Review: Black Star Renegades by Michael Moreci
Published by St. Martin's Press on January 2nd 2018
Genres: Science Fiction
Cade Sura holds the future of the galaxy in his hands: the ultimate weapon that will bring total peace. He didn’t ask for it, he doesn’t want it, and there’s no worse choice to wield it in all of space, but if he doesn’t, everyone’s totally screwed. The evil Praxis kingdom is on the cusp of having every star system under its control, and if that happens, there’ll be no contesting their cruel reign. Especially if its fanatical overlord, Ga Halle, manages to capture Cade and snag the all-powerful weapon for herself.
Cade can’t hide from Praxis, and he can’t run from the destiny that’s been shoved into his hands. So he only has one option:
He has to fight.
Cade’s not going to let destiny send him on a suicide run, though. With some help from his friends—rebels and scoundrels alike—Cade’s going to use this weapon to chart a new destiny for the galaxy, and for himself. He just has to do so before everyone around him discovers that he’s a complete and total fraud.
This is a book that was written as a love letter to Star Wars, and it shows. You enjoy it for the adventure and the crew’s personalities and excitement as they work to defeat a large and ominous force in the galaxy. It embraces all of the tropes and deus ex machina found in Star Wars and if you can’t embrace them as well, then this might not be a great choice of book for you. And that’s fine, no book will please everyone and knowing that is what this book is about is important for setting reader expectations.
Cade Sura is both an underdog and a chosen one. He falls into the position of being the one person who is needed to save the universe from the evil empire of Praxis. Whether he actually feels qualified or up to it is another thing. The point is, the weight of saving everyone has fallen on his shoulders, and even if he doesn’t feel like the right man for the job, he’s also not really the type to quit with at least trying whatever he is capable of. Along the way, he picks up an interesting crew that has fun dynamics. Yes, there are many familiar aspects of this story, but again, it’s emphasis was not on orginality. If you want something unique, look elsewhere. If you want something fun that revisits many things you’ve enjoyed in other stories, then this could be a great fit for you.
Moreci is a comic writer, and I think is on display a bit in this book. It is all quick action, and while I don’t really want to call the book shallow, I can’t say it had much depth either. Since this book’s focus is on fun adventure, I think the style works well and I didn’t mind. Personally, I think this story could work even better as a movie than as a book for some readers, just because for people that are bothered by more of the conveniences encountered, you have less time to think about or question them. Its also a book full of action, always good for the screen. And just the pace and action, it felt very movie-like.
When it comes down to it, I just really enjoyed reading this book. I enjoyed the characters and the story, Moreci provided me with enough to keep me interested and reading, and I’m looking forward to the next one.