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Shadow Run    by AdriAnne Strickland & Michael Miller order for
Shadow Run
by AdriAnne Strickland
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2017 (2017)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Here's an exciting, FTL-paced new space opera (written for teens but of interest to adult SF fans as well), Shadow Run by Michael Miller and AdriAnne Strickland.

Nevarian is a prince (a Dracorte royal) on a secret mission. He's joined the crew of the ramshackle starship Kaitan Heritage (think Firefly) to get close to its captain Qole and her brother Arjan. They come from one of the old families of the frozen planet of Alaxak, and have inherited powers over 'the unstable energy source known as Shadow'. For most on Alaxak, this leads to sickness, madness and early death.

The good ship Kaitan seeks out and nets Shadow (supposed to have caused the Great Collapse), a perilous undertaking. Also on board are Telu (a skilled hacker, also from Alaxak) and Basra (who handles their trades and seems very interested in Arjan), and Eton (weapons tech and muscle). We see them Shadow fishing, while Nev plans how to extract Qole from her ship and crew - sabotage? He wants to bring her home so that his uncle can research her abilities and discover how to better control Shadow.

After Nev is forced to reveal his identity to a hostile crew they're attacked by the Treznor-Nirmanas (a rival royal family to the Dracortes). Qole manifests new abilities over Shadow, allowing their escape. But now they are forced to seek refuge with Nev's family, who turn out to not be as idealistic as Nev has grown up to believe. His growing attraction to Qole, and his own principles, leave him with a very hard decision.

Shadow Run is fast-paced, action-packed and thrilling, not to be missed by SF fans of all ages. This first episode set the stage nicely and established roles for all aboard Kaitan. I can't wait for more.

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