ZENITH SPOILER-FREE ARC REVIEW | not all bad, not all good

ZENITH: SASHA ALSBERG & LINDSAY CUMMINGS

my rating: ★★☆☆☆

tags: science fiction, young adult, debut novel

goodreads rating: 3.19

publishing date: January 16th, 2018

Zenith (The Androma Saga #1)

trigger warnings: rape, non-consensual kiss

reviewsynopsis

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.

reviewnotes

If you want to check out any of my notes I wrote while I was reading Zenith you can find them here.

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I’ll be honest, this book has more issues than anything else. That being said, it is Sasha Alsberg’s debut novel and you can’t expect a debut novel to be perfect (though, Lindsay Cummings, her co-author, has written at least 5 other books).

Before I really get into the review, I’ll just get into my overall take away from Zenith is that it felt rushed. I feel like they released their 60 page version of Zenith (it was going to be serialised) and then they got picked up by a publisher and then all of a sudden they have to get a whole book out and it wasn’t ready or they weren’t ready. Either way, the book doesn’t flow or make sense the same way I feel like it would if the authors had been given more time to write then the novel would have come together more easily.

This started as a 60 page ebook and turned into a 530 page book. There will also be a second novel though I don’t know if it’s a duology or if there will be more novels in the series.

dotbreaker

So, unfortunately, I think that I need to preface this review by saying that I am not here to hate on Sasha Alsberg or Lindsay Cummings. I requested this book on NetGalley because I wanted to help to support Sasha, I am pretty excited for all the Booktube books that will hopefully be starting to pop up every now and then. I did not pick up the book to hate on Booktubers, and I will not be hating on the authors, only reviewing the book.

dotbreaker

This book was a lot of things. Like, a lot. 534 pages of a lot.

THE POV PROBLEM

Basically, there were too many povs. I ended up forgetting whole characters because some were quite sparse compared to others. And also, some characters were just so terribly introduced that apparently there’s a character called Brek (Brec? Breck??).

Honestly, who knows.

Who do I remember? Dex, Andi & Valen… that’s basically it. I really couldn’t tell you any of the other names because honestly, a part from the last 20ish pages, the book just wasn’t memorable for me.

THE WRITING PROBLEM

The writing is choppy. No offence to Sasha but, the writing kind of reads the way she speaks. Honestly, the writing (and plot) is a bit everywhere & it doesn’t always make sense, but 60 of the time we get the overall message.

The writing is also quite formal in the dialogue. I mean, these people are a team, they’ve known each other for a while and they’ve gone on multiple missions together, so why do they talk to each other like they’re in a work meeting? But, then again dialogue is usually pretty formal in ya lit… so maybe I’m nitpicking.

THE PACING PROBLEM

This is a heist in space, that is the main plot of the book. And yet, you’re not even halfway through the book and the heist is over. And now, e have 300 pages of just… what? Extra crap?

Why is the story over 300 pages before the book is over? It makes no sense. If you want us to learn more about the characters then you should tell us about the characters, something that really didn’t happen in Zenith.

THE CHARACTER PROBLEM

  • Forgettable
  • Similar backstories – whom le fuck?
  • Characters are poorly and overly described – I don’t remember anything about any of the characters. I honestly (while reading) forgot there was a character called Brek (I think) and until I went to write this review I forgot she was even a character. I was watching a review in the background and I honestly had to pause the video and go re-read my notes because I had no idea who that was.
  • Weird descriptions – “angry as a wet feline” ????

OKAY, BUT WHAT WAS ACTUALLY GOOD, THOUGH?

  • Yay, for good female team development.
  • The authors clearly care about the story and their characters
  • BADASS WOMEN WRITTEN BY BADASS WOMEN
  • Short chapters
  • Lots of action
  • The girls are badass, pretty and they’re not emotionless – not a combination you see all that often
  • If you start reading and you get into it, it’s not hard to read the book in a day

reviewquickoverview

  • This was nothing but rushed.
  • Choppy writing.
  • Words are thrown at you and never explained.
  • Nothing is ever explained.
  • Soo many characters.
  • Good female team dynamic.
  • dumpster fire

Image result for i dont know guys gif

  • debut novel (Alsberg)
  • female empowerment
  • corny, not totally fleshed out
  • didn’t always feel like we were let in on the story (certain terms were thrown around without us being told wtf they meant
  • the audiobook was the only way I was going to get through the book
  • did nothave to be as long as it was
  • slightly redeeming/ intriguing ending but I still don’t know if I will continue, probably not unless curiosity wins out
  • RUSHED

reviewwillicontinue

Honestly? I really don’t know.

Overall, I had a pretty bad time reading experience with this book. Though, I did appreciate the female empowerment aspect.

There will be a second book but I really don’t know if I will continue, I would have to read some reviews and see some awesome improvement in the writing before picking it up.

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HAVE YOU READ ZENITH? DO YOU THINK YOU WILL PICK IT UP?

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17 thoughts on “ZENITH SPOILER-FREE ARC REVIEW | not all bad, not all good

    1. Yeah, I know how you feel. Look, if you try Booktube you’ll probably find some positive reviews, but I think the majority isn’t enjoying it -either because they’re going in biased or because they don’t like the writing or plot.
      For me, the only good thing about this was the team of women this book focuses on, but even that aspect wasn’t all that great.

      Try these:

      https://aminoapps.com/c/books/page/blog/review-zenith-the-androma-saga-1-by-sasha-alsberg-and-lindsay-cummings/WdiX_uLEEB1DVp14Ka1LjYgJ7nLLZR
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1999010438?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2102300925?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2265141736?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1
      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1964167053?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1

      Like

    1. Exactly, I think that’s precisely what happened. The short ebook they released last year did really well and got on the NY best seller’s list and suddenly all these publishers wanted to have rights to the book so yeah, I’d say the publishers tried wayy too hard to push the book and now this is the result: a rushed and badly received novel.
      Exactly, the writing could’ve been better but instead it just came across badly.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I really don’t think I’ll be picking this up… I’ve heard many people complain of the same things as you and honestly doesn’t feel like I’ll enjoy it.
    I might give the audiobook a go (if there is one yet?) but otherwise eh.
    Just because someone loves books doesn’t automatically mean they can write one and I wish more people would get that.
    Great review! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s okay, in my review I wasn’t exactly recommending it! Yeah, I’ve read and atched a few reviews since finishing my own and wow, I think I’ve seen maybe 3 (2 of the three were friend’s of Sashas) positive reviews. It’s pretty intense and I honestly can’t imagine how Sasha and Lindsay are dealing with this, because no one is really holding back the negativity. But, I agree with you, I just don’t think Sasha is a good writer, though, maybe one day I’ll eat my words. There’s always room for improvement, so maybe she’ll do just that, improve. Engage in her passions and write something actually good.
      Thank you!

      Like

      1. Hmm I’d say they are handling it pretty well. I mean, it’s not like they’re unfamiliar with the reviewing world and how brutal it can get. Plus, I don’t think they mind as long as they’re making money off of it, which they are because everyone buys their book – either to love or hate on it. It’s like they say: there’s no bad publicity. And also both girls are pretty wealthy and managing their lives just fine, it’s not like they need the money. They’re just doing it for fun and to get even more well known, which will then lead to more deals.
        I’m not a big fan of Sasha’s because I feel she can be a bit biased in her reviews. I don’t know. I’m sure she’s a lovely person and it’s like you say, she might improve and become a great author one day.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t exactly recommend it, but if you can find a few positive reviews to hype yourself up before you read it. I think the authors had good intentions but it just isn’t shown through the novel. Yeah, as far as I’m concerned the only way to go into this book is with low expectations.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m actually glad from your review that I didn’t pick this up though I’m all for great all female crew! I like multiple POVs so normally I would be bummed to miss that but honestly it feels like you hit it spot on and they needed more time to couple character POVs and tighten! ♥️ Excellent review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the all-female crew aspect is great but it can’t save the book. The multiple povs aspect was also what intrigues me but, there ended up being wayy too many povs, so many that I forgot whole characters. The only way I have described this book to other people is that the book was rushed. I feel like the authors really should’ve taken their time with the book instead of rushing it to get published because if the authors the book would’ve done quite well even if they had taken more time.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I was wary of reading this because the synopsis wasn’t something that interested me. I was hoping to hear good reviews to motivate me to read this book, mostly because I’m curious to read what Sasha wrote, but so far I haven’t seen that many.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally know how you feel – I had such high hopes for this book, I really wanted it to do well!
      So far, I have only seen one or two very short positive reviews. I did recommend a few reviews in response to another comment in this post if you wanted to check it out!

      Liked by 1 person

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