Trigger Warnings: murder, PTSD (bad rep), grief
Release Date: January 16th, 2018
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Goodreads Review: here
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
R A M B L E
Here’s the thing, I knew Zenith wasn’t going to be the book for me. I knew it in my soul. I had read the small snippet that was released last year. I hated it. At first, I was shocked, because it was pretty good on my first read through. However, the more I sat on it the more I hated it. This 500-page copy of Zenith was somehow worse than those first 62 pages that were released.
I have never been so bored reading a book. Nothing happens. These characters are dull and our main character, Androma (Andi), is so fucking boring. I’m going to talk about this later in this review, but it is insane what an unmemorable character she was.
It felt like Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings tried too hard to turn Zenith into something it wasn’t. Filled with a ridiculous amount of POV chapters I feel the story was lost within side plots that did not add to the story in any way. I also believe that the duo tried to create a story that would be similar to the YA favourite Six of Crows and Throne of Glass. I found myself picking up on many similarities throughout the 500-page novel and wanting to roll my eyes.
Not even that, but simply the overwhelming fact that the writing style was boring. It was clear that one part of the novel had been more heavily edited than the second half. It was also incredibly clear that this book was written by two authors. In my opinion, the duo’s writing styles didn’t flow together and left this particular version of the book feeling clunky. The flow was truly off, with the pair focusing more on scenes that added useless information to the story rather than the main plot.
It wasn’t even that, actually. The first part of the book (the original 62 pages) had been edited to have a sort of flowery style of writing. It was confusing and unnecessary the amount of metaphors and similes that had been thrown into this book. None of which really made sense. However, that style of writing basically completely stops out of nowhere and it becomes incredibly messy. I know this is an eARC but I found several mistakes throughout and repeats of words and phrases. I definitely couldn’t stand the fact that you were told Andi’s backstory every fifty or so pages. It was frustrating because purely because this book could have been 300 pages shorter and still delivered the same plot.
I also quickly want to mention the girls inclusion of PTSD. As someone who has PTSD I found their attempt at representing it through their main character laughable. It wasn’t good. It was clunky and thrown in when it best suited them. It didn’t add to the character and it wasn’t mentioned until convenient. In no way did Andi come across as someone who was struggling with PTSD. It actually incredibly frustrated me. Sure, there are many types of PTSD but in the case of this particular book it wasn’t displayed accurately. The girls would have been better to just drop that entire piece of the book.
P L O T
Plot is a funny word to use in regards to this book. Mainly because for 490 pages nothing happens. I truly wish I was kidding. The excitement and climax of the book happens just seconds off you ending the book. It felt sloppy, it felt like it wasn’t edited and, boy, did it feel rushed. It felt as if the authors had a deadline to meet and where throwing every cliche on paper in order to get their book in. It was frustrating to read.
The primary plot of this is that the Bloody Baroness (this nickname is a joke and I’ll talk more about it in my characters section) has been recruited by a man who hates her to rescue his son with a man she tried to kill. Really, there are so many other YA stories where this is executed much better. This particular mission is accomplished within 40% of the book. The characters have retrieved him successfully. For 50% we get to watch every other fuck around and have a ridiculous amount of POV chapters.
I wish I was kidding about the POV chapters. There were at least 6 POV chapters. One takes place in the past, three are people on the ship, one is the evil queen and one is the guy who is being rescued. A ridiculous amount and many of which could have been taken out. We really only needed the main character’s perspective and this book could have been so much shorter.
C H A R A C T E R S
There are so many pointless fucking characters in Zenith. I apologise for the language that is about to arise, but I’m getting mad just remembering this book. There’s the crew on the Marauder, all women space pirates which sounds awesome but trust me I’m not. There’s like a 12 year old murderer, Lira, and a giantess? I have no idea, honestly. They were made clearly not important or relevant to have a backstory. The only character who gets a POV chapter is Lira, a perspective that really wasn’t needed to add to the story.
For this section I only want to talk about Androma, because I have a lot to say and this review is already longer than my usual. There are characters like Dex who I liked better, Nor who was an evil bitch that I wanted to murder everyone and Valen who was useless.
#A N D R O M A R A C E L L A
Lets get into this. Hello Androma Racella, an attempt at both Celaena Sardothien and Kaz Brekker. A terrible attempt. It doesn’t matter if you only like Throne of Glass or Six of Crows you will cringe at this clear attempt at trying to be like your favourite characters. I truly have never read a more unimpressive character in a fantasy novel. I have never been more bored in a fantasy novel either. However, Andi’s perspective had to be some of the most boring ever.
I want to start off with my first major hate for the scary and fearless main character. The fact that she is not this big amazing character that we are meant to believe. She is feared throughout the galaxies and the authors have described her as ruthless time and time again. This is so incorrect. With a title like the Bloody Baroness you don’t expect a character to take time to mark each death on her blade and mourn the deaths under her blade. It was truly pathetic, honestly. She thinks she’s a monster but she continues to kill and enjoy it? Her character was a contradiction that didn’t make sense. I ranted about this in my part one review of the novella. It seems that it wasn’t changed when they forced this book to hit 500 pages (seriously, Andi isn’t interesting enough to be worth 100 pages).
She also treats everyone like shit. From her crew who she is meant to love to her ex boyfriend. Which was a romance that led to nothing. Throughout the entire book you are seeing Andi and her ex Dex flirt and kind of grow their feelings as they learn what happened before the big betrayal. It leads to nothing. They ultimately go ‘well we had our chance lmao nice knowing you’ and I’m like are you fucking serious?!
This book is a whole lot of nothing. The characters are a whole lot of nothing. The ultimate thing accomplished throughout this book is…you guessed it, nothing! 500 pages of shitty characters and nothing. I’m going insane even thinking about this book, oh my God someone stop me from ripping my hair out.
O V E R A L L
Overall, this isn’t a book you need to read on release day or week. If you still want to read it, I would recommend waiting for it to come down in price because it is not worth the hype. It is truly a let down and I wasn’t expecting anything at all. I truly can’t even put into words how much I recommend you don’t waste your time with this book. It’s boring and nothing happens. I mean, look at the Goodreads rating on it. It’s damn low.
I really just keep getting mad about this book. This may sit under All The Bright Places and Caraval for most hated book by me ever. I really tried to be nice throughout this review, but the more I typed the angrier I got that I spent 5 hours reading this load of shit when I could have done absolutely anything else in the world.
Happy reading everyone!
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