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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Audio ARC Review: Blood of a Thousand Stars by Rhonda Belleza

Please Note:  I received an advance copy of this audio book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way.  Also, I am part of the Amazon affiliate program.  If you buy the book through the links on this page, I will get a small fee.

Synopsis (From Goodreads):
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.

When I saw that the audio book of Blood of a Thousand Stars, by Rhonda Belleza, was available for review, I got really excited.  I had Empress of a Thousand Skies but had not read it yet.  So I quickly read the first book in preparation for the audio book.  While I loved the first book, and all of Rhee's needing to outpace assassins who want her dead, the second book is mired in problems.

There are some SPOILERS in this review.  I don't normally do this, but I need to in order to explain why I found this book to be lacking.

What I Liked:
The narrator, Rebecca Soler, does a wonderful job with the narration.  She did a great job of inhabiting all the characters, from smart-mouthed Kara, to insecure Rhee.  I liked her voices and and inflections very much.
The two main characters from Empress of a Thousand Skies, Rhee and Aly, remain fun and interesting to follow.  Rhee is still struggling to grasp Royal politics and schemes.  She always seems two steps behind Nero's plots.  I liked that she didn't know everything.  She tries to learn how to outmatch her opponents, and it's fun to read.  Aly, ever the soldier, remains the symbol of the every man in the story.  I liked his bravery, and his single-mindedness in trying to do the right thing.

I also enjoyed the smaller characters like  Dhalen, The Fisherman, Issa, and Lana.  Each of them show bravery and sacrifice toward the goal of bringing down Nero. 


What I Didn't Like:

I thought Kara was really selfish and probably the worst sister in the universe!  When she realizes she is the true Empress, she rejects this, and wants to use the Overrider to erase everyone's knowledge that there ever was an older Princess named Josselyn.  She reasons that it would be better for Rhee if there wasn't an older princess to challenge her for the throne.  But the real reason is because she doesn't want the responsibility.  She can't stand the thought of everyone telling her what to do and never having any choices.  But isn't Kara dooming Rhee to just such a fate?  Thanks, Sis!  She eventually realizes this is a poor choice, but I was surprised that she would ever feel that way.

Nero continues to be a dastardly villain, but we  get only a few small clues as to what made him go bad.  I wish the author had included more backstory to put his evil ways in context.  What we get is a two-dimensional caricature of a bad guy.  I think this was a missed opportunity.

Plot Obstacles:
You know when something happens in a book and you think, "If only the person did..." there wouldn't have been a problem?  Well, this happened a lot in this book.

First of all, we know from the first book that Julian's dad tried to assassinate Rhee.  She wound up killing him in self defense.  But when Julian confronts Rhee (and tries to murder her to avenge his father's death), she doesn't tell him why she killed his father.  Why?  Because her would be devastated by the knowledge?  If someone has a knife to your throat, don't you think you would want to tell the person they got it wrong?

Also, in the story line of Aly and Kara, a big explosion detonates around them.  When the dust clears Aly sees a pile of rubble with a hand sticking out of it, holding a set of prayer beads Kara had been holding.  Okay, what is the LOGICAL response?  Check the body?  Try to free her from the rubble?  Oh no, that would be too easy.  Instead of either of these, Aly leaves with some soldiers to rejoin the army and avenge Kara's death.  Obviously, Kara is not dead.  But now we have a convenient way to keep them separated for the rest of the book.



Release Date:  February 20th, 2018

Genre:  YA Science Fiction

Format:  Audio Book

Publisher: Listening Library

Listening Length:  10 Hours, 12 Minutes

Performed by:  Rebecca Soler

Page Length:  344 pages

Recommendation:  The unnecessarily complicated plot drags down this sequel.  If you must read this, I would wait until you can get it from the library.

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1 comment :

  1. Hey
    Thank you so much for sharing ur opinion. I'm sorry that you didn't enjoy it so much.
    Question: how do you get audiobook arc's, I'm entering this world of audiobooks and I'm really interested!! Thnx!


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2019 Reading Challenge
MsArdychan has read 10 books toward her goal of 120 books.


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