Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Audio Book Review: Make Bright the Arrows

Make Bright the Arrows

By:  S.A. Huchton

Publish Date:  August 6, 2018, Audiobook Release July 12, 2018

Format:  Audiobook - 8 hrs 14 mins
Narrated By:  Starla Huchton

Genre:  Science Fiction

Series:  1st in Flights of the Nanshe series

Impression:  Gentle space opera with action and Firefly influence

"Soldiers need wars, doctors need patients, and the Nanshe needs trouble. That's just kinda how it is."

The galaxy ain't a friendly place, but it's a good sight better when you've got friends at your back. And when the crew of the Nanshe stumbles into larger-than-your-average trouble, they'll need all the help they can get.

What starts off as a simple retrieval of stolen goods turns deadly when Leena Espinoza discovers a girl stashed in a cellar, her guardian murdered. The crew has a soft spot for hard cases, and despite Delilah's odd behavior, offer help instead of turning her over to the authorities.

But what they don't know might kill them.

No good deed goes unpunished, and the crew winds up on the radar in the worst possible way. Merc squads, shadowy coalitions, plus the usual criminal element are all on their tails, so it's fight or flight.

As a plot to unbalance the entire civilized universe unfolds around them, the ladies of the SS Nanshe gear up for battle. Through blood and fire, they'll do everything they can to protect what little they have. In the vast blackness of space, taking matters into your own hands isn't an option... It's a matter of survival.

First Sentence:
It wasn't every day a gal had six loaded guns pointed at her head while poised to jumpstart a fifteen-year-old girl with live wires.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles 


My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Starla is an amazing author and awesome voice to listen to. She voices the crew of Nanshe with different accents and personalities. I was impressed with how different each character came across! In distinct tones, accents, and personality of voice. Starla brought the crew to life for us. The pacing was fitting for the story, easy to follow that moved along. If there was a moment where we felt as though things moved faster, Starla gave us the feel of the moment. Starla felt seamless in her narration and the background was clear. Wonderful job!

Starla channeled a little of Joss Whedon for this book. I immediately felt a strong Firefly influence in the story, which carried through the whole book. But the crew is all female. The ship is a crew of woman that do search and salvage jobs to get by, things they are hired to find. At times, this can be more dangerous than other times. What they find on their latest delivery is more than they could have expected. When delivering a mysterious box to a Reverend, they find a teenage girl huddled away in a hidden basement room. In trying to find a place for this innocent to go, they find that someone has paid a steep price to send dangerous people after her. And the little innocent girl is more than they ever foreseen.

I love this crew! Leena is the point of view character on the ship for us, and we learn that they won't take advantage of Lilah as many people would. The crew may be of a mercenary sort with some of the jobs they take, but they have morals they live by. They all have each other's back at all times. They even have a sense of what others need to do to become more in their own rights. There are moments Leena is worried that the boss, Edie, might turn Lilah over to someone who would take advantage of her or worse, to save them all. And Edie might still just do it with the way things go.

Each crew member has their own story for ending up here on the Nanshe and in their dangerous line of work, Cynthia, JC, Anita, Doc Jasmine Cole, and Kara, and we get to hear some of them. If I had to pick my favorite character... Ugh! I don't know if I could do that. We get to know the crew pretty well through Leena and her thoughts. I think I'd have to pick Lilah though. She's the wild card though the story. She's the reason I was so glued to the pages, just to learn if what I suspected was true then to learn why and how and what will be done about those after her. I would like to learn more about Edie though. She's the owner of the ship and doesn't like to be called captain. There is a story to her and I'm curious about it.

I found it interesting how Edie seems to be pushing Leena to learn to be more a leader than a follower. The thing is, Leena has the traits to be a leader, I don't really see her as a follower but she doesn't always think as a leader does. Leena is growing stronger in her own mind through this book as she learns little lessons along the way as she watches over Lilah. Leena sort of becomes of a motherly nature with Lilah and her eyes are opened about a few crew members too.

I love how the characters are who they are; straight, gay, fire-y red heads, owner/boss, and more but the story isn't about all that. All of it is a part of who the character is, sure their past and who they are influences their decisions, but that goes for everyone. They don't care any less for each other for any of it. They accept each other as individuals and family. It's well done as the character is who she is and the story happens.

This is a story of a crew of strong woman doing their thing in space to survive. A story full of family and action on the ground and in space. They have to think out of the box with being in space, and they do. This is not a romance story, no intimate scenes or major flirting happening. Sure there is love to be found, but it's the love of family and dear friends. The story is more a gentle space opera than scifi, in my opinion. There is not all the scifi tech we have to understand to get the story.

I would highly recommend this story to anyone (male or female) who enjoys action and camaraderie of a crew with great personalities. And looking for some fun.

Starla has outdone herself once again! On so many levels. Character wise. Plot wise. World wise. I can't wait to read/listen to more of the adventures of the Nanshe!

****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you!


Carole Rae said...

"Soldiers need wars, doctors need patients, and the Nanshe needs trouble. That's just kinda how it is."
This instantly made me curious.

Melliane said...

That's great, everything sounds really well done there with this one

Blodeuedd said...

I remember trying to win this one .)