Title: Blood of a Thousand Stars
Series: Empress of a Thousand Skies #2
Author: Rhoda Belleza
Genres: Young Adult Science-Fiction
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.
Vicious politics and high-stakes action culminate in an epic showdown that will determine the fate of the universe.
I absolutely adored the first book in this series, Empress of a Thousand Skies. I loved the plot, the world, the characters, the writing, I loved everything. So of course I had to request an ARC of Blood of a Thousand Stars, and I was absolutely over the moon when I was accepted, so of course I dove straight into it.
Sadly, I had a lot of trouble getting into the book. The world in this book is quite complicated, especially when it comes to the political aspects of it, and because it had been a few months since I read the first book I had forgotten a couple details, such as the names of certain characters and planets, and who sided with who. Normally when you read a sequel it kind of recaps what happened previously, and I felt like this book did make an attempt at doing this, but it failed. I felt very lost while reading the first 1/3th of the book, and once I finally got what was going on, I still felt very disconnected from the story. I had to force myself to pick it up again, which is never a good sign.
Rohda Belleza’s writing was absolutely gorgeous, but I also felt like there was a bit too much of it. For instance, while having a dialogue there would be a lot of focus on what the characters where thinking or feeling, or what the setting or the other characters looked like. Every single description was beautiful and it made the reading experience very immersive, but it also causes a conversation that could’ve easily taken 2 pages last a whole chapter. Which was fine, but I just started feeling like nothing was happening and I got a bit bored. And that, in combination with my confusion, was not good, and I almost ended up DNF’ing the book.
So, am I glad that I didn’t DNF the book? Meh. There were, of course, parts of this book that I absolutely loved and that made my struggle worth it, like the characters. It took me some time to really connect with them, but once I did, I fell in love with them and I really cared about what was going to happen to them. I also really liked the overall plot. It was very interesting, and it took a few twists that I didn’t see coming. It was really too bad that it was so slow, because I know I would’ve loved it otherwise.
I think I could’ve really loved the book. Maybe if I had picked the book up as an audiobook, because I don’t mind audiobooks being slow at all, or if I had read it right after finishing the first book so I wouldn’t have forgotten a few of the details. I am, however, very interested to see what Rhoda Belleza will publish in the future, and I’m pretty sure I’ll still pick it up, even if I didn’t like this one that much.