Welcome back Bookaholics!
I absolutely love YouTube. My favourite videos to watch are silly make-up videos like this one from Wengie, where she does her make up entirely with lollies, and theories like this retelling of the Pixar Theory as told by the Super Carlin Brothers; but my all-time favourite videos to watch are BookTuber videos. I have many favourites, but the person who really made me like watching BookTube has to be Sasha from ABookUtopia.
It was over four months ago when I watched one of Sasha’s many Youtube videos about the anticipated release of her book Zenith – part 1 of the Androma saga – with Lindsay Cummings, the author of The Murder Complex, and I knew in that moment that when this novella was released I would need to get my virtual hands on it straight away.
There is darkness sweeping across the stars.
Most know Androma Racella as the Bloody Baroness: a powerful mercenary whose reign of terror stretches across the Mirabel Galaxy. To those aboard her fearsome glass starship the Maurader, she’s just Andi, their captain and protector.
When a routine mission goes awry, the all-girl crew’s resilience is tested as they find themselves in a most unfamiliar place: at the mercy of a sadistic bounty hunter connected to Andi’s past and a harrowing betrayal.
Meanwhile, on the far side of the galaxy, a ruthless ruler waits in the shadows of the planet Xen Ptera, biding her time to exact revenge for the destruction of her people. The final pieces of her deadly plan are about to fall into place, unleashing a plot that will tear Mirabel in two.
Andi and her crew embark on a dangerous, soul-testing journey that could restore order to their ship—or just as easily start a war that will devour worlds. As the Marauder hurtles towards the unknown, and Mirabel hangs in the balance, the only thing certain is that in a galaxy run on lies and illusion, no one can be trusted.
From internet sensation Sasha Alsberg and author Lindsay Cummings comes a new serialized space opera, full of action, fantastical intrigue, and steamy star-crossed romance.
For fans of popular sci-fi books and fantasy books for teens such as Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, Wool by Hugh Howey, Truthwitch by Susan Dennard, and A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
I really enjoyed reading this story. It was short, sweet, and full of drama. But it wasn’t all great.
Ever since I became invested in Steampunk stories, I have also been investing my time in reading Sci-Fi novels. I know it may seem that these two are nothing alike, but they are. While reading this book, I thought a lot of the most recent space set novel I read; Illuminae.
Honestly? I didn’t expect Zenith to be this good. Having not read any of Lindsay’s books, and this being Sasha’s first, I didn’t expect it to be amazing.
Zenith had me hooked for two hours! It took me – a slow ass reader – two hours to fly through an eBook! I hate eBooks! Below I am going to list the pros and cons of what I liked and didn’t like in this book because there are good points but many flaws which I assume Sasha and Lindsay are going to iron out in their revised version of the book.
- Diversity! What captured my attention was the diversity of the girls on board the ship. How they came from different planets, had different colour skin and hair, and were just overall powerful and badass.
- Badassery! Yes that is now a word (my autocorrect didn’t fix it), and it perfectly describes the girls aboard the ship. Just the fact that there was a whole ship run by women who managed to get along and carry guns was pretty cool and broke down all stigmatism around women with guns and running things.
- The Ships Name! Yes I was totally all for the name “Marauder” for the ship. It kinda had an ironic aspect to it, because there are four best friends like the four Marauders running a muck in the galaxy (Hogwarts).
- Backstories. I do like learning about characters as an individual and how they become to the position they are in, and I found that Sasha and Lindsay had a clear idea of the backgrounds of the Marauders and they conveyed this to us in an effective and informative way.
- More! I feel that if I was offered more of this story, I will read it. Definitely!
- Locations. Yeah I get this is part of a saga and the authors do want to reveal more information in the later volumes, but what I really needed was a map or some description of the galaxy and what planets were in it, and who lived on those planets. It did feel like I had random information thrown at me and I wasn’t sure what to do with it.
- The use of weird words… What is a “Xen Pterran Darowak”? Like the above point, I get this story will be continued by other stories, but I feel that to better understand what is happening and to form a scene in my mind I need more description. I just imagined the “Xen Pterran Darowak” as another space ship.
- A love interest? For Androma? Nooooooo! It showed her weakness and broke down that badass image I had of Androma. I was told of a powerful woman spacecraft captain a.k.a “The Bloody Baroness” and then shown her breakdown into flashbacks and submission as soon as a boy was introduced. She was really all talk.
- Writing. The writing was quite obviously interchanging between experienced and non-experienced author. This is not to say that Sasha cannot improve because I would read any book she produced – cross my heart – but I am just saying the difference was quite obvious.
When I was reading, I was so immersed in this book, I wasn’t thinking about this review that I would write. Looking back at the book now I am thinking that there are a great deal of negative points to this story, and these are proportionally higher than the positive points and that is why I gave this story a ★★★☆☆ (3/5 star) rating on Goodreads.
See you again Monday 🙂