Friday, April 7, 2017

ARC Review: Shadow Run by AdriAnne Strickland and Michael Miller

Title: Shadow Run
Series: Kaitan Chronicles #1
Written by: AdriAnne Strickland and Michael Miller
Published: March 21, 2017 by Delacorte Press (Random House)
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: Firefly meets Dune in this action-packed sci-fi adventure about a close-knit, found family of a crew navigating a galaxy of political intrigue and resource-driven power games. 

Nev has just joined the crew of the starship Kaitan Heritage as the cargo loader. His captain, Qole, is the youngest-ever person to command her own ship, but she brooks no argument from her crew of orphans, fugitives, and con men. Nev can't resist her, even if her ship is an antique.

As for Nev, he's a prince, in hiding on the ship. He believes Qole holds the key to changing galactic civilization, and when her cooperation proves difficult to obtain, Nev resolves to get her to his home planet by any means necessary. 

But before they know it, a rival royal family is after Qole too, and they're more interested in stealing her abilities than in keeping her alive. 

Nev's mission to manipulate Qole becomes one to save her, and to survive, she'll have to trust her would-be kidnapper. He may be royalty, but Qole is discovering a deep reservoir of power--and stars have mercy on whoever tries to hurt her ship or her crew.

*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***

This book is pitched as Firefly meets Dune so I obviously needed to read it. I have been saving it to read during my science fiction themed month and I'm glad I didn't wait much longer because this book was everything I was hoping it would be. It's a fantastic read full of action, adventure, political intrigue, and a great sci-fi world.

For one thing this a book with amazing plot development. I say it all the time but I am a plot driven reader. My favorite books tend to be ones that take me on an exciting adventure and have thrilling action and plenty of surprises. This book had all of those things. It's definitely one of those books that is jammed packed with adventure. It slowly built to a thrilling conclusion and almost every one of the 400 pages had something going on. For the most part it has a space opera kind of vibe as the readers are taken from one part of the galaxy to another all in the name of the plot. There were thrilling escapes and acts of "thrilling heroics" as Jayne would call them. What I'm saying is that I seriously loved the plot development here and even though it is a long book that you can't really power through, it didn't feel long.

But the book also had really great character development. It alternates perspectives between Nev and Qole. When we first meet Nev he is full of secrets and trying to help his family by getting close to Qole and her crew. Qole is the captain of a ship in the outskirts of the galaxy where people, for lack of a better word, mine shadow a material that turns a profit because of it's use in fuel and other things. Being in the head of both main characters meant that we got to know them pretty well. And while they were complex ad interesting characters, the characterizations was subtle. Which honestly was a refreshing change. A lot of times you can kind of beat the readers over the heads with a characters personality traits, but that didn't happen here. And honestly it made the characters feel realistic, They weren't caricatures which can very easily happen with space operas.

But I also felt that way with the secondary characters. This could be a really cliche unlikely team sort of story but it was more than that. We didn't really get to know many of the secondary characters on a very deep level but they still made a really strong impression. I think maybe it's because this is a book about found family and the relationships that develop throughout the book are all about that. The relationships develop slowly over the course of the book, especially for Nev. While the two P.O.V. characters share the protagonist role but with this aspect of the story it is so much more about Nev and honestly that was okay. And I will say, there is a subtle romance to it but for this romancephobe it never got to an annoying level for me.

Another thing that I liked about the book was the world building. It's definitely a fantastic science fiction world. It's the kind of world that you would expect full of spaceships and technology but I love that kind of stuff so I really enjoyed that. But it went further than that. It's also a world full of not really political intrigue but aspects of it. It definitely explored the idea of power and control and some of the economic aspects that go with. I totally appreciated that part of the book because that is not something you see very often when it comes to YA novels. But that was just such a small part of the world. I think there could be so much more to this part of the world building. There also could have been so much more to the world. I think this was the kind of book that wanted to show instead of tell but instead it ended up just having some weirdly placed info dumps that just left me with more questions. I really liked the world here but thew execution wasn't totally fantastic.

All in all Shadow Run was a fantastic read. It is a thrilling book with interesting characters and an engaging science fiction world. It's supposed to be a series if Goodreads is to be believed but it definitely reads like a standalone. But if there is more, I'm into it. I enjoyed this book a lot.

I give Shadow Run by AdriAnne Strickland and Michael Miller 9 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. If you are a fan of science fiction than definitely check this book out. If you are like me and you prefer books that is full of plot driven adventure then I think you will really enjoy this book. Or maybe just get it to read something full of thrills and action but a good found family theme.

Have you read Shadow Run? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

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