Well, a little. There are two groups trying to figure things out. The first is Olive and Jen, who've just woken up to an invitation to dinner in a time capsule of a bedroom supposedly in Greenwood Lodge. The second is everyone else, the Lumberjanes and the rest of the Gotham Academy squad, who've made it back to camp and are currently trying to figure out their next course of action.

There's a bit of a clash between the Lumberjanes and the Academy students, the latter wanting to head back out to save Olive while the former has been in this situation before and knows they need to stock up and plan before leaving. It didn't really appear in the first issue, their different styles when it came to investigation and mystery-hunting, but it definitely does here as the story moves along.

The art is the same as the previous issue, a little cartoonish and fun, with brighter colours that lean more towards the Lumberjanes style. With the mystery moving along, with Olive and Jen now in Greenwood Lodge, slowly learning why they followed Rosie and Professor MacPhearson there, things will definitely get interesting as the series goes on.

(I purchased a copy of this issue.)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Me on This Week's Book Week (219)

This Week's Book Week is rather similar to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews only with far more rambling and a less witty title. ;)

Hi all! It got rather warm and sunny here this week, which was nice, but it made my drives home in the afternoons rather hot and stuffy.

My week of volunteering is over for another year. The group of teens this year was great, super enthusiastic and eager to write and create. It'll be interesting to see who returns next year.

I've been watching a lot of Olympics coverage in the evenings after I get home. It's all streamed online, which is great, but I wish the commentators were better, or at least the ones that also appear on TV. Sometimes they're different and I end up tuning everything out. But I still watch it. I think Canada's doing pretty good after the first week. Some of the swimmers, especially the teen girls, are amazing.

Reviews going up this coming week will feature The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey (Tuesday) and Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy #2 (Friday). :)
A Little Taste of Poison by R.J. Anderson (ARC from Simon & Schuster Canada)
Boy Robot by Simon Curtis (ARC from Simon & Schuster Canada)
The Cursed Queen by Sarah Fine (ARC from Simon & Schuster Canada)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (291)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: Spindle
Author: E.K. Johnston
Release Date: December 6, 2016
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

From Goodreads:

The world is made safe by a woman...but it is a very big world.

It has been generations since the Storyteller Queen drove the demon out of her husband and saved her country from fire and blood. Her family has prospered beyond the borders of their village, and two new kingdoms have sprouted on either side of the mountains where the demons are kept prisoner by bright iron, and by the creatures the Storyteller Queen made to keep them contained.

But the prison is crumbling. Through years of careful manipulation, a demon has regained her power. She has made one kingdom strong and brought the other to its knees, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. When a princess is born, the demon is ready with the final blow: a curse that will cost the princess her very soul, or force her to destroy her own people to save her life.

The threads of magic are tightly spun, binding princess and exiled spinners into a desperate plot to break the curse before the demon can become a queen of men. But the web of power is dangerously tangled--and they may not see the true pattern until it is unspooled.

Because of course. Because always Kate's books. Kate's books always keep me finding new things to think about, new pieces of characters and places and myself that I think about for days until I find another new piece of something else.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Me on This Week's Book Week (218)

This Week's Book Week is rather similar to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews only with far more rambling and a less witty title. ;)

Hi all! It cooled off a bit earlier in the week, then warmed up again. Which was nice, I missed a few days of walking in the evening. It looks like the rain might come back next week, though.

Quick reminder that there will be no reviews this coming week as I'll be doing my yearly volunteer spot at the downtown library with their kids writing and book camp. Reviews will be back the week of the 15th!
When the Moon was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore (e-galley from Macmillan through NetGalley)
Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke (borrowed from the library)

Friday, August 5, 2016

Me on Exile for Dreamers

Title: Exile for Dreamers
Author: Kathleen Baldwin
Release Date: May 24, 2016
Publisher: Tor Teen

Tess Aubreyson can't run far enough or fast enough to escape the prophetic dreams that haunt her. Dreams bring nothing but death and grief, and Tess refuses to accept that she may be destined for the same madness that destroyed her mother. Until her disturbing dreams become the only means of saving Lord Ravencross, the man she loves, and her fellow students at Stranje House. Tess's old friend, the traitorous Lady Daneska, and Ghost, the ruthless leader of the Iron Crown, have returned to England, intent on paving the way for Napoleon's invasion. Can the young ladies of Stranje House prevail once more? Or is England destined to fall into the hands of the power-mad dictator?

Exile for Dreamers is a tale of mystery and investigation, of searching for answers and preventing invasions. Of a young woman running from a future she fears while protecting those she cares about more than herself.

Tess is afraid of the future, of what it may hold for her, if what happened to her mother is anything to go by. The future, to her, means a descent into madness and darkness. It means becoming overwhelmed by the prophetic visions and dreams that strike her with no warning or reason. She spends her mornings running, both literally and metaphorically. Running from the future. Running from the connection between Lord Ravencross and herself. Running instead of admitting that she needs help, that she needs the support of the other young women of Stranje House. But fear doesn't keep her frozen. It motivates her to protect those she holds dear, like Georgie and Jane, like Miss Stranje herself. Like Lord Ravencross. But she has to be careful if she makes the decision to sacrifice herself for them.

Here's a return to an alternate version of Regency England, to a version where Napoleon is free and plotting to invade England with the help of a group called the Iron Crown. To a place where standing in the way of said possible invasion is a house full of unconventional young women, each with their own secrets and curious abilities. Trained in the art of subterfuge and defense, it's these young women who will uncover secret plans and protect England from its shadowed enemies.

I was looking forward to how this series continued after reading the first book. I like the sound of this house, of these young women cast aside by family members and polite society only to end up in a place where they'll be taught, where their skills will be strengthened and utilized. Respected instead of feared or avoided. This is a house of secrets, of skeletons in closets and hearts left bruised. I'm definitely looking forward to the next book, to see how far the plots and plans stretch out towards England and what is invented next.

(I borrowed a copy of this title from the library.)

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (290)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: A Darkly Beating Heart
Author: Lindsay Smith
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan imprint)

From Goodreads:

A time-travel story that alternates between modern day and 19th century Japan as one girl confronts the darkness lurking in her soul.

No one knows what to do with Reiko. She is full of hatred. All she can think about is how to best hurt herself and the people closest to her. After a failed suicide attempt, Reiko’s parents send her from their Seattle home to spend the summer with family in Japan to learn to control her emotions. But while visiting Kuramagi, a historic village preserved to reflect the nineteenth-century Edo period, Reiko finds herself slipping back in time into the life of Miyu, a young woman even more bent on revenge than Reiko herself. Reiko loves being Miyu, until she discovers the secret of Kuramagi village, and must face down Miyu’s demons as well as her own.

I've seen a lot of people say how good this book is, how raw and powerful it is. But even without those comments, the description definitely has me hooked. Japan? Flawed, complicated heroine? Some vague kind of time travel? Secrets and demons? YES.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Me on Starflight

Title: Starflight
Author: Melissa Landers
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

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...

Starflight is a dangerous race across the stars, from planet to planet, running from the authorities and searching for the truth.

Solara is technically intelligent, great at mechanics and repair work. She's not the best at interpersonal relationships or judging people. Especially considering she trusted the wrong person and she's now a known felon with a serious record. Doran is rich, pampered, secretive, and pompous. There's a skeleton or two in his closet, but his day-to-day life includes partying, making out with clueless girls, and doing whatever he feels like without question or regard for other people. The two are like oil and water, like two magnets repelling each other. Until their roles are reversed. Until someone starts shooting at them, hunting them down. Then they're forced to work together on a ship full of secrets.

How refreshing was it to read a book about bad people! Well, maybe we'll call them not good people. Because they're not. Solara is a felon by mistake, but she's rather honest when she tricks Doran into being her indentured servant, spending his money on frivolous things. Doran grew up rich and entitled, which means he has no idea how the other side lives, how it can be a struggle to make enough money to pay for food or rent or fuel, and before his life tanks, he has absolutely no interest in knowing. These two are massively flawed, there were a number of chapters when I found them unlikable. Even at the end, when most of the plot of this book was resolved, I didn't completely like them. They kept me reading, their abrasive personalities and foolish, rushed decisions.

Overall, I thought it was good. I like the outer space setting, the start on Earth and the gradual move away and into deep space where the law doesn't exist and everyone must fend for themselves. A lot of different things happened, from space pirates to bounty hunters to kidnappings to near deaths. Almost too much. But I'm curious as to what will happen next, knowing the second book will be headlined by different characters.

(I borrowed a copy of this book from the library.)