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.
This was another anticipated read of mine. I have been following Sasha’s journey with the book for quite a few years, with her drafting and editing this book along with Lindsay Cummings.
I really liked the setting of this book, how it is set in the far reaches of the galaxy, with a ton of different species living within the galaxy. It really reminded me a lot of Mass Effect in a way, in which the crew of the Normandy are a diverse set of people and aliens.
Androma or Andi, is a mercenary and basically a hired gun. She made a reputation of being one across the galaxy. She reminded me a lot of Cealena from Throne of Glass, except that she is in space. She also has an all female crew, who also remind me a bit of Mass Effect, and also the crew of Serenity. I like that each of the crew members all were very distinct in their own way.
Among the travels of the crew of the Marauder, they come across Dex, a bounty hunter who had a past with Andi. While the Dex and Andi relationship if you can call it that, was kinda of the cliched, lovers to enemies back to lovers again. But I think the way that the characters were framed, it was able to sort of overcome that trope. Dex is almost the Captain Reynolds type, who is very cocky in what he does and also the banter between Dex and Andi was always fun to read.
Lira, was another character from the Marauder crew, who had some chapters with her POV. I though she was one of my favorite characters. and I thought she had a really good arc in the book. While I won’t give too much away, it has a lot to do with her past and present.
The main plot of this book, is sort of a redemption arc for Andi. She was a former Spectre for the Unified Systems, but after something happens she is forced to space piracy. Her main mission is to break the son, of a general out of prison. It feels straight out of Mass Effect, with sometimes Andi and Dex choosing the Renegade option.
The mission also ties into a lot into a conflict that affects the galaxy. This is also one of the few books I read that sort of has a villain POV chapter, along with a few origin chapters tied within the novel, which while it may feel like the Manon chapters in the Throne of Glass series it does lead into something.
In the end, Zenith was a great book. It had everything I wanted in a nice space opera, with great characters and a nice story. It also has a pretty good twist, that I will dare give away. I am very excited to see how this ends.