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ARC Four Star Review: The Disasters by M.K. England

ARC provided by HarperTeen and Edelweiss in Exchange for an Honest Review

Ok before I actually go into the review of The Disasters by M.K. England I feel the need to go into a bit of a disclaimer. This is the third high review I’ve given in a row. However, it is also a completely different genre of the two books before it.
Also, the book before these three was a 3.5 star review and before that I went through quite a book slump. I don’t usually give a public review to books that are going to fall into a one or two star review. However, I made one exception because I was so entirely disturbed, ethically, by some of what was covered in the book. It was completely in appropriate for Young Adult novel (and I’m a Game of Thrones fan, so that takes a bit for me to say). So I felt it the right thing to do (and if you want to see the review, please scroll through my reviews to find it. It is the only published two star review.
Secondly, before that there were three books I could not, for the life of me finish. I will not name them here. I do not, unless in the case above, publicly review books that I cannot finish. I don’t feel any good comes of doing this to an author or their work. It could just not be my type of book. So while it might seem like there are a lot of high rated books over last week and starting this week. It has come at the end of a drought of good reads. It is not that I’m an easy to please reader. I just don’t tend to publish anything below three stars and It has been a case of DNF or BRILLIANCE lately.
Lastly, I have read, in the past week in a half- two weeks three completely different genres and loved all three, which is a good thing. I like variety (and need it right now). So while yes, I have given out high ratings to the two previous books, and now The Disasters, comparing them would be apples and oranges. They are of completely different genres. OK. Now that is out of the way…

The Disasters is a laugh out loud mash-up of characters so diverse that even when you think you know where they lie on the spectrum of diversity, two chapters later you realize they have a multi-cultural and sexual orientation chasm going on in one character. Meanwhile I don’t remember any of this being mentioned in the promotion for the book, nor the overriding Middle-Eastern themes. Well done on the England and HarperTeen’s part to let that be a surprise welcome. This book is being promoted on the the plot, characters and overall fun to be had. Oh and the dedication, which I love.

To everyone who’s ever felt like a disaster. Here, have a spaceship! Now fly.

There is so much of Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy in this book that I almost forced myself not to laugh. However it only took about thirty pages before I couldn’t help but laugh out loud (and that isn’t easy to make me do these days). Nax, the main character and our first person point-of-view is the self-confident on the outside and all kinds of hot mess on the inside “captain, my captain” as co-conspirator to be, Rion calls him, provides that laugh.

“Stop yawing, stop yawing!” I shout back to Rion, not even slightly sure that yawing is an actual word, but also not giving a flying, crashing fuck.

Nax is definitely Hans Solo-esque all the way. Although Rion definitely takes the cake as a bi-sexual, African-American British male raised for the political world with a flair for table top dancing meant for distraction.

Meanwhile, in the middle of the humor, the layers of cultural, sexual and worlds of diversity England manages bring in political commentary that while set about 150 years from now, is completely relevant to current times. While not spoiling the story, beseech it to say that a group that was supposedly put to rest a hundred years ago found a way to go underground and infiltrate itself into different systems that made it more powerful then when it was publicly out in front as a political force garnering support. By infiltrating the different worlds systematically it was able to reach the upper echelon’s of power and rear its ugly heads in the most powerful positions in the worlds beyond Earth and devise a plan to destroy everything that had been built over the past 100 years (sound familiar)?  .
Now it is up to our Space Academy rejects that are accused of all the crimes they didn’t commit to clear their names, stop this evil force and save the universe. Here is where I start to hear a bit of Lord of the Rings ringing in my head. At one point, Nax is thinking…

This whole thing is cracked. Way dangerous; god, I know it is… We each have to execute our roles perfectly. Grenades flying, weapons firing, beefy security guys… I hope we all live… I take a deep breath… “Let’s do this.”

And with that all I can hear is…

Don’t get me wrong. This is NOT a criticism. There is nothing wrong with drawing from your inspirations. Especially when you draw from the best there is and England definitely draws from the best.
In the end, The Disasters is a high-paced, #squadgoals, laugh out loud, fun read that I hope to see on the big screen some day. It was built for it! Each world was vividly described in immense detail and would make for brilliant tie-ins in a second book. The same could be said for each character.
While we had the chance to begin to delve into the character back stories I get the suspicion that was just the beginning. I would love to see this squad move forward, as well. The ending went a little too fast for me and maybe that is why I would like to see them move forward together.
After that ending, which I won’t spoil… this squad deserves another impossible mission and chance to find their identity as a team and each other. I can’t help but get the feeling there is so much more to come for them as a team and individually! There is more to be learned about each character’s back story, family and what makes them tick, more on why they were booted from the academy and why some are done with Earth. Again there were surface reasons given but I just have an inkling that is the tip of the ice burgh.
I can see a second book full of … Why is Case? What is Case? When is Case? Who is Case? Where is Case? … ok I will stop Guardianing now…. FLY ON Disasters!!! I can’t wait to see what is in store next.

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