With tears in her eyes and her best friend’s blood on her hands, at age 14, Androma Racella is banished from her home planet, Arcadius. Although a freak accident accounted for Kalee’s death, Andi had taken a vow to protect General Cortas’ daughter, a vow that she failed to keep.
While alone and fighting to survive, Andi meets Dextro Arez, a Tenebran Guardian and the most notorious bounty hunter in the Mirabel Galaxy who teaches her the art of combat. When Dex chooses duty over his heart, Andi steals his starship in an act of revenge. Living for the thrill of a life dangling on the edge of death, now Andi captains the Marauder as the Bloody Baroness. Years of dancing and training at the Academy have turned her body into a fluid, ferocious thing, but the deaths she causes haunt her. With Breck, Lira, and Gilly, they are girls on a mission, out to tear apart the silent skies as pirates.
Motivated by war-honed hatred, filial responsibility, and desire to protect his planet, Arcadius, General Cortas orchestrates a mission so that Dex and Andi cross paths. He coerces the pair into working together to recover his son, Valen Cortas, who is imprisoned on Lunamere. The victim of a kidnapping and cruel torture, Valen has been reduced from a quiet, artistic young man to the resident of Cell 306, “a place without color or laughter or light” (101). As the whip strikes his skin and tears at the tendons beneath, he vows revenge.
At the time of the rescue mission, none of the characters in Zenith, the first book in The Androma Saga co-authored by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings, know that Queen Nor is working in the shadows. Motivated by revenge, she wants to restore the status of her planet, Xen Ptera. Not only is Nor developing a weapon called Zenith to give her people back the stars, but she is using the prisoners on Lunamere as test subjects.
In this adventure-packed, action-stacked fantasy, Alsberg and Cummings ask important questions about revenge:
- Is revenge sweet?
- What are the expectations for and consequences of seeking revenge?
- To what extent do the wish to share pain and desolation shape a desire for revenge?
- What happens when revenge takes on a life of its own as a powerful creature?
Along with the characters, readers will uncover answers to many of these questions. We also learn that shame and guilt are equally monstrous, that anger and hate give no man or woman lasting peace, and that “life [doesn’t consider] our feelings when it decides to take us down an unsteady road” (299). Additional morals come in teaching us about cataclysm’s power to change the course of life, although sharing horrors and enduring darkness doesn’t mean we can’t claw our way to the light.
- Posted by Donna