My rating: 3 of 5 stars
ARC kindly provided by HarperCollins Australia in exchange for an honest review.
‘Zenith’ is the first novel in a wonderful new series co-authored by Sasha Alsberg – widely renown in the book and literary world for her enthusiastic book-vlogs on YouTube. I was VERY eager to get my greedy hands on this novel mainly to see how well the book was written – and yes, to criticize her writing. I honestly admit I had evil intentions.
‘Zenith’, upon reading the blurb, actually didn’t seem as interesting as it was advertised very publicly to be. There was a lot of hubbub about this new sensation coming out, and truthfully – like many other people – one that I had many doubts about. It was as if ‘Zenith’ was the culmination of all aspiring book bloggers and vloggers – the creation of their minds! It was like a fantasy come true saying – publishing after being a book blogger is possible!
Without further ado, here are my thoughts on the execution of this lovely piece of fantasy…
1. The beginning didn’t really capture my attention. In fact, it read almost like a big recount of the beginning of the story… It really did feel like an introduction… Like a very disappointing one. I was sooooo let down! It was literally me like the metaphorical dog whose owner is cruel and pretends to throws a stick, mocking the pet. That was how I felt. I felt like every line was a hook – or a pretend hook in this case – and I was being deceived into believing the book would get better with this line…or this sentence…maybe this paragraph…. Okay, maybe the next chapter. But that never came. Biggest weeping face in the world. Cries uncontrollably. Rolls around on the ground with drama.
2. The plot felt like it was not reaching its potential levels. Like the authors kept missing out on the best move forward or the event which would skyrocket my opinion of its craftsmanship. It felt also a little stereotypical and rather unoriginal. The spaceship battles and the obstacles did not do anything new that other novels hadn’t already done. In fact, its execution lacked the finesse of other novels with similar concepts.
3. The ideas explored in this text weren’t fresh or viewed from a different perspective. My ARC copy of the novel features an all-girl crew slogan at the front of the cover and that this space crew were going to take the world by storm. Alright then? I was already having doubts as soon as I read it. It’s like being told a product is all this and that but being unable to truly know whether it is because you need to use it. Frankly, I didn’t feel like the book explored anything different about female empowerment that other novels already didn’t. There wasn’t even much to say about the way they explored it. I felt like the authors just chucked in female characters for the sake of it and attempted to use as many female characters as possible in order to give their novel the “sheen” of value.
4. Character development was also poor. I didn’t feel like any of these characters were fully developed and that the main character especially lacked clarity as a persona. She didn’t have that authenticity to her which would have made her a superb character. Her actions would go against what she was portrayed as – and not in a good way. She was supposed to be this badass, wounded and fragile character who displayed resilience and survival similar to that of Sarah J. Maas’ Celaena Sardothien. But then she would be exceptionally weak and poor character the next. I often asked myself whether it was that two different authors were working on the text – perhaps this was why the book seemed to be pulled in two different directions at times.
All in all, a solid three star. I was sorely disappointed. I was so ready to award ‘Zenith’ more than that. Congratulations to Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings on their first joint novel!
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!