Author: Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: January 16, 2018
Genre(s): Young Adult, Sci-Fi
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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.
So I’m going to preface this review saying that I can separate the book from the author. That being said, this book was….interesting. It wasn’t as bad as early reviews lead me to believe but it’s not a new favorite. This book was fine, though the audiobook was fantastic and is definitely one of the reasons I finished the book as quickly as I did. Oh and while this is a spoiler-free book review, I did vaguely talk about things that happen later in the story. If you’re worried about anything that may be considered a spoiler (I don’t think I included any, but you never know), just skip down to my final thoughts section.
Okay, so the book. It felt like a mish-mash of interesting ideas sprinkled in with some YA tropes and yeah, it was a bit all over the place. In the first 35% of the book (so like the first 200 pages) the Marauder’s get captured, Andi and love interest reveal they are ex-love interests, a quest is given AND completed, we read in 4 POVs, and go to like 3 different locations. Basically, think of the first half of Guardians of the Galaxy up to the prison escape scene. I have no problem with that. Let the book be fast-paced, let the book keep us going from one scene to the next. This book decided not to be fast-paced, rather get a lot of stuff done really quickly then slow it down for the remained 65% of the book.
One of the weakest parts of this book was how repetitive it was. Numerous times we had to hear about how Andi was mourning the death of her friend or how she and Dex were ex-lovers who still lusted after each other and engaged in an anticlimactic will they won’t they romance. There were several times where the plot was put on hold to relive one of these moments. The flashback scenes were identical (or gave us the identical information) numerous times that by the time we actually learned what happened, I personally didn’t care.
That being said, one of the strengths of this book were the side characters. They had interesting personalities, the Maurder’s didn’t get enough page time in my opinion, but when they did take over the scenes it was enjoyable.
Though one character that had no purpose in this book was the “main villain.” I put this in quotes because until the last 50 or so pages of the book you have no clue who this character is or what the motivations are. Honestly, I’m still not sure what the motivations were. I joked with Audris that our villain needs to hang out with the other wasted Marvel villains, because wow what a letdown. Because we had so many pages dedicated to the Andi/Dex stuff described above, we actually didn’t any time to fully understand what the threat was and what the significance of the threat taking over was. Also, there was a particular weapon introduced that sounded pretty important and for the life of me, I cannot tell you what this item was or what it did. It’s a shame because it played a pretty big role in the climax.
There is a twist in this book and wow it was anticlimactic. You’ll either be scratching your head to figure out where the hell it came from or figure it out about 50 pages before the reveal. Yeah, it was clearly setting up the threat for the sequel, but it could have been done better.
Oh and the POVs were fine. Having more than one really worked during some parts of the book were didn’t add much in other parts. There are also some flashback scenes noted by italicized text. Listening to the audiobook, it was hard to figure out what was and wasn’t flashback without following along, but that’s just a small nitpick.
Okay, I shat on this book a bit (without going into spoilers), but this book was meh. It has some interesting ideas but it felt cluttered. There was too much going on and far too many repetitive sections that could have been shaved out to allow for a more comprehensive story.
I didn’t hate this book, but it’s not one I’m going to be recommending and will probably fade from my memory by the end of the year. If you’re dying to read this book, check it out from your library and give it a shot. You might like it. I do highly recommend the audiobook, it made some parts easier to enjoy and allowed me to fly through the story. When reading it on my e-reader, it took me a while to read it.
Yeah, not worth the hate but not worth the hype. While the space pirates came through, I didn’t feel like we got the epic space story we were promised. There were traces of it hiding in the pages, but it didn’t quite come through.
⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ – 3.5/5