Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Zenith by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings

Title: Zenith
Author: Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Source: Harlequin via NetGalley

Most know Androma Racella as the Bloody Baroness, a powerful mercenary whose reign of terror stretches across the Mirabel Galaxy. To those aboard her glass starship, Marauder, however, she's just Andi, their friend and fearless leader.

But when a routine mission goes awry, the Marauder's all-girl crew is tested as they find themselves in a treacherous situation and at the mercy of a sadistic bounty hunter from Andi's past.

Meanwhile, across 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 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 shipor just as easily start a war that will devour worlds. As the Marauder hurtles toward the unknown, and Mirabel hangs in the balance, the only certainty is that in a galaxy run on lies and illusion, no one can be trusted.
Review by Nara

Zenith is author and booktuber Sasha Alsberg's first novel, and with the first glimpse of her writing abilities, I'd have to say that there is a lot to improve on. I'm not exactly sure how she collaborated with Lindsay Cummings on this one because there's only one point of view (sidenote: I never really get how it works when authors collab and there's only one POV), but I feel like the two of them should probably rethink certain aspects of the writing process when planning the sequels.

The main problem with Zenith is that it was too slow and too long. Especially in the middle, there were big sections where basically nothing seemed to be happening, and made it difficult to keep my attention fully on the novel. I guess this may be one of the reasons why the book failed to fully engage me despite the characters actually seeming to have somewhat interesting back stories.

It was also pretty mediocre because it was extremely generic. To be honest, I'm not sure there was a single fresh idea different from other YA scifi novels. While this isn't necessarily a be-all-or-end-all, if there aren't unique ideas, I want better execution of them, and Zenith didn't bring that to the table. The villain in particular seemed quite generic.

The ending did become more interesting than the initial parts of the book, but I'm not sure that it's interesting enough for me to continue with the series. I would at this point say probably not.

It was okay
Overall: 4/10
Plot: 2.5/5
Romance: 1/5
Writing: 2/5
World Building: 2/5
Characters: 2/5
Cover: 3/5