Review: Starwarden — by J.A. Dalley

 

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Cover image and summary from goodreads.com.

Title: Starwarden (Almek Manning, #2)

 

Author: J.A. Dalley

Rating:  ★★★★★ (5.5 of 5)

Genre/Pages: YA Mil-Sci-Fi / 216

Summary: “Dalton Space Force: Now Hiring!

Almek Manning survived the first part of his military training at the Solar Fleet’s boot camp, and now he must face the rigor of life at the Academy. Meanwhile, the cease-fire between the Solar Fleet and the United Monarchy of Europe is becoming increasingly fragile, and Almek has begun to wonder if he can finish his education quickly enough to help fight the war…

However, Sky Marshal Kitt, Jack Dalton, and High Admiral Numair have plans for the young midshipman, and Almek’s choices may yet decide the outcome of the war.”

Cover Review: It’s pretty. It’s a really nice outer space graphic design cover. I prefer covers with characters on them, but this one’s not bad at all. 

My Review: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I loved this book just as much, if not more, than I loved the first book in the series, The Zochtil. This review’s going to be short and sweet, but don’t take that as anything negative about the book. This is definitely one of my favorite books. I really did love every second of it!

The characters are believable and real, the story is unpredictable and heart-wrenching, and the world is insanely well-developed. This is one of those books that I just opened right away and knew that it would be amazing. The writing captivates you immediately, and you quickly get invested in the lives of these insanely cool and well-developed characters.  

Wow. I REALLY loved this book. It is a genuinely GOOD book. Nearly impossible to put down, it’s the kind of book that you wholeheartedly enjoy the entire time. Spectacularly well-written. Honestly, I was a bit afraid that it would seem unrealistic to have a teenager fresh out of the Academy change the course of battles/war, however, it wasn’t that way at all. There was nothing about this book that seemed rushed or unbelievable.

It was a solid novel. Fast paced, but you never got left behind or confused as you do in many of the novels nowadays (Champion, Shadow Throne, etc.). You were NEVER bored, and even though it revolves 100% around the military and interstellar maneuvering, you never get lost in the anagrams, mil slang, or complicated physics.

The plot and the characters were PERFECT! I really love these characters, and I loved the story ARC of this book. J.A. perfectly crafted a sense of foreboding prior to major plot twists, but you never knew WHAT was going to happen… just that it wasn’t going to be pretty. The timing of the plot and events was PERFECTION.

Did I mention I love the characters? Their interaction is THE BEST. The implants, too. And the psychological damage of war and wartime promotion. And basically just the whole book. This is a book that you come out of feeling satisfied. Wanting to know what happens next, yes, but HAPPY with the book as a whole.

To Sum it Up: I never really thought that I would read and enjoy Young Adult Military Science Fiction (man, that’s quite the mouthful for a genre, isn’t it?), but there’s just something about the writing, characters, and plot of this book that make it unforgettable and impossible to put down. highly recommend this book to readers 11 and up.

 

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