This book was such a pleasant surprise!! I have not read a book in the science fiction genre for a long time, nevermind a science fiction super mash combined with fantasy.  This book did not disappoint, in fact it exceeded.

Our story starts out with a girl, named Rhee. She wants to take back the throne.

…Okay this sounds cliche, right?

IT’S NOT! Rhee ends up in space as a totally anonymous person, both chasing evil and also experiencing being chased herself. Someone has attempted to assassinate her, who, we don’t know. She is the only one in line to the throne, to be empress. So how is this story different? It’s hard to explain, but imagine Star Wars for a second (and I mean the originals of course, plus the new Force Awakens) ; the fast pacing, the plot driven narrative (not as focused on character development, but you still care for the quirky characters and there are some great moments where you really feel for the characters), fun cute droids named Pavel. Okay, technically in Star Wars its C3P0, and R2D2, and that new droid in town BB8. But this guy Pavel really has a personality of his own and I was impressed. I need a pet droid in my life. Can anyone make that happen?

Back to the story, there’s another main character in this story, and his name is Alyosha (Aly for short). Kind of reminds you of Yoshi, right? Anyways, Aly created Pavel. He also is on a reality show for space travel with his friend Vin. If I tell you more of his story, I would give away spoilers, so let’s just say he spends a lot of time defending space while also having cameras in his face all the time and being in a space ship. At least he has Pavel and Vin though, right? What could go wrong?

This story has a lot of what we would call international politics, but in this case it is interplanetary politics. It is also goes over questions of technology vs. privacy and diversity. Diversity is always an important issue, and I personally loved that technology was a main focus too. With more and more technology becoming more and more important in our lives, it is nice to have a story that really makes you think about the cost.

In this world, or should we say universe, cubes are implanted in your brain. You can use them for memory recall at all times (A similar concept has been shown in the show Black Mirror, eerie and beautiful show by the way, you can find it on Netflix). You can also choose which memories you want to remember, and which you archive. All of this sounds dandy, but is it so dandy in practice? You’ll have to read to find out!

Characters to Watch Out For:

  1. Pavel –  I don’t know why, but I was absolutely obsessed with Pavel. He just has such a big personality to me in this story, and he adds a lot of humor and quirk which I just love.
  2. Rhee- Rhee has SO MUCH CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT in this story. You really feel for her decisions. She also is fierce, and is always trying to do the right thing. Very redeemable character in my opinion, and a very gray shaded hero, which I love.
  3. Alyosha- First of all, his name is cool, second of all, he’s mysterious and troubled with a heart of gold. Aly has a past, and he’s also a very gray hero.
  4. Kara- You’ll find out about her later!

Point of Views-  The story oscillates between Rhee and Aly’s point of view. I appreciated that the author didn’t tell the same storyline through two different characters. Different things tended to be happening to both characters over time.

What Would This Book Look Like As A Movie?:  Star Wars meets Game of Thrones.

Song/Album/Artist That Most Fits This Book: The Theory of Relativity- Stars (I may or may not have partly picked this song because of the name, but the sound actually fits quite well with the space theme)

What I Liked: I really enjoyed the fast pace of it all, sometimes stories get too caught up in describing the details, and I liked that you got to see the world without being overwhelmed with too much. I also like that the author really kept you on your toes, each chapter ended with a cliffhanger. I will say that I guessed some of the surprises, but there were a lot that I didn’t! This story is exhilarating and adrenaline inducing. It will take you for a space ride of adventure. There’s nothing quite like an adventure story in space! I also enjoyed exploring the themes underlying the story; the themes of prejudice, discrimination, technology, privacy, and security, all very relevant to our time! Lastly, I liked how closely tied I felt to Rhee. I really could feel her regret in some decisions, and joy in others. I could also really feel connected to Aly’s triumphs and sorrows. That is an important quality to have when writing a character in my opinion, Belleza really got me to feel something, and experience the world through their eyes.

What I Didn’t Like:  I honestly liked everything about this story. It was that good. I know some people really didn’t like it, but it was right up my alley. I highly recommend it, and I hope you will read it too and let me know what you think (whether you agree with me or not, all opinions are welcome here!)

Favorite Quote: “If all we are is what people think we are, then we’re all screwed.”

You Might Like This If You Also Liked… An Ember in the Ashes, Red Rising, Queen of the Tearling

Rating: 5 stars!! Recommend 100%

Will I Be Reading The Sequel? Yes, most definitely. I can’t wait for the sequel to come out! Like the end of each chapter, the end of the book leaves you wanting more! It ties up some storylines quite nicely, but I can’t wait to delve back into these worlds again (Ha, get it? worlds?) Anyways, I hear this will be a duology so I like forward to seeing how the lives of Rhee, Aly, and of course Pavel will play out!

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