Saturday, February 10, 2018

Starfang: Rise of the Clan | Joyce Chng


Captain Francesca Min Yue has been charged by her father to kill Yeung Leung of the Amber Eyes and resolve the blood feud. Using their werewolf blood, her crew hunt Leung through several systems, thriving on the hunt. Along the way they encounter a small child, half Amber Eyes half Pariah, with only her puppy and a message, "Help her." Now Francesca needs to balance the safety of her crew, the honor of her clan and the future of this feral child while hunting down a very dangerous enemy.


For being such a short book (94 pages) this book packs quite the story. Chng doesn't waste words with irrelevant details and while there are some exposition dumps, they are short lived and well blended to the main story. If anything, I wish there was more about this world to read! It's an incredible world that has humans, werewolves (homo sapiens lupus), shishini (highly intelligent velociraptor type creatures) and jukka (stereotypical big-eyed aliens) in the same galaxy. I really hope Chng is looking at writing another book in this world because it is incredibly interesting and I want to know more about it.

Francesca was a very good character to lead this story. It's almost a stereotype that kick-ass women in books are only fighters and have to "struggle" to be anything else. Francesca seamlessly switches back and forth between being the strong fighter, the quick thinking captain, the motherly caretaker of the little girl, loving daughter and niece, and romantically interested. She is a well-rounded character who feels more real than the usual characters that are torn between any two of these roles. Like I said, Chng doesn't waste words and that really helps to strengthen Francesca as a character. 

Admittedly there isn't as much direct action as I usually like in a story, but there's also no time to slow down. Every page of this novella either builds the world, builds the character or moves the story forward. Sometimes all at the same time. This is an engaging read that left me wanting more. I want to know more about the clans, more about the little girl, and more about the food. Fair warning, if you are vegan or vegetarian,  you may have a problem with this book. For carnivores like me, however, you may get hungry!

I really enjoyed reading this novella. We get werewolves in space and not in a cheesy horror movie sense. This is a well developed world that has so much more I want to know about! I happily give 4.5 hoots and encourage you to get a copy.



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