The Stars Now Unclaimed – Drew Williams


Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 448
Release Date: August 21, 2018

Perfect for fans of Firefly and James S. A. Corey’s Expanse series, The Stars Now Unclaimed is a fun, adventure-filled ride around a far-future galaxy.

Jane Kamali is an agent for the Justified. Her mission: to recruit children with miraculous gifts in the hope that they might prevent the Pulse from once again sending countless worlds back to the dark ages.

Hot on her trail is the Pax–a collection of fascist zealots who believe they are the rightful rulers of the galaxy and who remain untouched by the Pulse.

Now Jane, a handful of comrades from her past, and a telekinetic girl called Esa must fight their way through a galaxy full of dangerous conflicts, remnants of ancient technology, and other hidden dangers.

And that’s just the beginning . . .

The Stars Now Unclaimed is marketed as a blend of Firefly and The Expanse by James S.A. Corey. I understand why they chose this comparison, however I would argue it’s for fans of The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, but with more intense space battles.

The Stars Now Unclaimed follows a soldier, Jane, as she travels across the universe in search of gifted children. Jane is a member of an organization that believes these children are the only things standing between the Pulse once again sending the universe back to the dark ages. From the first few pages, Jane is communicated to be a fighter with a strict adherence to her duty. She’s resourceful, intelligent, and a straight up badass. Williams does a fantastic job in establishing Jane as a character with a mysterious past that heavily influences her actions.

As with Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, there are many different species introduced through the novel. One such species is a sentient robot named Preacher. From the minute she was introduced I loved her. She’s sassy, competent, and intriguing.

The universe Williams has created is vast. There are so many different worlds that differ and feature different species, cultures, and technology. The entire novel is predicated on the fact that the Pulse decimated the universe by rendering some planets unable to have functioning technology up until a certain time period. So, there are planets ranging from the dark ages to the extra solar age. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the different planets and what the Pulse was exactly.

The Stars Now Unclaimed also contains numerous battle sequences, ranging from in world, on ship, and in space. If you enjoyed The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, but wanted more space battles, then The Stars Now Unclaimed will please you endlessly. I enjoyed all the action sequences, however I found them all to be slightly too long, especially the ending battle.

Unfortunately, Williams does a lot of telling the reader rather than showing in terms of explaining the universe, the different species contained within, and the history. There are too many moments where it feels as if Jane stops what she’s doing and turns to the reader and explains everything in detail despite there being no reason for her to do this other than to inform the reader. Williams also repeats the same information over and over and over. The information he keeps repeating is important for the reader to remember, but after the first four times I think we get it.

Overall, The Stars Now Unclaimed is a fun space opera full of action from start to finish. So, if you’re looking for something similar to Becky Chambers’ novels with more action, look no further!

***I was provided an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.


Have you read The Stars Now Unclaimed? Are you planning on reading it?

8 thoughts on “The Stars Now Unclaimed – Drew Williams

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