Title: Empress of a Thousand Skies
Series: Empress of a Thousand Skies, #1
Author: Rhoda Belleza
Publishing Date: February 7th, 2017
Number of Pages: 314
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Science Fiction
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.
**I want to thank Penguin Random House International for providing me a finish copy of the book in exchange of an honest review. This, by any means, did not affect nor influence my review.**
(texts like this are spoilers)
I almost loved this book.
Galaxy adventure, intergalactic war, and space royalties. I am living for all these things. Empress of a Thousand Skies has it all, accompanied by a beautiful cover. But unfortunately, that’s where everything I liked in this book ended.
It did not start well. In fact, I hated how this book started. Instead of making me feel like I will love this book, I felt the opposite. If this is a roller coaster ride, it felt like the ride started even before I had settled in my seat so I was seated so uncomfortably while the roller coaster is spinning, moving upwards and dropping quickly. It felt to me like I was reading a sequel. Like we are starting where we left off when we did not leave anything behind. There was no introduction of the story that was just about to begin. We didn’t get to see what was stated on the synopsis that is the heart of the story. We go straight ahead with Rhee plotting a revenge and so the adventure begins.
This book made m understand why other readers doesn’t like science fiction because of how complex science fiction can be. There are so many scientific and technical terms I couldn’t understand. And they were not made easy to comprehend. So I was just left confused and ignorant of what was happening.
This is also irritatingly ineffective for most of the first half. There was even a scene where Rhee and her trainer fought and it was just funny because her trainer does not seem like a trainer at all. Like I have no idea how am I supposed to believe that scene. There was even no tension in that fighting scene.
And then when he was lying on the floor and Rhee saw him reaching for his pocket, Rhee’s initial reaction was to plunge the blade in his chest and after that she did not even bother to check what’s in his pocket. Like what if he was just trying to get something important to give her? What if she was just so overreacting?
I did not connect with any of the characters and I did not like the main character since the start. But I learned to sympathize her along the way. I liked Kara and Alyosha instead. And they are the ones I am looking forward to in the sequel.
Also, if you are going to look at the back cover of its paperback you’ll see the words “But Rhee has other plans.” Tell you what, Rhee does not really have a plan. Her plans are like no plans at all. SHE CAN’T PLAN. And I felt betrayed because that was written at the back cover so I expected that she does have a plan or two. But no, she likes to go to war without really planning. And it made me uncomfortable seeing how she do that to herself.
The only thing that made things better in this book and made me not give this a lower rating is the plot twists. BUT although most of them worked for me and made me consider reading the sequel, I am still torn about this because sometimes it felt like they were just being thrown everywhere for the sake of having tons of twist.
Overall, Empress of a Thousand Skies has lots of potential but it did not work for me. The beginning is not good. It is ineffective. It is too complicated. And I did not connect nor get attached with the characters. Even though it made its way to my list of Most Anticipated Reads That Let Me Down, I am still hoping that there’s a chance for the sequel to get better.
Rhoda Belleza was raised in Los Angeles, where she grew up writing XFiles fanfiction and stuffing her face with avocados. When she’s not writing, Rhoda obsesses over nail art tutorials, watches kung fu movies, and sews together crooked things that pass for clothes. She’s a children’s editor at a publishing house and writes from a sunny Brooklyn apartment stuffed far too many bikes and far too many shoes. Empress of a Thousand Skies is her debut novel.
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Have you read Empress of a Thousand Skies? How about the sequel? What did you like and dislike about it? Share your thoughts below!