Review :: Zenith :: Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings

Despite being a fan of sci-fi on the screen, I hardly read any (and, weirdly, vice-versa for fantasy – I don’t watch a lot but it makes up most of my reading). With Zenith, the stars kind of aligned (haha, stars, sci-fi, space  – see what I did there?) – the Read Harder Challenge 2018 includes a task about female author/protagonist sci-fi, I’d heard a bit of buzz about this book, and Harlequin Books had review copies available. It’s YA sci-fi featuring a crew of female space pirates… how could I say no?

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… 

This is a pretty huge book (the review copy I had was over 500 pages) but once I started I got thorough it quickly, and gaaaah! I thought it was so good! It gave me my first GIANT book hangover of 2018! (sequel now please?)

It just felt like an adventure from the very start. I loved the fierce but flawed female protagonists (space pirates!), and thought the couple of AI characters were really fun. I’m not a reader who needs every single detail about an alien world described, but I thought the world building gave me plenty to imagine, and I liked that there was some political intrigue – this gave it a bit of a ‘Queen of the Tearling’ feeling for me.  I saw some of my favourite tropes in this book, and enjoyed the twists (I was surprised!). I’m looking forward to the next book in the Androma series!

In terms of reading challenges, this meets the criteria for two Book Riot Reader Harder Challenge tasks:
16. The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series
17. A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author

Thanks so much to Harlequin Books for sending me a free copy of Zenith in exchange for an honest review.

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