(Twitter, Goodreads)Published by Penguin on February 7th 2017
Genres: Alien Contact, Epic, Family, Fantasy, Parents, Science Fiction, Young Adult Fiction
Rhee, also known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne.
Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he's forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation – and his life.
With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.
A saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy.
Okay so let me just get the one thing that bothered me about this book out of the way first. There is a line in the summary that I kept waiting for … and waiting for… and waiting for. AND IT NEVER HAPPENED. And that really just irritated me.
“With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.”
Thrown together… like together together. Right? WRONG. At no time in this book are the two “together.” There was this one time that I thought it was finally going to happen… but no. And then I kept waiting for this epic meet up between the two heroes of this book and … nothing.
Okay… now that that’s out of the way, I can tell you that the rest of this book is actually pretty good. I think it can only be described as action, action, action. There is a ton of it, and it keeps the pace of this book moving along quickly. Rhee is the last of the Ta’an dynasty… and her father is the one that created the Urnew Treaty which ended the great war. At the age of 6, her family was killed, betrayed by the one person they should have been able to trust, and she had been secluded on a planet away from the crown until she came of age to rule. That time has arrived, and her time for revenge has also arrived.
Things don’t go exactly as planned though, of course.
Aly has risen above his refugee status and become a bit of a star, but now he’s a wanted man having been accused of killing Rhee and possibly restarting the war that ended years ago. Now he’ll do whatever it takes to clear his name.
This story is told from both Rhee and Aly’s points of view, which works, but also sort of didn’t. I mean, there was absolutely no way around this, because 2 characters, doing 2 different things, but it was honestly hard for me to keep track of who was where and when because of all the different planet names and all the action going on. One thing that I hope for in the final copy of this book is a map of the galaxy that shows where the different planets are… I really think that could add to the experience of reading this story.
I liked Rhee and Aly… both of them are characters with strong personalities and it was nice to see that Rhee wasn’t some pampered princess who didn’t know how to take care of herself. At times I just felt like that’s what we were told… instead I would have liked to see it a bit more proof of that along the way though. Aly too was a bit one dimensional, but I’m hoping book 2 will expound on him and his story a bit more.
I will say that the world building was really well done. The groundwork that Belleza had to do to create this universe with it’s unique political system must have been daunting and I loved that there was so much attention to detail with the new technologies, and the different kinds of characters included. Fans of Sci-Fi are definitely going to love these aspects.
I will also say that there are some twists and turns in this story that I suppose many won’t figure out… but I did pretty early on. I mean, in all honesty the big one is hinted about pretty heavily in certain parts of the story and some of the other things that you find out along the way were not quite apparent, but more like there was no other option (that will make more sense when you read it!).
Also, I would like to point out that this has a unique spin on the typical YA romance. If you’re hoping Rhee and Aly are going to fall madly in love with each other, I think you can take that off the table. Both are falling for/have fallen for someone else and I don’t see that changing in the next book… I think. It’s definitely a different take and I really like the twist here!
Overall, this was a good start to a new sci-fi series. I’m definitely going to be picking up book 2 but will certainly be hoping that these two characters stories start to merge together pretty quickly in it.
If you’re a fan of sci-fi and excellent world-building then I highly recommend this, but please keep in mind that the summary isn’t entirely an accurate breakdown of the book itself. Belleza has created a unique and excellent cast of characters with an intriguing plot that you won’t want to miss experiencing yourself. I’ll definitely be waiting over here for book 2!
Thank you to the publisher for an early copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.
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