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Michael Moreci has the Rebel Alliance logo tattooed on his forearm. Suffice it to say, he likes Star Wars. So when his editor came to him and said, “write me a love letter to Star Wars,” the author jumped at the chance. The result is Black Star Renegades, your new favorite space opera.

Black Star Renegades is the story of Cade Sura, a member of an ancient peace-keeping organization. As the story starts, Cade is something of an underachiever with a poor self-image. But when the galaxy’s greatest power is thrust upon him, Cade and his band of misfits are forced to step up to the plate and lead the charge against the evil Praxis kingdom.

Renegades doesn’t hide where its inspiration came from – there are plenty of characters and one-liners that pay clear homage to George Lucas’ classic – but Moreci manages to take all these elements and tell a story that feels fresh. In fact, I dare say there are certain characters in Renegades that surpass their Star Wars foil. Praxis leader Ga Halle has much more complex motivations than Emperor Palpatine ever did; she’s outright sympathetic at times. Meanwhile, the heroes are just plain fun to read. Moreci uses humorous dialogue and tragic backstories to make the renegades relatable, creating a direct line between them and the reader’s heart.

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Black Star Renegades

Moreci comes from writing comic books, which are a visual medium. He’s used to writing scripts that an illustrator has to fully realize, meaning he has to paint a clear picture. Renegades shows how well he’s developed this skill. From space battles to wretched hives of scum and villainy, Moreci creates a vivid atmosphere and transports you to this galaxy far, far away. The action in particular reads cinematically; when you play back what you’re reading in your mind’s eye, you’ll be playing it on a big screen.

Before securing his readers’ attention with compelling plot and characters, Moreci invites them in with a very accessible writing style. His narration is casual and conversational, making the story and action easy to follow. It’s even sarcastic and funny at times, mirroring the attitude of protagonist Cade (i.e. “‘I’m not moping,’ Cade said, trying to conceal his moping.”). Kudos to Moreci for crafting not only an interesting story, but also one that’s fun to read.

But Black Star Renegades is more than simple fun. It’s actually a deep story about fate and control that’s just disguised as a sci-fi romp. It’s about the struggle between what others expect of you and what you want for yourself. We see this struggle through the eyes of Cade, but every other character is also dealing with it. They all have to learn how dangerous “destiny” can be. You can’t sit around waiting for someone else to make your life better; at some point you need to step up and take responsibility. And we also see the flip side of that. Certain characters have to learn that there are some things that you can never have control over, and you need to accept that too.

Black Star Renegades is a multilayered and fun thrill ride from beginning to end. Moreci has written a story that’s a breeze to get through, but you won’t want to see it end. It’s perfect for fans of Star Wars and sci-fi in general, but it seems unfair to pigeonhole this book to just that category. It’s really for anyone that likes interesting characters, mystery, action, adventure, philosophy, tight storytelling, and so much more! A sequel is already planned for 2019, so get on this train early. You won’t want to miss it.

Black Star Renegades will be released January 2, 2018.

Cade Sura holds the future of the galaxy in his hands: the ultimate weapon that will bring total peace. He didn’t ask for it, he doesn’t want it, and there’s no worse choice to wield it in all of space, but if he doesn’t, everyone’s totally screwed. The evil Praxis kingdom is on the cusp of having every star system under its control, and if that happens, there’ll be no contesting their cruel reign. Especially if its fanatical overlord, Ga Halle, manages to capture Cade and snag the all-powerful weapon for herself.

Cade can’t hide from Praxis, and he can’t run from the destiny that’s been shoved into his hands. So he only has one option:

He has to fight.

Cade’s not going to let destiny send him on a suicide run, though. With some help from his friends―rebels and scoundrels alike―Cade’s going to use this weapon to chart a new destiny for the galaxy, and for himself.

He just has to do so before everyone around him discovers that he’s a complete and total fraud.

Blending the space operatics of Star Wars and the swagger of Guardians of the GalaxyBlack Star Renegades is a galaxy-hopping adventure that blasts its way from seedy spacer bars to sacred temples guarded by deadly creatures―all with a cast of misfit characters who have nowhere to go and nothing to lose.

Anthony Composto - EIC
Editor-in-Chief for Monkeys Fighting Robots. A lifelong fan of Spider-Man and the Mets, Anthony loves an underdog story. He earned his B.A. in English because of his love for words, and his MBA because of his need for cash. He considers comics to be The Great American Art Form, and loves horror movies, indie dramas, action/thrillers, and everything in between.
black-star-renegades-review'Black Star Renegades' is far from a simple love letter to 'Star Wars'. Michael Moreci creates a vivid new galaxy for readers to explore, with characters that are both fun to read and easy to sympathize with. Themes of destiny and control deepen an otherwise fun and lighthearted romp. Highly recommended.