Member Reviews

Of Starlight and Bone (The Lost Colony #1) by Emily Layne is a great YA sci-fi series opener. Honestly, I only needed to hear Cinder meets Firefly inspired by the original Roanoke Colony. I mean, that alone is quite a hook, isn't it! The world-building is my favorite aspect of this novel. There's a lot to take in, but it is never overwhelming. It took me a little too long though to like reading Auri, but her character has some pretty intriguing growth over the course of the novel. Overall, if you like darker sci-fi stories with found families, cyborgs, and plenty of action, you won't want to skip this.

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This is a wonderful action packed Science Fiction YA.

The characters are entertaining with an engaging story.

This was one I did not want to put down.

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If you're looking for your next YA Sci-fi read, look no further!

I loved this book! Aurelia is a cyborg living in a world prejudiced against her. I loved her resiliency and how she kept on fighting to find the truth instead of accepting what others told her. Along the way we get to know her working dog, an adorable poodle named Birdie, and I absolutely loved her as a side character.

The story went along at a nice pace with a good mix of action, suspense, big reveals, and meaningful moments. I couldn't get enough of Aurelia's interactions with the mysterious captain Malachi. Looking forward to more of that in book 2!

Read if you like lots of spacey action, mystery, cool tech, found family, and slow burn romance.

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I enjoyed this book a little less than I thought I would, which is why I gave it 3 stars. I went in blind - this book is said to be Cinder meets Firefly and I have no knowledge of either of these things so maybe I missed something along the way. What drew me in was a solid premise.

The plot holds up under scrutiny, except for the fact that I like my sci-fi to be… otherworldly. The sheer number of Japanese references broke me out of immersion time and time again. I might have been able to accept this if there had been more world building and explanation, but there wasn’t. Each time Japanese terminology was mentioned (and an English translation was only supplied on the first time) I had no idea what was just said.

Characterisation was solid - Auri was refreshing as a protagonist - hardly perfect and carrying enough baggage for her emotions to be a little skewed, and with enough teenage angst to make her interesting. But she’s also incredibly strong willed, just what I wanted for me to explore a terrifying universe with. Other characters were great too, but the various dynamics between said characters could have done with a little more time to allow them to grow organically. Sometimes I read scenes and I felt “how did we get here?”

Either way, it was a fun read. Didn’t quite get the opportunity to explore more of the Bleeders, but I suppose that an explanation will arise in following books in the series. Will I read more when they’re released? Maybe. I like a good space opera… we’ll see.

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There are parts of this story that weren't my favorite, but I am just so damn happy anytime this subgenre gets some love that I can't help but forgive it. Overall, I had a grand time in a comfy setting. Solid writing, even if they aren't my favorite tropes. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity with this title.

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I received a free ARC, but this review is my honest opinion of the book
Rating: 5 stars
Of Starlight and Bone was a fun and exciting space adventure with solid worldbuilding and a likable set of characters.
I tend to read more fantasy than science fiction, I haven’t read a book with a main character who is a cyborg since Cinder, so I was excited to read this. The world-building in this book was done well. I appreciated the interesting mix of Japanese culture in a futuristic setting and the depiction of prejudice against cyborgs.
Aurelia was a likeable main character who had an interesting backstory. Besides Aurelia was a loveable crew who were developed enough so they were memorable and not too cliché.
The mystery and the plot were interesting, and I would definitely be interested in reading future books.

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Science fiction isn’t a genre I’ve ventured into very far, but this book has convinced me to take a deeper dive. Of Starlight and Bone is fast-paced, suspenseful, and thrilling start to The Lost Colony Trilogy.

The action starts right away, with an epic chase scene through the streets of the city. It immediately grabbed my attention, and I was intrigued within the first few pages. I loved the worldbuilding! It was easy to understand, while still being detailed. And, most importantly, there was no info-dumping! Information about the galaxy was given in small snippets, which I appreciated immensely. I feel that with fantasy and sci-fi books, some authors go on long tangents explaining the world, and it can get boring. Layne did a great job of giving us a clear sense of the world without being overly descriptive. The inclusion of Japanese culture was a nice touch, and I now know a few curse words in Japanese.

Auri was a fun protagonist and I admired her determination, even if she disobeyed orders. She learned a lot along the way. And I loved her sidekick, Birdie! Their relationship with each other was sweet, even if they’re a little too friendly to be work partners. She’s so well behaved–she has to be, she’s a DISC dog–and a lot of time, I was thinking, “Why can’t my dog be that well trained?”

The found family was one of my favorite parts. I love the crew aboard the Kestrel and the relationships that Auri forms with the members. I think one of my favorites is the relationship she forms with Marin. It’s a small moment, but it’s powerful and gives both Auri and Marin the friend they need.

I wish we got a bit more time with some of the crew members, especially Malachi. He’s a very mysterious character, with a complex background. I have a feeling we’ll be exploring more of him in the next book.

My only complaint is Ty. I thought he was okay in the first part of the book and then all the stuff happens out in space, and I didn’t like him anymore. The way he treated Auri was not cool.

I think Of Starlight and Bone is a great book for those who are just starting sci-fi. It’s easy to understand and not too complex.

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This book is an exciting sci-fi adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat. You are thrown into the action from the very beginning and tensions are high, even in some of the quieter moments. It definitely meets the marketing promise of being a fusion between Cinder and Firefly, but it somewhat pushes the edges of being a little too derivative. That being said, the world is interesting and I wanted to spend time exploring it along with the characters.

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A wonderful and fun fantasy YA story. I can't wait to find out how Aurelia Peri's story continues. Her amazing magical powers was able to heal terrible wounds. She was so kind-hearted even though she was sometimes careless. With the help of her trusty dog and new friends to survive, as well as solved the unsolved murder mystery. This was what made me so curious that I didn't want to put this book down even for a moment.

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I just have to thank Netgalley and the publisher for letting me get this arc. The synopsis dragged me in and the characters kept me hooked. I kind of predicted that Aurelias dad was covering stuff up and felt like she was too trusting of her adopted brother. Which if I'm being honest kind of gave me the ick knowing she was in love with him. But the found family vibes of the crew on the Kestrel felt like a warm hug. And there are some tense moments in here that had me staying up till midnight to finish. This was phenomenal.

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Fun fast paced YA sci-fi with found family and plenty of action. This was a great read. For once the elevator pitch - a mashup of Firefly and Cinder – was bang on. Recommended.

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DNF AT 17%, CW: SUICIDE
I wanted to love this. The premise and the story are intriguing, but it’s a little over-written and the second time Auri’s interactions with her (adoptive) brother made me uncomfortable, I tapped out. It also feels like it fetishizes Japanese culture, especially with a white main character, who (apparently) primarily speaks English, with a few Japanese words and phrases sprinkled in.

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True to its description, this story is the perfect cross between the Lunar Chronicles and Firefly. When she's saved by a mysterious band of renegades on a distant planet, MC Aurelia (Auri) Peri quickly discovers that the life she thought she knew is teeming with deceit, lies, a race of cannibalizing murders, and cover up that involves practically everyone she thought she could trust.

Hoping to bring an end to the lies the government and her General-in-Charge "father," have been spewing, Auri along with her trained K-9, Birdie, renegade crew captain Malachi and his band of criminals turned revolutionaries, embark on a journey for the truth behind all the mysterious deaths/murders that have been plaguing the outer planets of their galaxy.

However, Of Starlight and Bone is just the beginning because by the time I finished I was on the edge of my seat, my head swimming with unanswered questions. I have no idea how long the sequel will take, but its untitled self has already reserved its place on my TBR.

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I loved the incorporation of so many different cultures and customs. This sci-fi was a classic YA, but it was incredibly fun.

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Look, I usually love a space epic… And this seemed like such a fun premise! But when you add in someone who ends up with feelings for an adopted brother?? And yes, you could argue that “adopted” is the keyword there, but… I simply can’t do it. I DNF’d right at the beginning, right when this was revealed. I want to apologize, which I don’t owe anyone really! But still - I was looking forward to reading this, but this squick popped up and I’m not going to. Hard boundary.

I do appreciate the chance to have the ARC!!

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When I read the description for this book I thought it could go one of two ways and if it is done well this will be really great. I am so glad I decided to give it a shot because I loved it! It was a really fun read. I couldn't put it down.

It's full of action and adventure but Layne also captures the very real internal struggles Auri is facing.

If you like high fantasy style sci-fi, witty banter, will they won't they vibes, and plenty of action then definitely check this one out. I can't wait for book two!

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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This was a fun, fast-paced read. I definitely understand the comparisons to Cinder by Marissa Meyer, and it also reminded me of This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. However, the summary said it was inspired by the Roanoke colony, so I expected it to be a little more spooky and horror-ish than it ended up being. Most of the events of the book led up to the jailbreak rather than actually dealing with the origins of the Bleeders. The reveal about Auri's background was predictable, too.

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YA story with all the hallmarks of an excellent and enjoyable fantasy to start a series. If you read this as a stand alone I’m sure you will enjoy the story as I did, and then want to get your hands in the next book ASAP to find out how the story continues. Aurelia Peri has mechanical enhancements to overcome horrific injuries when she was a child in a society hostile to such people. She easily trusts people and sees their best. She also has a tendency to go a little off assignment. Not wanting to let the puzzle of unaccounted murders pass her by is going to get her into lots of trouble. Trouble where she will need her trusted dog and new friends to survive, but also the chance to discover who she really is. Thank you to Hollow Owl Publishing and NetGalley for the ARC. The views expressed are all mine, freely given.

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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.

#OfStarlightandBone #NetGalley.

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"Cinder meets Firefly" was what drew me in and I'm so glad I did. It was what I was expecting from this type of book. Emily Layne has a great writing style and it worked with this type of book. I enjoyed the plot going on and loved the characters within this universe. I was invested in the story and glad I got to read this.

“They’ve been broken for at least a decade.” He gestured to the screens with a shake of his head, eyes sunken into his skull as though he had suffered malnutrition as a child. Not an oddity on Medea. The Fed was supposed to deliver extra food stuffs and medical supplies to Medea, Delfan, and Kaido, the planets where crops didn’t grow as abundantly, but Auri had heard it was never enough."

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