Review: Shadow Run (Kaitan Chronicles #1) by AdriAnne Strickland & Michael Miller
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.
Genre: Another-World, Mystery, Royal-Court, Space, Supernatural, Suspense, Teen--
"...Captured, tortured and maybe explosively dismembered. "
Nev is undercover on a hunt for someone in particular, a person who has been shadow touched meaning that they have altered reflexes and skills but the potential to go mad and die young. His mission stated he needs to do whatever he can to bring back his target for examination- for the good of his people. The person he has been searching for is surprising though- Quole, the youngest yet most talented captain, one who catches and harnesses Shadow- the needed and dreaded energy source that powers the whole solar system.
Quole is a young captain, but that does not make her unqualified for her job- in fact, she is the best fisher for shadow and an efficient captain, able to keep her misfit crew together and fed despite their ship falling apart around them. With all her family dead from the Shadow except her brother, she had to make hard choices to help her crew. When she was in a hurry for a new crew member, she bypassed her strict hiring process and ended up with Nev, who has no idea how shadow hunting works. How wrong she was to hire him...
I was originally lured in by the cool cover and the interesting synopsis, and let's add in the fact I have been completely hooked on space books for the last couple of months. Anything having to do with space travel and missions, ooh and the scary space ones with danger, possible monsters and destruction- yep, there are some great space related reads floating around and I am destined to read them all. I also really liked that there are two authors creating the book, which I think allows for the two main characters to be very different from each other with new perspectives that never overlap in voice. I think in YA recently, collaborations have been my favorite to read, bring new depths to the characters.
When I saw that Shadow Run was being compared to one of my all time favorite fandoms Firefly, there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to read this book.
That being said, I think the connection to Firefly is a bit of a reach really. Sure the book takes place in a old ship that is barely still able to fly with a odd assortment of crew, with the best Captain around regardless of rules and society, a guy lies to get aboard a ship, and yes there is a girl who just so happens to have been altered so she has "supernatural-like" skills and people are potentially after her. Yep, that sounds like a lot of connections, but no not really. Pretty much, this was nothing like Firefly, but I still enjoyed the story.
I will admit that I was super lost for the first fourth-ish of the book while the world and characters were being established, the reader is basically thrown into the action with shadow fishing but no explanation as to what shadow is or how. Once I started to piece together the important facts and get to know Nev and Quole I became more engaged in the story and world. And wow, what a crazy convoluted world this is. The story really picked up and became an action packed dangerous mission with cool gadgets and huge reveals that I never anticipated (as well as some awful death, torture and destruction I did not see coming). The side characters ended up being just as complicated and necessary as the main character to the plot and dynamic of the story.
The ending had so many holes in it that I desperately needed to fill (not not due to faults of the authors but as hooks to drag me back in)! The last like fourth of the book alone was an epic battle of destruction that pretty much changed the future for everyone so I kinda very much so need the next book. I am so glad that the second book is already out so I can jump right in.