Alyssa Farshot has spent her whole life trying to outrun her family legacy. Her mother sacrificed everything to bring peace to the quadrant, and her uncle has successfully ruled as emperor for decades. But the last thing Alyssa wants is to follow in their footsteps as the next in line for the throne. Why would she choose to be trapped in a palace when she could be having wild adventures exploring a thousand-and-one planets in her own ship? But when Alyssa’s uncle becomes gravely ill, his dying wish surprises the entire galaxy. Instead of naming her as his successor, he calls for a crownchase, the first in seven centuries. Representatives from each of the empire’s prime families—including Alyssa—are thrown into a race to find the royal seal, which has been hidden somewhere in the empire. The first to find the seal wins the throne. Alyssa’s experience as an explorer makes her the favorite to win the crown she never wanted. And though she doesn’t want to be empress, her duty to her uncle compels her to participate in this one last epic adventure. But when the chase turns deadly, it’s clear that more than just the fate of the empire is at stake. Alyssa is on her most important quest yet—and only time will tell if she’ll survive it.
A sci-fi book with a race that spans across its galaxy. Once again, I was drawn to a book simply by a few key things. But seriously, this book is about a reluctant girl competing in a race through the cosmos to find a seal on one planet out of 1,001. And the winner is crowned Emperor. Oh, the race also turns deadly. My sci-fi loving heart was ready for this book. Trigger warnings: alcohol use, blood/gore, death/loss of a loved one, emotional withholding from a parental figure, murder, guilt and trauma, science fiction-related violence (i.e., blasters, spaceship battles, etc.)
First, the bad news: an ancient evil—you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal—is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first. Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favorite faces. And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri. Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother, and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted. When they learn the Hadfield has been found, it’s time to come out of hiding. Two centuries ago, the colony ship vanished, leaving Auri as its sole survivor. Now, its black box might be what saves them. But time is short, and if Auri can’t learn to master her powers as a Trigger, the squad and all their admirers are going to be deader than the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV. Shocking revelations, bank heists, mysterious gifts, inappropriately tight bodysuits, and an epic firefight will determine the fate of the Aurora Legion’s most unforgettable heroes—and maybe the rest of the galaxy as well.
I liked Aurora Rising a lot more than I thought I would. It had a fantastic rag tag crew dynamic. I managed to make that trope seem fresh and new through humor and characters you can’t help but fall hopelessly in love with. Plus, the plot was explosive and a lot creepier than I thought it was going to be. It had this darkness to it that I really liked. All this to say, I was definitely looking forward to the sequel! To see the characters again and to see where this world is going to go.
Ettian Nassun’s life was shattered when the merciless Umber Empire invaded. He’s spent seven years putting himself back together under its rule, joining an Umber military academy and becoming the best pilot in his class. Even better, he’s met Gal Veres–his exasperating and infuriatingly enticing roommate who’s made the Academy feel like a new home. But when dozens of classmates spring an assassination plot on Gal, a devastating secret comes to light: Gal is the heir to the Umber Empire. Ettian barely manages to save his best friend and flee the compromised Academy unscathed, rattled both that Gal stands to inherit the empire that broke him and that there are still people willing to fight back against Umber rule. As they piece together a way to deliver Gal safely to his throne, Ettian finds himself torn in half by an impossible choice. Does he save the man who’s won his heart and trust that Gal’s goodness could transform the empire? Or does he throw his lot in with the brewing rebellion and fight to take back what’s rightfully theirs?
I originally passed by this book, first because I thought it was the sequel to Hullmetal Girls, second because I thought it was an adult book that for some reason wouldn’t interest me. Well, the author tweeted something that this book has queer space boys, one of whom is a secret prince to an empire. She tweeted it in light of the FinnPoe Star Wars news and my interest shot up to a thousand percent, because a queer space story sounds amazing.
As a successful social media journalist with half a million followers, seventeen-year-old Cal is used to sharing his life online. But when his pilot father is selected for a highly publicized NASA mission to Mars, Cal and his family relocate from Brooklyn to Houston and are thrust into a media circus. Amidst the chaos, Cal meets sensitive and mysterious Leon, another “Astrokid,” and finds himself falling head over heels—fast. As the frenzy around the mission grows, so does their connection. But when secrets about the program are uncovered, Cal must find a way to reveal the truth without hurting the people who have become most important to him.
I had seen people talking about this one a bit and I knew it was queer, which was enough for me to want to read it. But then I found out it’s about space. About the family’s of the astronauts who stay on the ground. It’s about space without ever actually going to space. I’m a huge fan of sci-fi, but this sounded just as cool as actually going up into space.