Shadow Run (Kaitan Chronicles #1)
By: AdriAnne Strickland and Michael Miller
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: March 21st, 2017
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.
Action, diversity, and delightful characters abound in Shadow Run. The rag tag team of the Kaitan Heritage is tight knit, extremely loyal,and diverse. This is a family, and that aspect remains a central touchstone for the entirety of the book. It is the meat of this book, the reason why these characters stick together and ultimately why they survive to return for a sequel.
Told in dual POV, we obviously get an understanding of Qole and Nev the best. Nev grated on my nerves with his naivety and blind loyalty to the wrong people and practices. However, my favorite new space lady, Qole, never hesitated to call him on his bullshit beliefs. These two represent the vastly different sides of their star system, and they bring their best. Their interactions resonate with messages on colonialism and privilege, politics and morality that feel all too familiar. The rest of the characters reaffirm these messages, and add some new ones (see Basta, the androgynous barterer who has a growing relationship with Qole’s brother and is all around an excellent character).
The world of Shadow Run is equally stunning. The shadow and its numerous colors against the stars is vividly painted, and the process of collecting it is detailed and developed. Its infiltration into Qole’s, and other native families’, lives and the power it has to dictate them is just as equally original and interesting. This is a world set hundreds or more years ahead of our own, and I love that it felt relatable and familiar and yet was so intriguing and new.
For a read that is inclusive and diverse and doesn’t question it and presents just as interesting social politics as it does science fiction and thrilling escapes, pick up Shadow Run. You’ll be dying inside just as much as I am to find out where our heroes will go from here. I’m not sorry.
Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. An advanced copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.