Friday, December 21, 2018

Book Review: The Disasters by M.K. England

Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: The Disasters
Author: M.K. England
Publisher: HaperCollins
Pages: Hardcover; 368
Release Date: December 18, 2018
Source: Publisher / FFBC Tours
Content Screening: Violence

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy fast paced stories set on worlds other than our own!

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Hotshot pilot Nax Hall has a history of making poor life choices.

So it’s not exactly a surprise when he’s kicked out of the elite Ellis Station Academy in less than twenty-four hours.

But Nax’s one-way trip back to Earth is cut short when a terrorist group attacks the Academy. Nax and three other washouts escape—barely—but they’re also the sole witnesses to the biggest crime in the history of space colonization. And the perfect scapegoats.

On the run and framed for atrocities they didn’t commit, Nax and his fellow failures execute a dangerous heist to spread the truth about what happened at the Academy.

They may not be “Academy material,” and they may not get along, but they’re the only ones left to step up and fight.

Well now, this was a surprisingly fun ride! It shouldn't surprise me that a book with teenage flight school rejects, put into an impossible situation, was a breezy read. It's pretty hard not to get caught up in their emotional roller coaster as the world that they thought they really knew falls out from under them, and it's straight to flight or fight mode. Or, in this case, I guess it would be fight and flight mode? No spoilers, but yeah. That's pretty accurate.

Kudos where kudos are due, M.K. England did a stellar job of getting these characters to go from complete strangers to a ragtag little band of heroes, in no time flat. Nax and his motley crew probably wouldn't have been all that chummy in other circumstances but, as catastrophic events tend to do, the sheer amount of craziness they go through quickly and believably pushes them into a mini family. I loved watching as they learned to navigate the quirks of one another. I can't count the number of times that I smiled as England gave a nod to anxiety, or a hug to a transgender character, and then carried on as normal because the whole point was that this was a part of them, but not who they were. These character worm their way into your heart really quickly, I'll tell you that. You've been warned.

Plot wise, I thought the book started out fantastically. Although the action definitely gets started early on, and doesn't let up for a minute, there was plenty of time in the first few chapters to really get to settled in to the colonies, and up to speed on the way that life in Nax's time worked. I loved the diversity in the cities, and I can't deny that the attention to detail whenever explanations of new planets were being given made my heart happy. I felt like I was there right along with them. My only complaint in this department was that at about the halfway mark the book takes off at breakneck speed. It felt like the latter half of this book was so quick moving, and so rushed, that it almost completely changed the way that it was written. I'm all for space battles, and watching people work together, but I think some of the interactions that I had loved during the first part really suffered.

What settled this book down to three stars was really that last fact. By the time I reached the last few chapters of the book, the amount of battles and skirmishes had reached a point where there wasn't much else happening. I can't explain too fully without spoiling anything, but suffice it to say that there were some relationships that I so wanted to see more deeply explored that were left to the wayside while bullets were flying and ships were banking. Now, to be fair, this whole plot does center on a particular deadline. So I did understand that things needed to pick up speed. It's my own personal, character driven brain at work here. I can absolutely see how people will be in awe at the sheer amount of madness that poor Nax and his group have to go through before this book ends.

All this rambling is basically to say that I really enjoyed this book. Despite any qualms that I may have had, I think M.K. England did a great job of bringing diversity, humor, friendship, and space battles together into a book that is a lot of fun to read. If you're looking for a lightning fast read that is filled to the brim with characters who will make you smile, that's The Disasters.

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FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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