Synopsis: The asteroid hurtling toward the earth will kill billions.
The Emperor and his Gold Court will be safe in their space station, watching from the stars. The Silvers will be protected underground. But the Bronzes must fight it out at the Shadow Trials for the few remaining spots left on the space station.
When an enigmatic benefactor hands Maia Graystone a spot in the Trials, she won’t just get a chance at salvation for her and her baby brother, Max: She gets to confront the mother who abandoned her in prison, the mad Emperor who murdered her father, and the Gold prince who once loved her. But it’s the dark bastard prince she’s partnered with that will make her question everything, including her own heart. With the asteroid racing closer every day, Maia must trust someone to survive.
The question is who?
*I received an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley from Barclay Publicity in exchange for an honest review*
“Sometimes, just like the truth needs to be unspoken, a lie needs to be shouted at the top of your lungs.”
Having finished this book, I am pleased to report that I enjoyed it a lot more than when I first started. As usual, when I requested it it was because the gorgeous cover and intriguing plot description drew me in but once I got started I was thrown off by a lot of violent scenes and so I almost put the book down. I am glad I chose not to in the end.
This book does have similarities to many dystopian books and you can’t help when reading it to draw parallels with The Hunger Games, but I still enjoyed it non-the-less and I don’t ever think that just because two books are like each other you can’t enjoy them both.
I was intrigued by this author’s use of the stars and constellations as a key plot device as well as the use of Greek mythology, which is a favorite subject of mine. Unfortunately several times I did feel lost in this world and had a hard time understanding exactly how the class structures functioned or what exactly was happening with the asteroid. Sometimes I felt as if I had missed a prequel or a chapter that explained everything better.
The main character Maia/Everly was an easy character to get into the headspace of, although I sometimes disagreed with her decisions, by the end I was more understanding of her choices. I do wish there would’ve been some more backstory with her and Max as he is supposed to be the reason she is so driven during the plot and yet their connection does not seem as strong to me as it was presented in the book.
The relationship between Maia/Everly and Riser was complex and it was actually this element of the book that I enjoyed the most. Although secretly I was sort of rooting for Maia and Caspian I enjoyed seeing the depth that the author was adding to the Maia/Riser relationship and am excited to see where she takes it in the next book.
The characters were definitely the best part about this book, as even the supporting characters were interesting and I wanted to know more about them as the book went on. Flame in particular was a character I enjoyed getting to know, her backstory wasn’t what I expected it to be and that was a nice surprise. I always enjoy books that develop the side characters as much as the main characters.
Originally I was going to give this book 3 out of 5 stars because the violence was a bit over the top and the world building felt too underdeveloped for me, but around 50% in the book took a turn that really surprised me and after that it continued to pick up. By the end I was happy that the author had taken the book in a few surprising directions and left the book in a place that had me itching to come back and read the sequel, which lets me know that it needed to have 4 stars.
Overall this was a surprising read that had good character development and an interesting premise that I am excited to see expand for the future series!