Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza (Empress of a Thousand Skies #1)

empress of a thousand skies.jpgCROWN 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.

320 pages

Released 7th February 2017

Try It – 3 stars

Read from 23rd to 27th February

So, I’m not gonna lie, this was a huge disappointment for me. It was such an interesting and coll concept for a ya si-fi which is so rarely done well and I thought this was going to be one of the good ones. It started out feeling like a mix of Illuminae and the Lunar Chronicles but it just fell flat.

As a general consensus I did like the story and the elements to it but the plot was just so poorly done and had so many holes and change of heart so abruptly that it just felt so stupid at some points. The saddest part was how much I didn’t like the characters, there were just so few of them and everyone else was in their past and were done through memories that it made it really hard to connect with anyone. Rhee and Aly were not my type of characters, there was a lot of backstory and history but at the same time they felt so thin and everything about them was just built from the past that nothing present really felt like it was going on.

Everything did fell like the past and it was so tied up in memories that when they were taken away that was all they were focussed on and it just really took me out of the story. This didn’t feel like original ideas but it was done in a really interesting and unique atmosphere and world that really utilised these well. All of the foundation is there to be great; the plot just has to be firmed up to make everything just a solid good story.

I had a huge problem with how Rhee should have been this really strong person because of the whole training regime she had been through but she just still felt so weak and it was kind of strange to me. Her character overall wasn’t of strong will but rather stubbornness and stupidity that out her into the situations that she couldn’t get out of.

Another problem was the terrible foreshadowing. I respect foreshadowing as a plot device but it was so blatant and brazen in this that meant there were no plot twists. Everything was plainly in your face that the foreshadowing didn’t give air to what would happen but instead just told you especially as something would be said at the end of a chapter, turn the page, and BANG there it is. That is not how it is used in my world and perhaps I’m just too old for this but I don’t think so when you consider the age of the other characters.

This really does have some good ingredients but the execution just needs to be a bit stronger to bring it all together and make a really good story and series out of it.

I would not recommend picking this up but rather wait until the sequel comes out and then see how that develops before trying the series.


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