Monday, December 19, 2016

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza ARC Review

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza
Paperback ARC, 310 pages
Publisher: Razorbill
Pub. Date: February 7th, 2017
Pre-Order: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Empress
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.

Fugitive
Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a holo-vision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he's forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation—and his life.

Madman
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.


Empress of a Thousand Skies would best be described in three words: constant adrenaline rush. From the very moment you start reading, there is a tremendous amount of intrigue, action, and grief. It's one of those books that is impossible to put down because laying it aside for even a second would disrupt the energy of the moment. Rhoda's writing style pulls you in, leaving you feeling just as passionately immersed in what's happening as the characters themselves.


For the most part, the book is written in dual POVs. I personally preferred Alyosha's POV over Rhiannon's, but they are both wonderfully intriguing characters, and I loved getting to know them. Another great thing about this book is that it's one of the most diverse reads I've encountered all year, and it's written by a POC author, which is awesome! It's definitely the kind of book that's important for people to read and spread the word about right now.

Overall, Empress of a Thousand Skies is a hard-hitting, compelling, and fast-paced story that sci-fi lovers will definitely enjoy. 


1) The world-building in this book is incredible! From all of the details regarding the actual places in this story, to the diverse characters, I had zero questions about how the world works because it was so fantastically executed. I can't remember the last time I read a fantasy book where I had such a clear and vivid understanding of all the world-building aspects, which is especially amazing considering the size of this book. 


2) This is the first time that I've read a multi-POV book where the two main characters are not romantically involved with each other, and I love it. Their plot-lines are intertwined BUT they have separate love interests—it's so wonderfully refreshing! 

3) Each character voice and personality is incredibly distinct. If you removed the names at the beginning of each chapter, you would still confidently know whose mind you're in. I believe that this has a lot to do with Rhoda's dialogue—it's hilarious, witty, and adds so much depth to the characters' voices. You truly get a sense of how each character sounds and thinks through their interactions, as well as through Rhoda's masterful prose.


4) The stakes in this story are colossal. As I was reading, I was constantly at the edge of my seat and fearing for the life of the main characters—it was almost impossible to catch my breath! 



1) Rhiannon is introduced to the reader as a total badass. She has been training her whole life to face the murderer of her family, but for me, she didn't live up to her initial hype. It didn;t seem like Rhiannon was prepared for what she was up against. Considering her situation, I'm not sure anyone could be adequately prepared, but I would have liked to see her step up to the plate more.






36 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you liked this one! I've been wondering about it. I love that the world building is strong, the characters are distinct and it's addicting to read. Those are all huge to me! I've got to admit though, that I'm always expecting dual pov characters to get together, so it throws me off when they don't (I don't think they even meet in this story?). I'm assuming this is part of a series? Do you think the ships will stand as they are? Thanks for your review!

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    1. No, they don't. They have their own storylines which I thought was really cool. I think the ships will stand but we'll have to see. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I've been counting down for this one! You mentioned the size of this one, is it massive, or just the opposite?

    Thanks for including your fave quotes as well - it really helped me get a feel for the book!

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    1. It's just the opposite, it's really small in my opinion.

      I always include the quotes because that's usually what hooks me when picking a book, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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  3. Oh, amazing review! This is one of my most anticipated reads for 2017, so I'm super happy you enjoyed it! Now I'm even more excited to read it :) Love that it is so fast-paced, with diverse characters and great worldbuilding. And those quotes are gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you so much, you're so kind! I hope you love it as much as I do ^_^

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  4. I AM SO OFFICIALLY EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK NOW. *shrieks from the hilltops* It sounds amazing and I love that the narrators actually have distinct voices. I always get kind of worried about dual-narrated books because half the time they blur. So yesss to this one. (And that cover also omg. Love.)

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    1. YAY BECAUSE YOU SHOULD BE! The narrators are very different so I think you'll be pleased. (I love this cover so much!)

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  5. I have loved the cover of this since I first saw it. Your review makes me want to read it even more. Great review!

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    1. It's gorgeous, I hope you enjoy it! Thank you ^_^

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  6. Oh haaaaaaaaiiii Legolas! :D :D :D :D I need to watch that movie series over Christmas break (for like the 400th time). I'm excited to read this book! I'm curious because you said the two protagonists are not romantically involved... interesting, since they both have a POV in the book. That could go two ways so hopefully the better way. :D

    Great review, Brittany!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. I love those movies and I especially love marathoning them. It goes a good way, I promise. You will love it!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. I am making a conscience effort to have more SciFi on my reading list next year. I like that the characters are distinct enough so the reader dosen't have any problem rememberung whose POV is being used. I had not heard of this book before. Thanks for the heads up. :)

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    1. I love sci-fi but I'm really picky about it. I'm glad that I was able to introduce this book to you, I hope you love it!

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  8. This book looks so freaking good!!! I CANNOT wait to read it! Glad you enjoyed it so much!!! Also, can we talk about that cover? LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!

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    1. YOU'RE GOING TO LOVE IT! And we could talk about this cover for days because it's FABULOUS!

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  9. GAHHH I need this book in my life! I LOVE that the worldbuilding is so great- that is KEY for me in this type of book. But you totally had me at amazing and distinct characters! And high stakes! Yesss please, more of that. Also, those quotes? Yep, need need need. Just pre-ordered it literally while commenting on your review, which is fabulous by the way! :D

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    1. OH MY GOD, I'm so glad that you pre-ordered it while commenting. That's awesome! I hope you love it!

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  10. This book seems so freaking amazing! And the cover *.* I fell in love with Sci-Fi novels after reading The Starbound Trilogy by Kaufman and Spooner. So when I saw this book, I had to add it to my wishlist. Can´t wait to read it.

    Happy readings! ;)

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    1. That's because it is! I've never read The Starbound Trilogy but I've heard great things. I hope you love it!

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  11. I was already excited for this book before reading your review. Now I really need this book! It sounds fantastic!

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    1. It's a great, great book! I hope you love it as much as I do <3

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  12. I've seen this on Goodreads and was a little hesitant but you have convinced me! Everything in your likes are crucial parts of a good story for me so I'm going to go ahead and add this to my TBR
    Thank you for the fantastic review

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    1. I'm glad I could convince you! I hope you love it ^__^

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  13. I'm so excited for this book! I'm loving some of these beautiful purple covers that are coming out in 2017!! I just got an ARC of this book from books for trade and I'm even more excited to read it after seeing how much you liked it! Wonderful review!!!

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    1. Are there a lot of purple covers, I haven't noticed? I hope you like it. Thank you for stopping by, cadet <3

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  14. So happy you loved it Brittany! I'm so excited for this one <3

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    1. It's a really great book, you should definitely read it.

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  15. HOLY SHIT I can't wait for this book! Okay but it's news to me that the POV characters have different romantic interests! It'll be interesting to see how that progresses - hopefully in a good way lol. But yesss to the constant adrenaline rush, this is why space books are always two thumbs up for me. I absolutely can't wait for this!

    - Aila @ One Way Or An Author

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    1. I think you'll like it, this book definitely stands out from a lot of the YA books out there. Can't wait to see what you think of this one!

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  16. Eeep!! I cannot wait to read this one! Fast-paced, diverse and well written? I am more pumped about this book than I was before. It really is a sign of fantastic writing when you know which POV you are reading without having to be reminded. I am really looking forward to this one and I am so happy that you loved it so much. <3

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    1. Sounds amazing, right?! I was so surprised just how great it is. I hope you love it as much as I do. Let me know what you think when you get the chance to read it!

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  17. I just recently read this book and was super excited for it! Unfortunately, I really didn't like it that much. But I'm glad that you liked it so much! Your review was half the reason I was excited to read it! The cover is super lovely though! :)

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that it wasn't to your taste, but there are plenty of other books out there for you to love! Thanks for stopping by ^_^

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  18. Awesome review Brittany :D Yay for enjoying this one a bunch. <3 I think it looks so so gorgeous. Unsure if I wish to read it, but maybe one day :)

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  19. I JUST finished this one, and I was pretty surprised at how well it played out! I wasn't sure if I was going to like it honestly, but I did - I loved how fast-paced this was - there wasn't really a boring moment in the whole book! Awesome review, and I'm so happy to see that you enjoyed this one!

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