Monday, February 5, 2018

Review: Zenith

Title: Zenith
Author: Lindsay Cummings, Sasha Alsberg
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: January 16, 2018

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 shipor 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.

Oh dear god.

I was going to try to keep this short, but nope. No way. This is a long-ass review, so be prepared lol.

We all know I didn't go into this with high expectations. But out of sheer curiosity, I tortured myself through a 14.5 hour audiobook. I even got someone to buddy listen with me. Go me! Misery loves company xD

Now, I listened at 1.25x speed so the hell that was this book would move along faster. And I guess that's a good thing? Because it was still far too long. THERE WAS NO PLOT.



(you know I'm angry if I'm breaking out the gifs)

For so much of this book, nothing really happened. The entire story centers around breaking someone out of prison. Well, around 40-50%, this goal is accomplished. Then what?

Then, they just kind of do things aimlessly. They talk, they fly the ship, the crash into things, etc. This book should have stopped after the main plot arc ended, and it would have been much better. Instead, you have characters no one cares about because their back story is just... I dunno? It comes in later in the "story". Then you have them just kind of going about their lives.

This is not a plot! Stop the book at the middle and establish a new conflict for another book if you insist on all of these things "happening". There's no conflict. Nothing driving the characters from one scene to the next. And, quite frankly, it's boring. I have never gotten so distracted while listening to an audiobook as I did with this one. I had so much trouble just paying attention.

So then we have all the vague Throne of Glass references. Like a glass ship. Why is this ship made of glass aside from aesthetics? It makes no sense, because its "impenetrable" glass certainly doesn't protect the Marauder from being shot down and boarded. 

Oh and the characters. First off, I'd like to remind everyone that I listened to the audiobook, so I will likely be spelling things incorrectly. Please don't jump on me.

Right. The characters. Zenith has... six POVs. Most of which are completely useless and do nothing for the plot. Some of them are outright confusing and had me asking, "does she have magic or something? How is that even possible?"

Seriously though. How do you just "convince" a man he loves you, when he very much doesn't? Like... what?

And what the hell was even the point of this? WHYYYYYY

Maybe there was something stated about this, but honestly, the characters are so not memorable that I honestly couldn't tell you. There are apparently more than just two space pirates (aside from Androma, that is), and that took me like half the book to realize. One of them is a giantess?? And another is like a serial killer little girl? These characters had me confused and not wanting to listen on. I didn't care about them. I can't even remember their names and I literally just finished it.

So yeah. Remove all the extra POVs and establish some of the less useless information from the main character, have her talk about the world, have the characters interact! Come on, I don't even know why Clerin (Clarin? Claren? I have no idea how to spell this) had a POV. It added literally nothing to the story and only served to confuse me.

And seriously, the characters are stupid. Like, locking an android in the waste portion of the ship, then not expecting it to make a mess when it manages to escape? Wow. Idiot.

Then we have Dex, who maybe could have been interesting had he not been infatuated with Androma, our tragic hero who is -cough cough- the BLOODY BARONESS.

I'm sorry, but who else thinks of the Slytherin house ghost with this name? Anyone? Just me? Honestly, any time the nickname was mentioned, I couldn't help but laugh and/or roll my eyes. Androma constantly whines about all the people she's killed, yet she seems to relish killing. Like, she seriously enjoys it. And then mopes about "oh poor me I have to kill people to survive!" This... does not add up.

And just like someone else in a very popular series, Androma seems to have a particular aversion to dead bodies. Except it's mentioned as like, a passing thing. About 40% through the book.

If you were trying to copy Kaz, you probably should have at least gone completely for it and made it a real thing instead of suddenly halfway through deciding she has PTSD and then not making it real? You never would have suspected her suffering from PTSD, because it was just.. added in halfway through. Yeah. So the PTSD thing was bad. They literally should have just left it out.

Then there is Valin (sp? again I listened to the audio. Sue me if I spell it wrong!). He's the dude Androma is tricked into rescuing. He also has some POV chapters. These were cool, because they were a break from the constant monotony of Andi and Dex. And he's fueled by vengeance, so that's cool. But then at some point, he's just unconscious for like hours of the book. Because he's simply not important anymore. So why not make him unconscious, right?

Okay, I mean he does wake up. But it's like... a long while later. He even somehow managed to sleep completely through a spaceship crash. How fantastic to sleep so well, right?

Of course then he wakes up and... I dunno I stopped listening. There was some kind of conversation going on, and that's all I got.

The writing and editing leaves much to be desired. I'd heard as much, but I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, since a lot of the reviews were of arcs, and I was listening to the finished copy. What I got was swapping back and forth between 3rd person limited and 3rd person omnipotent inside a limited POV chapter. Not only is that just plain frowned upon, I found it incredibly confusing. The Dex narrator is suddenly inside Androma's head and.. wait what?

Back to story complaints. The worldbuilding is... nonexistent. There are random people that have really random traits, but I can't figure out if they're a different race of aliens, or what. It's just lazy. And there is a war going on? Or there was? But the whole thing is never explained. They talk about the war and how one planet rebelled, but not really any reason why or what's going on. Why is this place bad? Why did they start a war? So confused.

Not just that, but (as I know other people have mentioned) we have entire planets being treated as a single country. Like, even in the Lunar Chronicles this didn't happen. Because there is too much land and space and too many people. You'll have riots. You'll have resistance. You can't have literally one person in charge of an entire planet.

I want to say (because people have been getting attacked) I have absolutely nothing against Sasha or Lindsay. But this book was a mess. It needed way more in terms of revision and editing. The premise was good, but it was terribly executed.

1 star

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