Blog Tour & Book Review: The Stars Now Unclaimed by Drew Williams @DrewWilliamsIRL @simonschusterUK #THESTARSNOWUNCLAIMED

Hi everyone! I’m so excited because today is my stop on The Stars Now Unclaimed by Drew Williams blog tour, which is hosted by Simon & Schuster UK!

The Stars Now Unclaimed

Author: Drew Williams

Publication Date: 23 August 2018

Genre: Adult Fiction, Sci-Fi

Pages: 448 (Paperback)

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK

In an effort to save the universe, she just might destroy it. THE STARS NOW UNCLAIMED is the incredible debut by a brilliant new voice in science fiction, perfect for everyone who loves READY PLAYER ONE, STAR WARS, MASS EFFECT or just a really huge battle…

A century ago, a mysterious pulse of energy spread across the universe. Meant to usher in a new era of peace and prosperity, it instead destroyed technology indiscriminately, leaving some worlds untouched and throwing others into total chaos.

The Justified, a mysterious group of super-soldiers, have spent a hundred years trying to find a way to restore order to the universe. Their greatest asset is the feared mercenary Kamali, who travels from planet to planet searching for gifted young people and bringing them to the secret world she calls home. Kamali hopes that those she rescues will be able to find a way to reverse the damage the pulse wreaked, and ensure that it never returns.

But Kamali isn’t the only person looking for answers to unimaginable questions. And when her mission to rescue a grumpy teenaged girl named Esa goes off the rails, Kamali suddenly finds herself smack in the centre of an intergalactic war… that she started.

This was introduction into reading space operas, and it most definitely will not be my last. The entire time I was reading this book, I felt like I was watching Star Wars, which is an absolute favorite of mine. I loved getting to know the different worlds and species that the author created.

From the beginning, this book is packed with action. We are introduced to Jane Kamali (alongside her AI battle ship name Scheherazade aka Schaz) who is on a mission from a sect called the Justified and the Repentant (super-soldiers) to recruit children who were gifted with powers from The Pulse. It is quite clear that Jane and Schaz do not share the typical captain/AI relationship. They have been together since before The Pulse and have been through A LOT together. These two are the ultimate ass-kicking team. Additionally, most AI ships have their personalities rebooted every so often to prevent them from becoming defiant. Jane thinks that this is barbaric and allows Schaz to develop her own personality, which is utterly hilarious (Schaz was definitely one of my favorite characters).  

While Jane is in the process of locating Esa, a 14-year-old girl who has incredible telekinesis powers, the Pax (think hardcore storm troopers who dose themselves with narcotics through their helmets) is already laying siege to the technologically inept town. Jane teams up with a Barious named Preacher (a machine race…I honestly kept picturing Sonny from I, Robot but the female version) to secure Esa aboard Schaz and flee the approaching Pax warships.

The Pax were unaffected by The Pulse, which gives them a sense of superiority when it comes to everyone else in the galaxy. Their motto is the strong deserve to be in power and the weak are enslaved to submit to the strong. Anyone who they deem as strong is captured, brainwashed, and drugged to create the ultimate soldier for their cause. The Justified want to keep the gifted children out of the hands of the Pax, which is why Jane must avoid them at all costs.

As Preacher, Jane, Esa, and Schaz continue their voyage to deliver Esa to Sanctum (a hub where The Justified and the Repentant train the gifted children for their own cause), we really begin to get insight into the backstory of these different characters. Jane has a lot of answers regarding the dying Barious race (caused by The Pulse), which infuriates Preacher. Preacher constantly refers to Schaz as ‘shackled’, which creates a great deal of animosity between them. Also, Preacher has secrets of her own regarding Esa.

Overall, I thought this story was well done. From start to finish, it is battle after battle for survival. This unlikely group must band together in order to save the galaxy from any future destruction from The Pulse as well as the wrath of the Pax. Even though secrets are revealed and motives are questioned, they refuse to leave each other behind. I’m definitely looking forward to reading the sequel to see how their stories continue.  

Thank you to Simon & Schuster UK for providing me a copy of this book for review. This did not influence my review, and all opinions are my own

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