Story Rating: 4 stars
Audio Rating: 4 stars
Narrator: Chris Chambers
Length: 7 hours, 45 minutes
Starlight is the third book in the Dark Space series and the books are intended to be read in order as it is a continuing story.
To say Brady Garrett was thrilled to be back on Earth is an understatement. Even though he’s still in the military and still seen as a recruit and given the lowest job, he had a home with Cam and his little sister, Lucy. But Brady couldn’t keep his feet on the ground for too long as he is now back in space, and this time Cam and Lucy are with him. Brady didn’t want to go back to space; he never wanted to be there in the first place and he definitely doesn’t want to be on a Faceless ship. But those are his orders and they include interacting with the Faceless and their leader, Kai-Ren.
Cameron Rushton always loved the stars. Even after he was abducted by the Faceless, he feels at home in space. Cam has told himself that everything Kai-Ren did to him while he was captured was because the Faceless don’t understand humans, but being back on the Faceless ship has Cam confronting some hard truths. Brady is there for him though and no matter where they are, their bond remains solid. Cam and Brady also have a small crew with them and they are supposed to gather intel on the Faceless and their technology, but Brady is scared for everyone as Kai-Ren’s fascination with humans grows. The ship itself is another concern for Brady and when the foundation of the Faceless is threatened, Kai-Ren’s promise of returning them home might not mean much if he is compromised, and the crew finds themselves fighting a battle for their lives.
Starlight is the third book in the Dark Space trilogy and the books are intended to be read in order as it is a continuing story. This book picks up where Darker Space left off as Brady and Cam return to a Faceless ship with Kai-Ren as their host and keeper. The characters here make this story for me and Brady is a character that develops over the course of the books. He grew up poor and never had any choice when he was recruited to the military, has suffered violence, and is angry about a lot of things. Cam is now his home and the two of them have a special relationship that is well written.
The story takes place on the Faceless ship where the crew is supposed to be gathering intel on the alien race. The ship becomes a character in itself as it is the life force for the Faceless and the crew learns that the aliens have a hive-like existence with the ship. Once they are in space though, they are kept under the watchful eye of Kai-Ren. Brady and Cam share a mind link connection with Kai-Ren and the idea of this mission is that the military thinks this will enable Brady and Cam to learn more about the Faceless. But it never seemed to me that there was any plan once they got onto the ship and when things start falling apart, there is no further plan to get home. They were all relying on the word of Kai-Ren and given his history, I didn’t really understand the complete lack of preparation and it bothered me throughout the book.
There is great character growth between Brady and Cam independently and as a couple and they still remain the highlight for me. Even the side characters have a place and a purpose and they all change and start to see different perspectives especially as this book unfolds. Brady is a true underdog character as his station in life defined who he is and what he was allowed to do and since he was never given a chance, he believed he wasn’t worth much and it was great to see him rise up even in the smallest of ways.
At the end, I still had some lingering questions and definitely would have enjoyed some more time with just Brady and Cam. They have a special relationship and at times it felt put aside for the larger story. Still, if you have read or listened to the first two installments, you will want to see Brady and Cam find their way back home through the stars.
Chris Chambers continues the narration of this series and the books all have continuity from one to the next. Chambers has a nice tone to his voice and I enjoyed his performance as a whole. His narration is understated and steady and works for most of the book, although the scenes with more action and tension didn’t come through as much. He does create a memorable atmosphere in which to spend time with Cam and Brady aboard the Faceless ship and his performance is a great way to enjoy this series.