Title: Zenith (Part 1)
Author: Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings
Source: I bought it
Zenith is the new serialised novel from authors Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings. It’s a thrilling sci-fi adventure with space pirates that entertains while also a fascinating partnership between booktuber and author. It follows Androma, also known as ‘The Bloody Baroness’ as she and her crew find themselves hounded by a patrol. It brings her face to face with her past and sets of story which will continue throughout the Androma saga, and maybe even bring her her freedom.
This was an incredibly fast-paced and quick read. Yes, it is serialised so part one is short (62 pages according to Amazon) but even so time disappeared as I was reading it. I was pulled into the universe Alsberg and Cummings created and completely wrapped up into the stories. They did a brilliant job of introducing the main plot of the whole book but also making this part seem more than just an introduction – it felt like a novella with sequels to come rather than the first chapter in a tale. That being said, the main story-line of this book was designed to introduce the crew’s main mission and the characters themselves so not much happened and the stakes weren’t quite as high as I imagine they will be in instalments to come.
The characters of Zenith were what really made this story for me. The all-female crew were a real delight to read and each member, even those we don’t see too much of, felt like real personalities. I came out of the book desperately wanting to find out more about their histories which we’ve only got hints of so far. Androma is certainly going to make for a thrilling hero and Dex is the perfect foil for her character. Androma’s past is shown to heavily influence her decisions and I am incredibly curious as to how this will affect the rest of the story. The only thing I do have trouble with that is that I keep reading her name as Andromeda rather than Androma.
While the plot and characters do work very well for me, I am still not entirely sure about the setting of this book. It is a science-fiction novel, yet I don’t really know much about the world it is set in. It seems like we were given a lot of names of world-related things, such as planets, police forces, peoples but not in much context. The most I feel I really know about the world is that there is an asteroid belt which is impossible to navigate but the crew of space pirates and a fleet of ships after them managed to do it anyway (this was probably my main gripe of the book and may be a result of how I read it). In all fairness, however, this is only 62 pages and was heavily focused on setting up the story and characters. Hopefully, we will learn more about Zenith’s world in future instalments.
Aside from the few things I’ve mentioned, I found this to be a delightful read. I’ve not read anything serialised before and, I have to say, I quite enjoyed it. Zenith was quick and self-contained while also leading into an over-arching story-line. It does, frustratingly, end on a cliff-hanger, but that only makes me all the more excited to read the next book. I just wish we knew when it was coming out!