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Red House Books is going through a bit of a update!

I've always had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted this space to be but I've been detoured from my path by...lots and lost of other people's opinions and ways of doing things...

I'm committed to this little chunk of the interweb but I've also branched out into other places so! Now it's time to think of Red House Books as more of a hub of all things me! And Me is a hell of a lot of book love!

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Book Review: Empress of A Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

Book #1 of the Empress of A Thousand Skies series
Genre: YA sci-fi, fantasy
Publication: February 2017 by Razorbill
Acquisition: received an ARC as a gift

Synopsis:
Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta'an wants vengeance.

The only surviving heir to an ancient Kalusian dynasty, Rhee has spent her life training to destroy the people who killed her family. Now, on the eve of her coronation, the time has finally come for Rhee to claim her throne - and her revenge.

Alyosha is a Wraetan who has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. Despite his popularity, Aly struggles with anti-Wraetan prejudices and the pressure of being perfect in the public eye.

Their paths collide with one brutal act of violence: Rhee is attacked, barely escaping with her life. Aly is blamed for her presumed murder.

The princess and her accused killer are forced to go into hiding - even as a war between planets is waged in Rhee's name. But soon, Rhee and Aly discover that the assassination attempt is just one part of a sinister plot. Bound together by an evil that only they can stop, the two fugitives must join forces to save the galaxy.
(from Goodreads)
3 / 5 Stars

This one was all over the place for me. I loved it, it annoyed me, I loved it again, I wasn't feeling the need to finish it and then I ate up the ending quicker then anything.

What I liked:
The setting -- space! I love YA space stories! Give them all to me!
Ok - and the characters...most of the time.
And the story itself was good...not great but pretty good. The chase was nice - very fast moving with lots of pieces in play. The world was complex and pretty flushed out and the rules were pretty straightforward -- meaning, nothing seemed like a curve ball (which can sometimes happen with books set in space cause anything goes! But it really shouldn't…)
Anyway! I did like the story. Very much.

What I didn't like:
Those rules. Those rules of the world that everyone fit into without straying far into the implausible and crazy. I didn't like them. The system of government was hard to figure out and the...let's call it the movement of people? The transportation logistics were a little off. I had a hard time keeping straight where everyone came from, where they were going and how they got there.
Oh! And the characters - not many of them and they don't fit together really until BAM! Connections!! OOOO! Except, it was predictable. Very predictable. With so few potential players on the board, and loads of foreshadowing, when someone new just pops up? It's pretty easy to figure out who they are.
And then the ending - nope - it didn't work for me at all.

Final thoughts:
I really wanted to love this one and I was disappointed. But! I don't think everyone would be. I would still recommend Empress of A Thousand Skies to YA sci-fi fans and I will be reading book 2 because although I didn't really like how forced the character's connections were, I still have a need to see how everything plays out for them in the end.

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