Of Starlight and Bone by Emily Layne
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A basic cyborg trope that recycles firefly
The world building starts with a fusion of Japanese and sci-fi dystopia with an outsider YA protagonist who begins the story as a black sheep ember of the elite before diving into the more seedy aspects of life on the rim to find answers to questions about her first and last case as an enforcer. Teaming up with a rogue ship crew with an obvious nod toward the FireFly series (Malachi = Malcom, Bleeders = Reavers, et al), agent Peri stumbles from cluster to cluster reacting to events instead of driving the fairly basic plot. While I am actually a fan of both stories/genres here, the close sync with FireFly was actually more irritating than fun for me ... but it might work better for others. Even with that, we get some reasonably fun casual entertainment from a quick read that is still worth the effort.
I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
My Ratings Explained ...
- [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
- [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
- [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
- [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
- [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.