Published February 7, 2017
Empress of a Thousand Skies #1
I was super excited to receive this book in the February FairyLoot as it has been on my upcoming book radar for a while. I was first intrigued by a promo of the book that described it as “Arya Stark in space.” Oh my god. Sign me the fuck up, that sounds legit.
Then, the blurb says its perfect for fans of Red Rising and The Lunar Chronicles. DOUBLE OH MY GOD. Red Rising is one of my fave trilogies, LET’S DO THIS!
Or, how about NOT.
Looking back, it actually makes me angry that they put Red Rising on the blurb because the only thing the two books have in common is Outer Space. I haven’t read The Lunar Chronicles so I can’t speak for that fandom, but I am mildly offended for all my fellow Howlers out there.
I won’t get too in depth in this review because I will rant and rave and no one will understand what I am saying. So, I thought it best if I just list the reasons I didn’t like this book:
- The blurb/ summary of Empress is extremely misleading: “their paths collide with one brutal act of violence” – no actually that doesn’t happen. The two main characters (Princess Rhiannon & Alyosha) don’t “join forces to save the galaxy,” in fact, their paths don’t cross for but a moment in all 320 pages, and even then each is unaware of the other.
- Arya Stark in space? No. There are one or two fight scenes. I don’t really remember either of them other than they were awkward and short.
- This is so petty but everyone had a nickname. Why not just name them that? Rhiannon -> Rhee. Alyosha -> Aly. Vincent -> Vin. Pavel -> P. Enough already good lord.
- Every chapter ended on a ‘cliffhanger’, but then the POV would switch. When you got back to the previous POV to find out what happened after the cliffhanger, the action had already happened and we are just told how it was resolved… It was really unfulfilling as a reader, and honestly, downright frustrating towards the end of the book.
- Example: two characters are plummeting to their deaths AND CUT! End of chapter. We get back to the plummeting after 20 pages in the alternate POV, and it’s actually two days later and one of those characters died while the other just continued on. What? Why?!
- There is no sense of time. For the life of me I cannot tell you how long of a time span this book covers. Months? Weeks? Days? No idea.
- The villain is the weakest, lamest villain I have encountered in recent reads. He was so boring it almost physically hurt my brain. Boring and predictable and just ultimately flat. Oh, and how could I forget: the villain monologue at the end! Ick.
- Again, this is a personal preference but I did not like the made up curse words. I just replaced them in my head with what they were supposed to mean. And then I was thrown off when there was an English ‘fuck’ thrown in there too? Are we fake cursing or are we not fake cursing, I’m confused!
- Rhiannon / Rhee is the most insufferable blob of blah. The idea that she is supposed to rule the galaxy is straight up laughable. She harbored this revenge plan for years to take out the man who killed her family, (even though all she has done to prepare is train at the dojo for a few years) but it turns out she had NO evidence that this person was guilty! It was all this sort of weird, made up memory she concocted in her own mind? What the fuck?!
“A familiar shame snaked around her organs, as if the weight of every responsibility was hers to feel. Was that what being empress meant? And was it honorable to take the throne solely in order to take her revenge?”
What in the fresh hell? No it’s not honorable, good god!
- It is short.
- The POV voices are very distinct. Even without the name at the beginning of each chapter, I would know who I was reading about
- The take on racism and privilege was not only important but relative. I wish I liked it more based on that fact alone.
- It is short.
“Was there really so much hatred in the universe, so much prejudice, even among people who claimed to be unbiased? Had this always been true?”
Well this was a fail for me. I feel bad for disliking this book so much, but everyone is different and everyone has their own views and opinions. I think my expectations were really high, which I blame on the publisher and whoever wrote that blurb. Oh well, maybe next time.