Starfang: Rise of the Clan by Joyce Chng
Publisher - Fox Spirit Books
Price £3.99 ebook (out now)
Is a clan captain going to sacrifice everything for her clan? Tasked to kill Yeung Leung by her parents, powerful rival clan leader of the Amber Eyes, Captain Francesca Min Yue sets out across the galaxy to hunt her prey, only to be thrown into a web of political intrigue spreading across the stars. Is Yeung Leung collaborating with the reptilian shishini and playing a bigger game with the galaxy as a price? Is Francesca’s clan at stake? Welcome to Starfang: Rise of the Clan, where merchants and starship captains are also wolves.
“Wolves should not be in space, but here we were, a clan of wolves and merchants. Instead of the preserved forests of New Earth and Noah’s Ark, we were in ships of steel and armor, reading data scans and commanding officers on the bridge. Wolves within the uniform of merchants and mercenaries, human seeming, claws and teeth sheathed.”
– Captain Francesca Ming Yue, of the warship Starfang.
Welcome to Starfang, a space opera with werewolves, politics and intrigue
Sometimes I will go for a book because I hear it’s got great writing, fantastic worldbuilding and a nice line in characters and political intrigue; but I am going to be completely honest with you dear reader. I picked this one up because it was described as werewolves in space to me. That I subsequently found out it was all the above as well was a glorious surprise.
Min Yue is part of a family trading group in deep space who also happen to be werewolves. This is a universe of planets belonging to various factions, alien civilisations, spaceships and feuds. A simple trip to see her family becomes a mission to destroy Yeung Leung who has tried to wrest control of the area from her family. She goes out into space to seek, locate and destroy but her crew finds itself up not just against Leung but also starting to be involved with the mysterious Shinishi who may have their own plans for her and her family.
Min Yue is a fascinating character. Very much seeming a model hero she commands tactical knowledge; great crew loyalty with a warm heart and she battles her family honour with her own personal feelings. We see she is attracted to her cousin April but duty holds her back. The family life where you command a ship but once home can change to wold form to hunt and run is a really interesting idea and as we can see at certain points Min Yue is more than happy to destroy to get her quarry but finds her goal of parental approval a burden. It makes for an interesting ambiguous character who is finding her own role in the universe and I’m looking forward to how she develops in future episodes. The battle between wold and human elements is also intriguing - we see a relative who as she has gotten older has become far more readily wolf (is that a bad thing?).
Alongside this are many factions all trying to gain power and influence from Ying Mue’s family; the internal battles of Leung’s group and a mysterious group of aliens who seem to have their own agenda at play in the wider cosmos which Earth is a recent addition to.
My only reservation is it was a short adventure I wanted MORE!! It feels very much a tale setting up the universe and the factions within it. But I strongly urge you if you’re looking for some different SF and to get in early on what looks to be a very interesting adventure then give this a try!