*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of KINDLE Ebook Crash Land on Kurai – Book 1 of the Hikoboshi series by S.J. Pajonas

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One of my book blogging buddies, Lola, reviewed this book here and I was so intrigued by the premise, I got hold of it.

Crash Land on Kurai is the first book in the Hikoboshi series, an action adventure, space opera series that explores the worlds settled by the Japanese who fled Earth a century ago. Culture, history, technology, and swords clash in a fast-paced future society on the brink of war. Yumi Minamoto has the shortest fuse on the ship. She’s just whipped a bully and been confined to quarters, but she’s not staying there. A disgraced journalist trying to clear her name, her job is to document the mission to the Hikoboshi system, and she’s determined to get it right, despite all the trouble she causes. But when unknown vessels fire on their ship, and Yumi’s life pod crash lands on a dying moon, she’s separated from her family and friends, and her mission falls to pieces. Now she must navigate the unfamiliar and deadly terrain, deal with a society she doesn’t understand, and try to stay alive until rescue comes… if it ever does.

Yumi is an interesting protagonist – from a powerful and influential family, she is clearly the cuckoo in the nest. Constantly in trouble with the authorities, I liked the fact that when she says at the start of the story that she is a pain in the neck with an attitude and a knack for rubbing folks up the wrong way – she means it. Quite often we are told at the start of a story the heroine is a trouble-maker and rebel – only to find she is actually a pleaser who very much minds what everyone thinks of her, especially the male characters. I also like the fact that she claims to be plain – and judging by the responses she gets, that does appear to be the case. That said, I wanted at times to shake her until her teeth rattle, as she really does rub folks up the wrong – even those who are trying to keep her alive

What I particularly enjoyed was the depiction of how environmental pressures affect a culture, so the colony that only a few hundred years ago was identical with the same values as its Earth equivalent from whence it came, now has morphed into something quite different. The runaway capitalism, where the majority population are born indebted and have to work continually to keep alive, is both shocking and plausible, given the ongoing warfare between the factions. The way the visitors are treated is also depressingly realistic. I’m conscious that Crash Land on Kurai is a spin-off from a previous series, but I didn’t find myself floundering in any way.

Any niggles? While I liked the idea that Yumi suffers from migraines – it seems hardly any protagonists have to deal with such physical issues in books – maybe the reason is because when pickforked into the middle of an adventure, her recovery time slows the pace somewhat. And when I think of how disabling my migraines used to be – particularly when I was in hospital and didn’t receive any pain relief – it took me days to get over it, I did feel a bit annoyed at how quickly she bounces back. However, I did enjoy how adrift and traumatised Yumi feels when subjected to the violence of real combat, even though she has regularly sparred throughout her life.

All in all, this is a thoroughly engrossing adventure and a strong start to the series that I will be definitely following in future. Highly recommended.
8/10

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8 responses »

  1. I am so glad you decided to pick this one up and thanks for linking to my review :). I also liked Yumi as a character and that’s a good point you make about how she mentions she is a trouble maker and it’s obvious she is.Yes she does tend to get herself into trouble sometimes with her words, but I thought all her actions did really feel in character even though i also wanted to caution at her times.

    Good to know you could read this one without any trouble even though you hadn’t read the first series this is a spin-off from. btw if you do want to check out the Nogiku series I think book 1 is free when you sign-up for the author’s newsletter :).

    I also liked seeing how this culture has developed especially knowing how different the planet Yumi comes from is.

    Maybe it depends on the person how quickly they recover from migraines? I only have had migraines with aura and I usually recover within half a day from those. My tension headaches are usually worse and take me usually up to 24 hours to recover from. I did think it was an interesting touch and made Yumi seem more real that she had to deal with that.

    Great review! And I am happy you enjoyed this one :). I am also looking forward to book two in this series.

  2. I just love the whole idea of this series and so glad you enjoyed the book. I have a feeling the books will get even better now that the worlds have been established somewhat.

  3. I look forward to seeing how this one progresses. It sounds great bur I’m trying to not take any more series on at the moment – not always succeeding of course, but trying all the same.
    Lynn 😀

  4. This book sounds quite interesting, but I think I’ll wait till your reviews of more books before I commit. There’re few things as torturing as a good start for the series that will take a dive in later books.

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