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Zenith Book Review!

Zenith Book Review!
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    Hey guys! I'm Lou and in today's video I'm going to be reviewing Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and
    Lindsey Cummings. This book is about a crew of women who fly around the galaxy
    being space pirates, until a mission goes wrong and they have to redeem themselves
    and save the universe. It's marketed as Guardians Of The Galaxy sort of thing. I have
    two things I want to say before I go into this review. And my review be split
    into spoiler free and.... what's the opposite of spoiler-free?
    Oh spoilers. This review be split into spoiler free and spoilers,
    where I'll go through all my notes on this book. I'm gonna put is
    here why just talk and then I'll go through my notes.
    So the first thing I want to say is that I am a
    big fan of Sasha Alsberg. I probably wouldn't have bought Zenith if she hadn't
    have written it. Or if I had bought it I probably would have
    dnf'd it. So from that you can guess that this video is going to be a
    predominantly negative review Zenith. There are some good aspects to Zenith
    and I will go into it. But overall it's gonna be a negative review. The
    second thing that I wanted to say was that I did the terrible mistake of
    reading a Mass Effect graphic novel before reading Zenith. For those of you
    that don't know Mass Effect is a game universe
    There have been four games published by EA and they're like triple-A
    titles. They make loads of money and the world is just fantastic.
    So I was comparing the masterpiece that is the Mass Effect universe to
    Zenith pretty much the entire time I was reading this book. If anything that
    probably helped with my analysis because I could compare a great thing to this
    and see... not necessarily if it matches up but if it has the same foundations. I
    probably wouldn't have finished this book if it wasn't for the fact I was
    buddy reading it for my friend Emily. I probably would have DNF'd it and then did a
    review on why I Dnf'd it. But then I'm glad I finished it, because
    I'll get to that soon! I'll get to that in the review! Spoiler-free part of the review.
    The first thing I'm going to be talking about is the writing of Zenith.
    The writing of Zenith is not good. The first hundred pages are the worst. Like
    you do want a book to get better as you're reading, but you need the book to
    captivate the audience in the beginning. And lots of reviews that I've come
    across, people have not managed to make past the 100 page mark. To be fair I
    wants a DNF it about 100 pages and I'll give you my opinions. I think the main
    failure with Zenith is the writing style. It's written in multiple point of views
    but I can honestly not tell you how many points of views there are.. I think wait..
    There's Andi. There's Dex. There's Valen. There's Lyra. Okay that's four. You have like
    Klaren. Nor. Do you have Kalee? I feel like you might have Kalee but I'm not
    sure. Actually I think there is six. You know it's bad when I can't even tell. So
    there's six points of views. Which is fine because if you've read the book like Six
    of Crows or A Game Of Thrones, then you know that multiple points of view...
    like there's no limit to how many points of you should have or
    you shouldn't have. But in Zenith the points of view are so short and they
    disrupt the plot of the novel. Or sometimes they're completely repetitive because
    all the characters are in the same situation, like in the same room or
    something. You're just getting another perspective of the same event. Which is
    fine if it's like a murder mystery but not if it's like a space battle just like... "Oh
    okay." I feel like I'm gonna be quite salty
    with this review, but like there are good parts. Remember there are good parts. When
    I was reading Zenith I could not help but compare it to Six Of Crows, because
    you have multiple points of view. But with Six Of Crows the points of view
    really help the plot, the pacing, the fluidity. It's a benefit for Six of Crows
    to be multiple points of views. Especially during the heist of Six Of
    Crows when the characters are off doing different things.
    Whereas in Zenith, the characters are pretty much always together.
    Also with some on the point of view you don't know their significance until
    literally 98% of the book completed. You have no idea what part they play until
    maybe perhaps about halfway through. But it's kind of bad
    contextually because that means you haven't set up the universe correctly
    enough for us to know who's talking. There's a flashbacks within Zenith, but the
    flashbacks tend to be situated in the worst of times.
    For example there's a like a space battle within the first hundred pages.
    This space battle is like space battle, flashback to something that happened 20
    years ago, space battle and it's a bit like, "Why would you put the flashback
    there?" It has no significance on the current scene and it ended up
    disrupting the tension, the suspense, and it just made Zenith felt like a
    broken-down car that just kept on stopping and starting. And I'm not the
    only one who thought that. When I was discussing the book with Emily, as we was
    reading this, she also commented on that. As I said before it takes a
    hundred pages for the writing to get better. But once it's passed the hundred
    page mark, I would consider the book to be almost like a three star, but then
    things happen and then it just goes back down to two star and I wanted to DNF it.
    Zenith is intriguing but not written well. I think that would just be
    like the sum for this review. The next part of the review, I'm going to be
    talking about the world building. The world building in Zenith is really
    lacking and you can feel that throughout the book. But then the authors constantly
    reference the stars, or something about space, and it's like we know that's in
    space. We just have no idea what your surroundings look like. Or no context to
    place them. I can't tell you what the Marauder looks like apart from a piece
    of glass. Varillium. That's unbreakable. But I can't tell you what the insides
    look like. It could literally just be a see through ship. When they visit the
    planets... I think Adhira has got a lot of big
    trees and a field of some sort of organic material.
    Arcadia. I don't know. Like the descriptions aren't vivid or the adjectives they use have
    no context, so it's like, "Okay I can't imagine that because I have no idea what
    this is." Law and conventions and history isn't
    really talked about. The history of the Mirabelle universe pretty much starts 15
    years ago and that's all we know. We don't even know humans ever existed
    in this universe, or if Andi is human or if Andi's a Arcadian.
    You just don't know. And the aliens in this
    book consists of like four or maybe like five races, and two of them sound so
    familiar. I kept them getting Arcadians and Adhirans mixed up which are like
    two different species. Adhirans are like peace, love and that sort of thing and
    Arcadians are like a military dictatorship that rules the universe. And
    you can really tell the influences on this book. If I had to write an essay on
    this, I could probably support the fact that Zenith is influenced by Throne Of
    Glass, Red Queen, Six Of Crows, Cinder, Game of Thrones, maybe ACOTAR, but
    definitely Divergent. And when you get to those parts, you can just really feel
    those influences because they feel like a lesser version of their counterparts.
    And like I don't mind if the same things are used. I mean Red Queen does feel like an
    amalgamation of other YA books, but it makes it unique. Zenith doesn't make it unique.
    Oh one thing I do want to say about world building is we have no idea
    what languages that people speak. Do they speak their own language? Do Adhirans and
    speak Adhirian? Do Arcadians speak Arcadiaian? There is a reference to a great
    universal dictionary, but what dictionary language is it in? Or if there's a
    universal translator. And why is there unified language across the galaxy?
    There's not a unified language in this world. Let alone a galaxy. And a reference to
    the aliens is that they're all humanoid. There's no Hanar in Zenith. And hopefully
    if I'm technical enough I'll show you a picture of Hanar from Mass Effect. But there's
    no non-humanoid species mentioned. I mean there is like one mention but it's like
    a reference to be more like a dragon. But there's like there's no aliens that you
    would imagine to come out of Mass Effect or Star Trek. It's all just like humanoid.
    Bulletproof. Scales that light up. This part I'm going to be talking about the
    characters. So you have Andi. She is so inconsistent. I really
    didn't like her. She is depicted as this killer who easily kills people. Basically
    meant to be seen as like the best warrior in the galaxy, because she has
    the best ship in the galaxy. But she's so inconsistent she's depicted to be a
    murderer. And then she goes and has a guilt trip. Within every point of you that
    you get of Andi it feels like she's got like dual personality disorder or
    something. Because she easily kills, but then dances with the dead and like
    draws notches on those swords to remember all the ones that she killed.
    Which her swords would need to be incredibly long because in the beginning
    she destroys two ship fulls of people. How many notches is that Andy? I'm like
    getting more and more annoyed as I talk about this book. Then you have Dex. Dex I
    actually really quite liked. This is an unpopular opinion.
    I liked the comedic relief that he plays. There are some parts of him that I
    was like... he didn't need to do. But there are times when his character is... not good.
    There are times when he is arrogant, selfish, idiotic
    within the book. It's like a love-hate relationship with me and Dex. With predominantly
    liking him. It's near beginning where I disliked him the most. But then towards
    the end I liked him. But then I really don't like the will/they won't they
    relationship with Andi. How many times have I rolled my eyes? I felt myself roll my eyes
    so many times. Who else should I talk about? Oh you have Lira. I didn't like Lira. She's annoying
    because she's basically like a Vulcan and an Amity from Divergent.
    Her species of people, as well as her. And Lira is also inconsistent like Andi.
    But nowhere near as much as Andi. Andi is the most inconsistent character. I think
    perhaps some of it may stem from there being two authors. Perhaps they would
    have conflicting ideas. I did really like Valen though. Valen was one of my
    favorite characters. And I'm actually rooting for him and if you for this book
    then you know what happens to Valen and I'm actually rooting for him which is
    kind of bad. I do like him. I wish there was more
    development on Alfie the AI. But then he's also inconsistent. He has the
    capabilities of an AI. He can sort of judge when people are feeling certain
    emotions and he experiences emotions himself. Yet he also talks like a robot
    and cannot get the context from conversations. All the other characters
    are so undeveloped that I would struggle to tell you the basic information about
    them. I know that Gilly is 13 years old and she's depicted as a sharpshooter who can
    kill anything with ease and blow up things. And yet she's a kid and she can't
    swear. But she can kill people. Breck is just bulletproof but we don't know why she's
    bulletproof. Or what she's bulletproof against. And is there something she is
    vulnerable to. Because Breck is described as bulletproof because she is a New Vedan.
    New Vedan's are like the ultimate soldier. And during a battle scene they
    all like huddle behind Breck because she has bulletproof skin. But I was like, "What are the
    bullets made out of for her to be the best shield? Are the bullets like iron? Are they like
    photons? What makes her so invulnerable?" This book needed a lot more
    context. Now I'm going to go through my notes. So this would be the spoiler-y
    section. So if you're here just for the non-spoiler-y parts... Bye. Like and subscribe.
    If you like me... still after this video. So I have notes that's written all in this
    book and I have notes here. I think I'm gonna go through the book and then I'm gonna
    read through my notes and see there's anything else that I missed. On here green is
    things didn't like. Pink is things that I liked and yellow, is few and far between,
    are just comments on the plot. This book made me need to replenish my
    supplies or green. Okay my edition is the UK Edition so I'll be
    referencing pages. Page 23 Andi's point of view. It says, 'She was
    frustrated and hungry, and thanks to the nightmares, reaching a level of exhaustion
    that shouldn't have been humanly possible to survive.' Are there even humans
    in this universe? Page 41. '"I don't want be taken again,"
    Gilly whispered. Gone was the bloodthirsty little fairy.
    In its place was a frightened young girl. She burst into tears, fat droplets
    splashing on them dead metal at their feet. Breck dropped to her knees and pulled
    Gilly forward into a crushing hug.' I was like "Why is this so contradicting?"
    And what thirteen-year-old cries at a drop of a hat? 13 year olds are quite
    intelligent. Although they probably would be scared if they knew that they could
    possibly die. But I feel like Gilly acting more like a five-year-old in this
    scene. Page 46 is where it's referenced that Breck is bulletproof, and I literally
    wrote, 'What are bullets made out of for Breck to be bulletproof against it.'
    Andi kills someone on page 47. It's like a random patrolman and it says,
    'Silver blood exploded against the metal wall beyond.' If you've read a
    popular YA novel, what reference makes you think of silver blood? Oh I did like
    it when Brex. Brex? That's a combination of Dex and Breck. The names are so
    familiar. I mean the names are so similar that I hate it. Oh there was
    something I wanted to say about Lira that I forgot. Why does Andi shorten
    Lira's name to Lir? No one does that. Why do you break up a two-syllable name to
    like... Like you don't go up to an Amy and be like Am. So I liked Dex
    when he managed to ambush Andi by getting her down the ladder because that
    was quite cool. But also I didn't like Andi and I wanted her to die. By page 54, there's two repetitions
    of the phrase, 'As your'. Lira says, 'As your second-in-command' and Kalee says,
    something like, 'As my best friend'. I don't like that because who goes around
    placing their worth in other people's lives. Like I don't go around and be like
    "As your best friend. As my best friend." You don't do that. The only people that can do that is
    that it's probably like mothers, and they're like, "As your mother you sound listen to me."
    Luckily it doesn't repeat itself too much after this.
    It's just Lira saying it. When you first meet... was it? General Cor... What's-his-name?
    General... When you first meet General Cortas,
    he literally keeps on repeating that he's a powerful man. This is page 55. He
    says, "'I'm a very powerful man Androma."' When she discovers that he's behind
    everything. And then on page 57, he repeats himself and says, "'I'm a powerful
    man, Androma, but a desperate one."' If you're a powerful man you don't say
    you're powerful. You're just are powerful and people know it. You don't need to tell them.
    There's a description of Andi on page... not Andi. There's a description of Alfie
    on page 87. It goes, 'The AI's face was white like the snowcapped mountains on
    Solera. It had two eyes and a mouth, legs and arms, but besides that, it was absent
    of any other humanoid traits.' I feel like humanoid is an Earth term.
    So why did you use Earth terms?
    Unless Earth did exist. Page 97. Andi... Andi asked Alfie a question she goes, "'Are you
    incapable of blinking?"' And then Alfie replies, '"Since I'm not a living being, I
    do not require eyelids to block damaging particles from entering my ocular lens.
    This means I am incapable blinking, Androma Racella."' And then Andi's like,
    '"Silence him, Dextro, before I do it myself.'" You literally asked him a question. It's
    like asking someone how are you and being like shut up. Straight after they reply.
    Oh on page 124 there's a plot one. Where
    it's just like, 'I don't trust Soyina.' I expected Soyina to betray them but she
    didn't really betray them. Page 128 is the unconsenting kiss. Which I didn't find
    too bad, but I didn't agree of it. Because I had read reviews and watch reviews
    before I read Zenith. People were saying about the unconsenting kiss and I
    thought be really bad... but it's bad but it's not too bad. It's bad because it's a
    unconsenting kiss but like I was expecting it to be like... bad. But then her
    response is to throw like a table on him. Oh Andi threw a chair on him. Page 133.
    It was a chair not a table. Oh this description. I've heard this
    description talked about by other booktubers.
    It's so bad that it's so funny. "One moment she looked purely Andi, angry as a wet
    feline and terrifyingly beautiful." My cats aren't pretty when they're wet. page 204,
    "Hope is a raging asshole." Page 221 is where Andi dances with the dead. Dead
    people that she's killed. And like I literally found it so weird. I was like....
    There's like ways to be guilt-ridden, and there's ways to be crazy. Like Dex says
    somewhere in this book, everyone in the everyone in the Mirabelle galaxy is broken in some way.
    And I was like yeah yep yep. Page 226 Dex tries to explain his part in their [Dex + Andi's] tragic
    backstory and she doesn't let him speak. She's like oh yeah I'll give you five minutes.
    And then he literally says one thing then she just goes off on him. There's
    that lame reveal that it was a choice between Andi and his dad but then
    his dad isn't mentioned before this or after this. It's just... there. Page 234 is the
    rape of General Cortas. You don't need to use rape to depict her as a bad guy.
    Page 238. Lira tries to convince Andi to forgive Dex.
    She says, "Sooner or later, you're going to have to choose between forgiveness
    or hate. And you and I both know which one is harder to live with."
    It's like girl you literally said in the beginning that hate is not a strong enough
    word for Dex. And now you're trying to convince Andi to forgive him. Everyone
    accepts Dex way too easily. I said this on page 243. After like you know the dad
    reveal it's like everyone just like, "Aww we like you. You can be a part of our crew
    unofficially." Page 251, a prisoner cause Nor a Scnav. What's the significance of
    being called a Scnav? You never know. Oh this a bit of banter that I liked.
    This is around the area that it started to be decent. Like three stars. And this is
    when the Marauder is literally crashing for a second time. You know the
    indestructible ship. And it goes, "'Come on, baby," Andi said, patting the Marauder's dash as if
    it would actually listen to her plea. "Coming!" an unwelcome voice came from
    behind her. Andi let out an audible groan. "Get in
    a seat, Dextro. Now!" "I'm trying to lighten the mood Androma. We all know Lira is fully
    capable of handling this situation." "Thanks," Lira muttered.' I liked that. This phrase seemed
    very familiar to me. Let's see if you can get it. "In this time of
    darkness, they will find a queen able to guide them into the light." A certain
    wizard maybe. Page 281. I did not like the phrase, "even the stars can bleed". No they
    can't. Page 311 I said that Andi focuses way too much on the guilt of being a killer.
    Because this is when they're like training and she just breaks down
    and I just like rolling my eyes. Page 322 is when I was like annoyed that Arcadians and
    Adhirans were so similar in name. Page 323 is the reference to the great universal
    dictionary. Oh page 337 I got really annoyed at Andi because she was refusing
    to think that Lira would ever leave the Marauders. "Especially now." Andi was just
    really selfish in that moment. I did like the scene when Andi and Valen are talking about his art
    on page 340. And he's talking about the colours and there being a million colours. I
    like that scene. Page 358 is the reference to liquid heaven. I have no idea what
    heaven tastes like. Let alone in liquid form. I'm being so salty. I'm so sorry.
    On page 378 I said the pacing gets better. Page 413 I literally just said this...
    Page 441 I came to the conclusion that I liked Valen. This is when Valen and Andi
    were talking in Kalee's garden. Page 450 I came to a conclusion but I do not ship
    Dex and Andi together. 494 I was really angry at Andi for
    taking the knife out of her stomach. Cause that causes for you to bleed out. Page 499
    it does not explain why Andi, and maybe Dex, I'm not sure about Dex got shot,
    but it doesn't explain why Andi is immune to Zenith. Valen just knows that she
    could be. Page 503 I've wrote a question why does Valen and Nor and Klaren
    have the compulsion ability? Is it just like an ability? A evolutionary
    trademark? Page 517 I came to conclusion that I will be picking up the next book
    in my series because the ending is really good. So that was me
    going through my notes in Zenith. Let me go through my notes in flashcard form.
    I'm just going to be talking about anything that I mentioned in here that I did not mention in there.
    In the beginning you don't feel a part of the crew because you don't understand the
    banter. So you don't get the references and you don't get the context. Which is... which
    happens throughout the book but you sort of get some of the banter sometimes.
    The banter is some of the best parts of the book, but also it's some of the worst
    because of the context. This was before page 23. I kept noticing the
    writing style. I really disliked the amount of similes in the first 100 pages.
    It was almost on every page. Oh Dex is the new Wolverine apparently because he
    has like blades coming up with his knuckles. Breck has a whip which I
    thought was very similar to Isabelle Lightwood but Breck doesn't use the whip again.
    I felt like the alien abilities were like picked out of a hat. They weren't
    really explained. I thought Gilly was a psychopath. From her descriptions she
    sounds like a psychopath. I didn't like the mystery that they keep on giving us. It's
    not explained why Breck doesn't remember her past, or why Gilly does not
    want to remember her past. Oh I've got lots of headaches from this book.
    All Gilly does is giggle and you really notice that in the first hundred pages. So that
    was my review of Zenith. I hope that you enjoyed it. I don't know if I can say
    that they enjoyed Zenith. Like I did in some parts, I didn't in
    others. But I did enjoy it enough to want to get the second book. Would I recommend
    it? No. But like I am intrigued. Maybe pick it up from your local library. And see if you like
    it. I will support Sasha Alsberg in her other endeavours. And I'm really intrigued
    to see what she will do with Project Red. I want to see if her writing will
    grow. If the reason why the writing is so bad in Zenith her fault or if it's just the
    combination of the two writers, because I haven't read Lindsay Cummings's work
    before this. So I can't really say if it's her or not either. I'm sorry I threw a
    lot of shade. Like I really wanted to like this book because it's like Sasha.
    She's a massive part of the booktube community, but also I wanted Sasha to be
    able to prove that booktubers and youtubers can write books. It's not just
    a money-making scheme because of your audiences but because they can actually
    write good books. But it like sort of failed...
    Ah I feel so bad saying this. Thank you for clicking on
    this video and watching I hope you would like and subscribe. And thank you and I
    hope to see you soon. Bye!
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