Earth’s First StarFighter by Han Yang

Darius becomes Earth’s first StarFighter after the alien Iglax come into the human solar system and start to exploit humanity for its resources, which introduces humanity to the wider, more hostile universe.


  • Refreshing science fiction story with a seemingly dynamic universe
  • Fantastic plot that engages readers
  • Great battle scenes


  • Too short
  • Main goal of the protagonist sometimes gets lost

Earth’s First StarFighter by Han Yang Review

Earth’s First StarFighter by Han Yang is a refreshing standalone science fiction story that not only manages to create a story universe that feels dynamic and real, but it also manages to do that within the confines of one book.

What takes many science fiction writers several books to accomplish, Han Yang manages to do so in one book with a method that is clever, and he manages to do so without losing sight of the central conflict of the story: saving Earth.

Although there are times in the story where Darius, the protagonist, may seem to forget his central goal, and the conflict of the story, he’s always steered back toward it. Readers are reminded that Darius is not some young, reckless fool gallivanting across the known galaxy racking up kills, credits, and acquaintances despite he states.

What Yang manages to do well is to give the story universe a sense of realism and dynamic that is sometimes missing from even science fiction series that span several books. That’s because those stories are too focused on the protagonist and the ship triumphing over obstacles rather than having protagonists, especially naive ones, wade through existing establishments.

Darius reminds readers that the galactic political structure, as well as the infrastructure, have been around for millions of years—most of the ship designs, including his own starfighter, are just as old—so having one person from an unknown, infant species come onto the stage and upset it is highly unlikely.

What makes the story feel alive is Darius and the adventures he takes. While he learns about the galaxy at large, so too do the readers learn about the story universe they find themselves in. For instance, one of Darius’ first missions is a bounty hunt, and his accomplishments in this hunt earn him recognition that is used later to compel him to participate in a scheme by the GGA, a galactic alliance numerous species and main governmental body in the galaxy.

Being taken advantage of by the GGA, as well as being nickel and dimed by the Iglax and all other species—the constant references to credits—gives a sense of realism to the story.

Luckily for readers, Darius’ impetuousness and impatience as a fighter pilot makes for interesting stories. He’s not just content to pilot mining ships. So the story is filled with exciting adventures and space battles with both small and big ships that keep readers focused and in suspense.

The likelihood of Darius being a better fighter pilot than aliens who have been flying for millennia seems unlikely until readers consider the galaxy’s obsession with credits. The desire to preserve credits is embedded even in piracy through the deployment of missiles. With this in mind, it makes sense why people may be cautious about space battles and why someone like Darius may take more risks.

Earth’s First StarFighter by Han Yang is an exciting adventure story set in a universe that is alive and changing. While the universe may be filled with aliens of all sorts, the underlying mechanism that governs the universe and propels it is, unfortunately for those who have an ideal Star Trek future, going to be familiar for many readers.

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