Chasing Shadows by K. N. Salustro is the first in a planet-hopping science fiction series with flying cats, genetically-modified super soldiers, and a whole lot of energy guns! If you are looking for a sci-fi that has some elements not often seen in the genre while staying true to what is so fun about science fiction, this is a book to check out. Also female bounty hunter ;-).
Note: This is an expedited review, meaning I was paid to read the book and the author chose for this review to be published. See my review policy for details.
Chasing Shadows by K. N. Salustro (The Star Hunters #1)
Published by Author on Feb. 24th, 2014
Page Length: 244 pages
How I got my copy: Author
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"Stand and Protect."
These are the words Star Federation soldiers live by as they work to uphold peace across the galaxy. Founded at the start of the Andromedan War, the Star Federation obliterated its opponents and now stands as the guardian of the galaxy. Its power has gone largely unchallenged in the wake of the war, and its officers now busy themselves with minor troubles. Once in a while, however, a powerful force surfaces and demands more attention, be it a drug lord, pirate crew, or a bounty hunter worthy of the Alpha Classification.
Following the assassination of one of the Star Federation's officers, Fleet Commander Lance Ashburn goes on the hunt for the Alpha Class bounty hunter known as the Shadow. One of the best officers the Star Federation has ever seen, Commander Ashburn comes closer than anyone ever has to eliminating the Shadow, but upon meeting her, he discovers that much larger and more dangerous enemies roam the stars. Enemies that even hunters fear.
Determined to do his duty as a Star Federation officer, Commander Ashburn fights for the galaxy, but the price of enduring peace may be one that the Shadow is not willing to pay.
Tethered to her own demons, bounty hunter Lissa aka the Shadow has seen the harsher side of the Star Federation, and her priorities do not include carrying out the agenda of a fleet commander. When her past catches up with her, however, Lissa must either surrender herself, or make a stand. Working with and against Commander Ashburn, Lissa could push the galaxy into war... or save it.
- One of the most unique parts of Chasing Shadows is the arkin species. Flying cats! Or at least cat-resembling large animals with wings. I am a sucker for intelligent animal companions that are tightly bonded to a human (since really, I’m jealous of those characters), and the arkins were a great example of that trope.
- You really only have to say ‘female bounty hunter’ and you have my attention. Lissa is a fantastic shot, but her patterns as one of the most notorious bounty hunters on the Star Federation’s list leave officials wondering just why she is bounty hunting at all. She was a character I definitely wanted to get to know.
- We see several planets in Chasing Shadows and get a picture of what the galaxy looks like as a whole. I found the variety of planets fascinating and appreciated that they couldn’t all support human life, but that didn’t stop our brave adventurers from exploring ;-).
- There is always a fear with indie-published books that the writing will be lacking, but I’m happy to say that the writing in Chasing Shadows is well polished and basically free of typos.
- I had a hard time emotionally connecting to either of the main characters. Lissa was cool on paper, but I didn’t see enough of her inner self to feel for her despite her very difficult life circumstances. Similarly, Lance was just a bit too much the cold and aloof commander to the point that even the reader felt distanced.
- I have a pet peeve when it comes to character’s with two names and it is when the text switches how it refers to that character. Even though the change makes sense because one perspective thinks of the character by their first name and another by their last name, it is ridiculously confusing for a reader just trying to figure out who everyone is! I have a very hard time remembering character names to begin with and then making me remember their full name in order to follow who is being discussed just annoys me.
- There was a lot of potential for deep emotional revulsion to the bad guys in Chasing Shadows. However, I didn’t feel that I had enough background to get a solid picture of why Lissa and Lance hated these villains so much until the very end and then it was too late for me to be invested in taking them down.
Chasing Shadows is a science fiction that presents an interesting setting and plot, but I failed to emotionally connect with the characters or the villains and therefore just didn’t care how things turned out.
Try it for yourself!
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Chasing Shadows by K.N. Salustro
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