In the near future, the United States is in another Cold War, this time with China, and has been isolated from all foreign contact. China has developed a mass of deadly weapons known as red drones that float in the air and no military has the resources to combat them. Until now.
Chase Harcourt, known as “Nyx” in the sky, is one of two special pilots for the United Star Academy flying one of the elite prototype jets called “Streakers”. Her devil-may-care attitude and maverick pilot skills make her unpredictable, fast, and deadly to everyone around her, yet she’s irresistible to her fellow pilots, earning her quite a reputation. During an emergency, she believes another foreign Streaker tries to come to the rescue, and Chase can’t back down until she solves the mystery, leading to a chain of events that brings the United States under imminent risk of mass destruction.
Perfect for reluctant readers (as long as they aren’t intimidated by the length), this book is an exciting thriller with interesting characters, intriguing plot, and fast-paced action. Chase is a strong female character with a lot of determination, will, and heart. Her first reaction is to be either as desirable or as prickly as possible, depending on her audience, which is revealed to be partially due to her questionable genetics and admission into the STAR. My favorite character was Pippin, Chase’s RIO (radar intercept officer) who is fiercely loyal to Chase but suffers an emotional crisis just when he and Chase need each other most. There’s some romance as well as a scope of diversity in characters (including LGBTQ). The backstory seems to be a rich projection of the near future with enough military knowledge and history to be believable. The one negative thought I had about this book was the fast-paced action combined with a fairly drawn out plot, making me think that the author had wanted this to potentially be more than 1 book…It could have sat for two books with some more detail, but definitely not three. I think teens won’t be put off though and just might like it better since there’s only one.