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Under Far Galaxian Skies (Inner Universe #4)

Updated: Apr 27

Inner Universe, Book 4. Balfour's Story, Book 1.

By Natalie Kelda.

Under Far Galaxian Skies releases April 23rd, 2024.

Find it it here: Link to Natalie's webpage

A tense and emotional read full of action and heart.


This is the first (and definitely not last) of Natalie's novels I've read. I started out with some of her short stories and one of them (Where Kids Are Monsters) hit me right in the feels and touches on Balfour's backstory (MC in Under Far Galaxian Skies) .

Now I had to read more of him!

Under Far Galaxian Skies dives straight into action and I had moment of doubt of whether or not I should've started with an earlier book, but it quickly became clear that this was it's own story, and what was needed of background information was scattered along the way.

The setting is a ruthless planet in a faraway galaxy, where poor Balfour gets sold off as a slave after having been captured by space pirates (yes, space pirates, how freaking cool is that!). Escaping the slave pits he finds himself stuck in an unknown city and has to dodge venomous reptiles, murderous guards, and jumpy thieves.

Balfour as a character is great! He's capable but clueless in the new world he's dumped into and Natalie does a great job at weaving in the language barriers and culture differences. The poor guy has survived a traumatic past, and the aftermath still colors his world and mind - mostly for the worst. As someone who's struggled (and still struggles) with anxiety, guilt, and self-loathing, it became almost too easy to follow Balfour's internal struggles. At one point I just wanted to scream at the pages that his destructive thoughts weren't true and he should go get a hug.

The supporting characters are complex and complements the world with depth and detail. The dialogue is fun and lifelike and fits the characters and situations. The worldbuilding is outstanding and it comes to life with the details that gets sprinkled through the story. From space dragons, whole planets under quarantine, floating ships, talking tracker rats, blue-fanged people, several languages, slang, portals, floating cities - it truly feels like it all exists out there in a galaxy far, far away.

I was rooting for Balfour and Skye all throughout and as the pages flew by and there was less and less of the book left, I started to worry what Natalie had planned for the poor babies I'd come to love.

The ending is satisfying, and yet so, so not at all! I'm aching to get my hands on the sequel!!

Balfour and his struggles will stay with me for a long while.

I received this book as an ARC in return of an honest review.

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