“I liked to think I wasn’t new to danger, but the longer I spent in these cold fringes, the more I learned that the term acceptable risk meant something quite different from what I was used to.”
In this future world, all the portals linking galaxies have been destroyed long ago by a substance that’s dangerous and deadly: Shadow. A murky black substance that destroys anyone or anything that gets near it. But Shadow is valuable. So the inhabitants of the far-away planet Alaxak faced the danger in order to Shadow fish to capture the elusive substance. Even though it ate their minds and killed them younger and younger with each generation.
Qole is the youngest Shadow fishing Captain and by far the most skilled. Shadow has seeped into the bones of her family for generations. Which is why Nev has joined her crew on board her ship, the Kaitan Heritage. He needs to get close to her, to understand the reason for her Shadow affinity. Preferably, convince her to join him on his home planet, Luvos, for study.
When Qole, her crew, and the rest of the galaxy finds out that Nev is the crown Prince on a top secret mission, everything unravels. Forces that not even Nev could prepare for begin to converge, and for Qole and her crew to survive, they’re going to have to learn to trust Nev.
“Ours was a legacy of pride and tradition. It was also a legacy of death and madness. This blackness was deeper and darker and more dangerous than the hidden corners of space. And it lived inside me.”
Shadow Run is an explosive adventure that seriously had me holding my breath the entire time! To start with, the crew is diverse, well-represented, and very believable people. They aren’t too tortured, too angsty, too anything really. They are balanced and well written, and each play a key role to not just the plot, but the overall history. It makes sense how they came together, especially as secrets begin to be revealed.
I flat-out adore the crew of the Kaitan. Gender fluid Basra, the trader who has layers and layers of secrets and surprises, is probably my favorite. Followed closely by Telu, the ships hacker, who also has Shadow affinity. Arjan, Qole’s brother and co-pilot. And Eton, bodyguard, muscle, and generally terrifying mountain of a man, who is also hiding his fair share of secrets. This hodge-podge crew makes up all the family they know. Watching them all come together to fight for their survival was thrilling and thoroughly entertaining!
Treachery, betrayal, and secrets are the name of this book’s game. Shadow Run doesn’t hold back. This is a very fast-paced action driven book. Even the slow-burn romance isn’t over the top, or take away from the plot or the momentum. There is more romance than other heavy science-fiction novels, but it isn’t detracting either. This is a fantastic example of how to balance a plot-driven and character-driven plot. While action drives the movement forward, the characters self-discovery and choices are vital to making the plot feel real and gives it the depth that action alone couldn’t achieve.
“Closing myself off hadn’t done much good in the past. It might have hurt me, as much as unleashing myself without restraint had.”
If you’re looking for a science fiction book that doesn’t take itself too seriously. That has humor and danger and intense action scenes, but also isn’t afraid to take on deep emotional exploration, this is the book for you. It’s fun. It’s heartbreaking. It’s breathtaking. I loved every moment and cannot wait for the sequel! Which, luckily is already out! Check out the details, with links to your favorite retailers below:
Title: SHADOW RUN (Kaitan Chronicles #1)
Author: AdriAnne Strickland & Michael Miller
Release Date: March 21, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
“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.
“Readers will want to join Qole’s crew.”—Kirkus Reviews
“The world-building is excellent, with a convincingly unique source of cosmic energy that has the potential for extraordinary power. The writing is accomplished; the plot, though familiar, has good twists; and the pace is appropriately fast.”—School & Library Journal
About Adrianne & Michael:
ADRIANNE STRICKLAND and MICHAEL MILLER met in their hometown of Palmer, Alaska, where they agreed on 99% of book taste and thus decided to write together. Adri spends her summers as a commercial fisherwoman in Bristol Bay, Alaska, and the rest of the year writing. Michael grew up off the grid in a homestead in Alaska and now works in IT and tech. This is their second book together.
Stay tuned for my review of the sequel, Shadow Call, tomorrow!!! Plus an awesome GIVEAWAY!!!