The book cover and internet tell me Michael Moreci is no stranger to writing adventures in the comic form. He has written Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, other DC Superheroes, as well as acclaimed original sci-fi comics. A life long Star Wars fan, he also writes for Lucasfilm and provides content for Starwars.com. Moreci even has a rebel alliance tattoo on his forearm. This debut novel was kick started into being by his editor contacting him and saying, “You love Star Wars. Write me a love letter to Star Wars“.
Moreci delivered with Black Star Renegades. It’s a fun space romp filled with action, a group of misfit companions coming together, a chosen one with a sacred powerful weapon, a peace keeping order on the decline, and the rise of a totalitarian regime set on controlling the galaxy. It walks a good balance between adventure and the scale of conflict in a space opera.
There are a lot of similarities between Black Star Renegades and Star Wars but then again you could say the same for a lot of science fiction. This book tackles the hero’s quest a little differently by starting with the question, What if the chosen one (or Paragon in this case) isn’t really the chosen one? What if at the end of combat, he just happened to be the one left alive, with the mystical weapon (Rokura) at his side?
Cade Sura’s early life was one of tumultuous upheaval, living on the streets of the seedy planet of Kyysring after the death of his parents. Everything changes when he and his older brother were whisked off world and taken in by the Well to be trained as Rai An order of peacekeepers trained with a special weapon called a shido. The reason for Cade and Tristan’s collection was that the Well believes one of the two brothers to be the foretold Paragon, who would save the galaxy at its most desperate hour. Nearly from their arrival at the Well, it was believed that Tristan, the older brother, would be the Paragon. A cruel twist of fate leaves Cade with the Rokura, and Paragon mantle, instead.
Kira Sen is an incredibly talented pilot and the leader of the Omega squad, the most elite squadron of Echo pilots in service to the Well. She also has a fierce determination and a plan to see the Praxis Empire brought to its knees and halted in their domination of the galaxy.
Mig is Cade’s childhood best friend, once they were as close as brothers, but that is in the past. Genius engineer and con artist, Mig has been running schemes, gambling, and currently is on Kyysring working the drone combat arena with his partner 4-Qel.
4-Qel is a highly sophisticated combat drone of the Qel line, which are specifically designed to protect the royal family of Eris. When a newer model is designed, all previous version are decommissioned (killed) and disposed of. 4-Qel managed to escape that fate, met up with Mig, and have been running rackets ever since with Mig.
Cade smiled. “Hey, when you have a team like this….?”
Kira looked around the cockpit, and Cade felt like they were seeing the same thing: a one-armed Qel, a troublemaking genius, a rebellious pilot, and a counterfeit savior.
“Sure,” Kira said with a sardonic grin. “How can we lose?”
Black Star Renegades was a fun read with good pacing. Cade is a conflicted hero who never wanted the responsibility and when it’s thrust upon him, his first instinct is to run away. Instead, as heroes do, he slowly rises to the occasion as he travels along the hero’s quest with his band of misfit companions. I’m definitely interested in reading the sequel to find out where this goes.