Blood of a Thousand Stars was epic. It was everything I hoped for and more. It had more technology, more Aly/Kara, more intrigue and political turns.
With a revolution brewing, Rhee is faced with a choice: make a deal with her enemy, Nero, or denounce him and risk losing her crown.
Framed assassin Alyosha has one goal in mind: kill Nero. But to get his revenge, Aly may have to travel back to the very place he thought he’d left forever—home.
Kara knows that a single piece of technology located on the uninhabitable planet Wraeta may be the key to remembering—and erasing—the princess she once was.
Villainous media star Nero is out for blood, and he’ll go to any means necessary to control the galaxy.
While I cannot seem to find my review of empress of a thousand skies, it was wonderful to be re-immersed in the universe. Belleza does a fantastic job with the world building (not to mention a beautiful map). The descriptions are detailed and the entire thing nuanced. I saw Belleza speak a few times (both in Brooklyn and in Boston) and it’s clear from listening to her, how passionate she is about the important qualities of immersive atmosphere and doing it right!
It was a compelling read from the societal rhetoric (anti-immigrants) to the technology to the characters. What threw me heads over heels in love with this book was the technology aspect. I knew I would love this aspect, as it was my favorite from the first book, but if I thought it was delightful then, this is downright devious (in the best way). There’s brilliant social commentary and reading this was like reading all my favorite fandoms in one (Doctor Who, Star Trek, a little bit of Sherlock).
And the characters were fantastic. Not only did I fall back in love with my favorites – Aly and Kara, I fell in love with new favorites and side characters. (Did I also tear up about Rhee and Kara’s discovered sisterhood? You bet). Watching these halves and characters come together was like eating some great popcorn (salty and sweet) while witnessing the birth of a new star.
Belleza is the queen of broad world building, expert story telling, and little touches. Each chapter leaves us wanting more. And I stayed up way past midnight to finish this captivating read.