Let’s Talk About… Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings [Spoiler Free ARC Review]

Synopsis from Goodreads


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 ship or 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.


I was really looking forward to this one since I had already read part of it when Sasha and Lindsay released the first part as a novella last year. I would say that overall, I didn’t find that much was different about that first part, but I did read it quite a while ago. I thought the story line was strong, but that the world building could still be stronger because I don’t think it really competes with any of the other YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels I have read in the past. I like Androma and Dex’s back story and I also thought the switches between past and present worked fairly well even though they sometimes didn’t make sense right away. I thought Nor’s story was more interesting after a lot of the backstory was given so I am interested to see how things go once Nor and Androma face off.

Androma and Dex dominate this story, we learn about their complicated romantic past and see the struggle of them having to work together to save Valen Cortas. In the first installment, I didn’t have a great understanding of what happened with Androma and Kalee Cortas, so the flashbacks about that incident were also super informative. I agree with the general consensus on this book that it isn’t awful, but it’s not the greatest thing I have read recently. I was really hoping that the writing style would get better as Sasha and Lindsay edited everything together. Perhaps the lack of excitement came from the collaboration process making it hard to write everything together, or that they just aren’t quite there yet with fantasy world building. This book is a decent length for a first-in-a-series, but I have been spoiled by so much excellent world building in Cassie Clare, Sarah J. Maas and many other YA fantasy authors that I felt let down by Zenith’s simplicity. I think I made a comment about this in my first post, but I feel like the swear words are awkward because they are surrounded by language and action that is more realistic to 2017 and not in this fantasy world. I’m not sure if that was intentional, but it took away from the world-building for me and made me lose my sense of Sci-fi, going more towards the style of a contemporary. I think this book needs some work, clearly, but I really do like the story and where it’s headed so far so I look forward to reading book 2!

My Rating: 3.5 stars
Goodreads Rating: 3.01 stars

Let me know what you think or if you are looking forward to reading Zenith!

Katie x

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