Star Racers by Martin Felando

Star Racers by Martin Felando
Publisher: McBarron Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full (562 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 4.5 stars
Review by: Poinsettia

Get ready to fly into a whole new universe of awesome!

Rookie unknown battlejet pilot Rev Arden and refugee art gallery owner Sashi Oon risk their lives to compete in the awesome fury of a battlejet race known as Grand Battle. If they win the race they save their planet!

But the journey across the galaxy just to get to the amazing Milky Way Grand Hotel involves many incredibly dangerous moments. Other battlejet pilots and racing sponsors are desperate to win and will stop at nothing to finish first.

Star Racers begins a series of breathtaking adventures about winning Grand Battle. Fly into a whole new universe of action, romance, and fun!

One race will decide the fate of planets.

Rev and Sashi’s world is brutal. Planets are constantly in danger of being attacked by invaders bent on killing and destroying everything in their path. The only way to guarantee peace and security for their worlds and all who inhabit them is to win a perilous race against others who are just as desperate to save their planets. If Rev and Sashi lose, their worlds will disappear. As I started reading, I had so many questions. How did Rev and Sashi meet? Why are their chances so slim compared to other racers? Who are Dupaon, Scrap Meat, Eyeball, and Betsy’s Lover? Would these characters be as unique as their names? Hooked from the moment I read the blurb, I eagerly dove in to Star Racers.

Mr. Felando did an excellent job of building the strange and fascinating world his characters inhabit. There are abundant details that helped me clearly picture the setting, characters, creatures, and high tech gadgets. In addition, there are full page illustrations at the beginning of each chapter that also sparked my imagination as I read.

Rev and Sashi are a cute couple. While I’m not sure I fully understand their rather quick romantic connection, it is clear that they are fiercely devoted to each other. Other members of the racing community believe their emotional attachment will impair their chances at winning Grand Battle. However, I believe their bond is their greatest strength, and I truly enjoyed watching them work together.

The pacing is extremely fast for a good part of this book, and I liked the way that Mr. Felando interspersed chapters that explained the past with current events. I can’t spill many details, but at one point there is a rather lengthy doll fight which is interesting but doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the story. However, my patience was rewarded. Once the story gets back on track, the pacing really picks up and hurtles toward the exciting conclusion.

Rev, Sashi, and many of the secondary characters are well described and developed. I must admit that as I read, I felt torn. I really wanted Rev and Sashi to win the race, but after getting to know a bit more about Scrap Meat, Eyeball, and Betsy’s Lover, it was very hard for me to read the section on the race knowing there would only be one winning team. Mr. Felando’s solution to this problem is interesting and unexpected, and that is all I can say without spoiling the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Star Racers. It is a thrilling read that I highly recommend to fans of science fiction as well as those looking to try out the genre for the first time.

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