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Publisher's Summary

"Soldiers need wars, doctors need patients, and the Nanshe needs trouble. That's just kinda how it is."

The galaxy ain't a friendly place, but it's a good sight better when you've got friends at your back. And when the crew of the Nanshe stumbles into larger-than-your-average trouble, they'll need all the help they can get.

What starts off as a simple retrieval of stolen goods turns deadly when Leena Espinoza discovers a girl stashed in a cellar, her guardian murdered. The crew has a soft spot for hard cases, and despite Delilah's odd behavior, offers help instead of turning her over to the authorities.

But what they don't know might kill them.

No good deed goes unpunished, and the crew winds up on the radar in the worst possible way. Merc squads, shadowy coalitions, plus the usual criminal element are all on their tails, so it's fight or flight.

As a plot to unbalance the entire civilized universe unfolds around them, the ladies of the SS Nanshe gear up for battle. Through blood and fire, they'll do everything they can to protect what little they have. In the vast blackness of space, taking matters into your own hands isn't an option.... It's a matter of survival.

©2018 Starla Huchton (P)2018 Starla Huchton

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An entertaining story.

This is a fun Audio Book with a good plot and well developed characters.

The key to any good effort in Audio is the Narrator and that is true here.

The Narrator helps make the story come alive.




This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable all-woman SciFi adventure

If Josh Wheden were given an opportunity to remake “Firefly” with an all-girl cast, he’d likely produce “Make Bright the Arrows (Flights of the Nanshe, Book 1)”. As it is, author Starla Huchton delivers an amazing homage to that classic SciFi series, and she narrates it herself terrifically, using multiple accents to great effect!

My favorite of her voices is that of Cynthia, the pilot, but alas, despite there being identical twins on board the SS Nanshe, this book is not lesfic, is not erotica and there is not even a romance. There is though, a hugely enjoyable story of smugglers with varied pasts, space battles, mysteriously shady organizations, and, as with all great SciFi stories…a human story of friendships and loyalties.

The story is told from the POV of Leena, one of the crew of the SS Nanshe. As the first person to find 15yo Lilah, she is put in charge of her until they find a safe place for her. It’s cute how they bond over watching Leena’s pan-galactic rodeo crush, braiding hair, and talking of climbing trees! I really love it when an author tells a story of real people, not just dazzling high-tech adventures. Well, it turns out that the safest place for Leena is on the smuggler ship, and dazzling high-tech adventures do abound!

As the SS Nanshe travels to different ports of call, we are often treated to very immersive descriptions of the locales, including Leena’s observations of how different the towns and life is now vs. just a few years ago. She finds "inspiration in the determination of people to carve out a life, even in dangerous places."

Another quote I liked was from Captain Edy when she tells Leena: "What we mean to other people doesn’t define us…but it does give us purpose."

There is lots of action packed in “Make Bright the Arrows”, but I was glad we got to know the characters as well as enjoy the action. The audiobook deserves my 5* rating, and I encourage anyone who loves strong women characters in a SciFi setting to listen to the book! Interestingly, this is the first time I’ve seen an audiobook being released a few weeks ahead of the Kindle version, btw!

The story wrapped up not quite as a cliffhanger, but certainly teases with further adventures for Lilah and all the others! I definitely look forward to the next book in the series!


I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

My rating and my review was not in anyway affected by my having been provided a review copy.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Backlash
  • Princeton, NC United States
  • 07-28-18

Aim'n to Misbehave

A group of female space traders and recovery specialists come across a strange girl while attempting a delivery. What happens from there is fun and explosive. Borrowing more than a cup of sugar from Firefly the story does manage to come into it's own and doesn't disappoint the reader. I am looking forward to book two in the series. Also, the narrator is INCREDIBLE at managing the many different accents and characters voices giving each character its own nuances.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Excellently Narrated!

Make Bright the Arrows is a well written and narrated book. I enjoyed the story and the variety of characters in it.

I was able to easily get into the story. I liked the different characters involved and the emotional connections that were there between the characters.

This was the first audio book I have listened to where the author narrated the book, and Huchton did an excellent job of it. Hearing the conversations, discussions and arguments from the auther made it much more enjoyable and allows me to be there with the characters.

I look forward to the coniuation of this story.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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5 solid, Bright Stars!

Okay... I loved this audio book so much that I gulped it down in a day... What an amazing story by Starla Huchton, who is an amazing and talented writer, as well as a damn fine voice actor...
Huchton created a memorable crew for the mercenary ship, the S.S. Nanshe. The youngest and newest member of the crew is our protagonist, Leena, and she builds a relationship with a young, scared, extra special foundling named Delilah. The book really did have a Firefly(esque) feel to it, so much so that I found myself wanting to give them all brown coats (LOL)... But, I didn't care, really that just made me love it more! Wait. What? Was that a Man from U.N.C.L.E. reference? Hahaha... a Man from U.N.C.L.E. reference (seems kind of odd, from someone of her generation).

Do yourself a favor and grab this action-packed Space Opera. Folks that like books by Becky Chambers, or enjoyed Firefly (the series) are gonna love this book. Heck people that found and loved Lindsay Buroker's The Emperor's Edge, with Starla Huchton's narration on podiobooks from way-back-in-the-day are gonna be thrilled to see what Starla's up to now!
I'm giving this one, 5 Solid, Bright Stars!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dee
  • LA
  • 07-22-18

Best. Author. Narrated. Book. Ever.

I am not a fan of author-narrated books but Huchton made me a believer. (I hadn't realized this was an author narrated book when I downloaded it. When it was stated in the first chapter I almost stopped listening. I'm so glad I didn't.)

This book was great from the very beginning. In fact, right around chapter three, I stopped the listen to confirm that it was a series. I did not want it to be a one and done!

Okay, I've gushed enough. The story...

There were three things that endeared me to this story:
1) It was science fiction.
2) The heroes were all females.
3) The main hero had a Southern accent
It what universe does that spell "great book?" This one!!!

The crew of the Nanshe are a group of female protagonists with an attitude. They rescue a waif with secrets and the fun begins.

The narrator could not have been better. Her Southern accent was impeccable. Her Irish twins were distinct and mischievous. Her, um, captain, was strong and mysterious. Nothing was amiss and everything put you right in the moment. Authors are known for writing a good book. It's great to see (finally) that they can read a good one as well.

I can't wait for book two!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • TU
  • 08-14-18

DAMN good book!

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

This was a very fun listen. It has a Firefly feel to it but with an all female crew. That the author also narrated her book, and did it well, was a cool bonus. The story is interesting and engaging. The characters are highly entertaining. All in all, one of the better sci fi books I've listened to in a quite a while.

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FABULOUS!!

If Firefly had an all female crew, this would be it. Yet the story and characters are completely unique, engaging, and unforgettable. Loved every minute of it! Superb voice acting!!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cody
  • Fargo
  • 08-10-18

Space Cowgirls.

There is an obvious nod to Firefly/Serenity here, but it takes the theme in it's own direction. It could have been easily written into the same universe. The story line is a little too close to that of Firefly (in my opinion). The narration is good, but not great, and I didn't find myself caring too much about any one character, but the overall story was fun and easy to stay engaged in. The all girl crew was a cool take on the theme. If you're looking for a fun space cowboy story you'll enjoy this one, despite it's being an almost carbon copy of Serenity's main storyline.

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  • MelHay
  • Adamsburg, PA
  • 08-07-18

Gentle space opera with action & Firefly influence

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Starla is an amazing author and awesome voice to listen to. She voices the crew of Nanshe with different accents and personalities. I was impressed with how different each character came across! In distinct tones, accents, and personality of voice. Starla brought the crew to life for us. The pacing was fitting for the story, easy to follow that moved along. If there was a moment where we felt as though things moved faster, Starla gave us the feel of the moment. Starla felt seamless in her narration and the background was clear. Wonderful job!

Starla channeled a little of Joss Whedon for this book. I immediately felt a strong Firefly influence in the story, which carried through the whole book. But the crew is all female. The ship is a crew of woman that do search and salvage jobs to get by, things they are hired to find. At times, this can be more dangerous than other times. What they find on their latest delivery is more than they could have expected. When delivering a mysterious box to a Reverend, they find a teenage girl huddled away in a hidden basement room. In trying to find a place for this innocent to go, they find that someone has paid a steep price to send dangerous people after her. And the little innocent girl is more than they ever foreseen.

I love this crew! Leena is the point of view character on the ship for us, and we learn that they won't take advantage of Lilah as many people would. The crew may be of a mercenary sort with some of the jobs they take, but they have morals they live by. They all have each other's back at all times. They even have a sense of what others need to do to become more in their own rights. There are moments Leena is worried that the boss, Edie, might turn Lilah over to someone who would take advantage of her or worse, to save them all. And Edie might still just do it with the way things go.

Each crew member has their own story for ending up here on the Nanshe and in their dangerous line of work, Cynthia, JC, Anita, Doc Jasmine Cole, and Kara, and we get to hear some of them. If I had to pick my favorite character... Ugh! I don't know if I could do that. We get to know the crew pretty well through Leena and her thoughts. I think I'd have to pick Lilah though. She's the wild card though the story. She's the reason I was so glued to the pages, just to learn if what I suspected was true then to learn why and how and what will be done about those after her. I would like to learn more about Edie though. She's the owner of the ship and doesn't like to be called captain. There is a story to her and I'm curious about it.

I found it interesting how Edie seems to be pushing Leena to learn to be more a leader than a follower. The thing is, Leena has the traits to be a leader, I don't really see her as a follower but she doesn't always think as a leader does. Leena is growing stronger in her own mind through this book as she learns little lessons along the way as she watches over Lilah. Leena sort of becomes of a motherly nature with Lilah and her eyes are opened about a few crew members too.

I love how the characters are who they are; straight, gay, fire-y red heads, owner/boss, and more but the story isn't about all that. All of it is a part of who the character is, sure their past and who they are influences their decisions, but that goes for everyone. They don't care any less for each other for any of it. They accept each other as individuals and family. It's well done as the character is who she is and the story happens.

This is a story of a crew of strong woman doing their thing in space to survive. A story full of family and action on the ground and in space. They have to think out of the box with being in space, and they do. This is not a romance story, no intimate scenes or major flirting happening. Sure there is love to be found, but it's the love of family and dear friends. The story is more a gentle space opera than scifi, in my opinion. There is not all the scifi tech we have to understand to get the story.

I would highly recommend this story to anyone (male or female) who enjoys action and camaraderie of a crew with great personalities. And looking for some fun.

Starla has outdone herself once again! On so many levels. Character wise. Plot wise. World wise. I can't wait to read/listen to more of the adventures of the Nanshe!

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  • Norma Miles
  • 08-12-18

Quack, quack!

A routine, if unexpected, delivery of a package by the all female crew of the almost legitimate retrieval ship, the Nanshe,, finds the named recipient dead and a young girl hiding in a cellar. She says she's fifteen but looks no older than twelve. And she is terrified. And talking in biblical phrases. Not knowing what else to do since she is obviously alone and had probably been abused, the crew take her on board and Lena, the most recent of the seven members, is tasked with caring for her until she can be delivered to a Convent community a few days travel distant.
And then it all goes wrong.

Fast paced, intriguing and well written, this first book of a new space adventure series is both exciting and, at times, amusing with good characterisation and dialogue. The women on board are very individualistic, far from perfect loners but with an intense loyalty of family to each other. They try to do what is right but in this futuristic world, that isn't always clear and rarely easy.
A good series introduction, starting gently but rapidly building into cosmic action, it is also narrated by the author, S.A.Huckton, which can frequently be a big mistake, but in this case her performance definitely enhances the listening experience. Her reading is clear, well paced, with good intonation and adherence to the nuances of the text. Her character voicings are superb, very distinctive and different and with a variety of accents, increasing the feeling of really getting to know the crew. I very much look forward to book two with Ms.Huckton once again narrating.

My thanks to the rights holder who, at my request, freely gifted me a complimentary copy of Make Bright the Arrows, via Audiobook Boom. Recommended for all who enjoy S.F.stories of space adventuring. It's good, serious, fighting fun.