A review by madlee
Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza


I don't normally read space operas, but I have been interested in them lately. I received this book in a FairyLoot box at the beginning of the year (2017) and never read it until now.

I loved the action and the different locations, but I was often left confused on some important information that decided to pop up later in the story. The timing of the information was wrong and I was underwhelmed by the world building. There is a world with politics and planets, but it all became a jumbled mess and was hard to keep straight throughout the info dumps.

Also, the character motives were quite unclear half the time. Toward the end I kept thinking "Why are they doing this?" and would have to flip back a couple of pages. Apparently I missed a couple of character deaths and minor information.

The pacing of the story was rather fast and didn't flow very well. There were many great ideas but they were disorganized and underdeveloped. I wish Belleza expanded and went into more of the background of the world and characters. This is a rather short book so she had the room to do that. Hopefully she does that in the second book.

I cared very little for the characters and it was hard to believe Rhiannon was trained to kill someone and become Empress because she didn't express any of that. She was just thrown about and didn't have much impact on the story except for her presumed murder. The only character remotely interesting was Kara even though I still don't know how she ended up meeting Aly.

For the dual P.O.V., it was fun seeing everything play out from two different perspectives, but they never came together in the end. Sure there was a glance and some crossing storylines, but they never spoke a word to each other which was disappointing. After the build up I wanted them to meet and kick ass.

And the twist at the end? I called it while I was halfway through the book.

Overall, it was a fun quick read and I do recommend it. Sure it has issues, but I am interested in reading the second book in hopes of the gaps being filled in and straightened out.