I received this book in an illumicrate box and I’m really glad I did! I really loved the story and I’m so excited to continue with this series. It did take me a while to pick up as I just didn’t find the cover appealing but it just shows that you should never judge a book by the cover!
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Reeling from the latest attack by a mysterious enemy, the Quatra Fleet Academy is finally admitting students from every planet in the solar system after centuries of exclusivity.
Hotshot pilot Vesper, an ambitious Tridian citizen, dreams of becoming a captain – but when she loses her spot to a brilliant, wisecracking boy from the wrong side of the asteroid belt, it makes her question everything she thought she knew. Growing up on the toxic planet Deva, Cormak will take any chance he can get to escape his dead-end life and join the Academy – even if he has to steal someone’s identity to do it. Arran was always considered an outsider on icy Chetire, always dreaming of something more than a life working in the mines. Now an incoming cadet, Arran is looking for a place to belong – he just never thought that place would be in the arms of a Tridian boy. And Orelia is hiding a dark secret – she’s infiltrated the Academy to complete a mission, one that threatens the security of everyone there. But if anyone finds out who she really is, it’ll be her life on the line.
These cadets will have to put their differences aside and become a team to defend their world from a cunning enemy – but the danger might be lurking closer to home than they think…
This book was honestly such a wonderful surprise, its fast paced and fun to read. I loved all the different points of view as we got to see things from different perspectives which created a much wider view of the world. This helped with understanding the characters and their motives and it meant that I could see each character through their own eyes and through the others. Their differences in how some were rich and some were from poorer backgrounds and how the rich looked down on the poor and felt they weren’t as capable. I loved that those from the poorer backgrounds proved them wrong!
The story not only deals with socio-economic divides but also prejudice, hate crimes and racism. It was woven into the story really well and didn’t feel like it was out of place and just there to make a point.
I felt the same about the diversity in the book from LGBT rep, to a character that was an amputee and racial diversity. The characters weren’t there just to make the book diverse but had an actual story and character development. I felt it was done really well.
The one thing that surprised me was that we saw from the “enemies” point of view too, which meant that it wasn’t actually clear who the “bad guy” really was. Each side had their own justification as to why they went to war with the other and the morally grey characters made the story much more interesting.
The one thing that I would say is that the story is very character driven, it revolves around the four main characters journey in the school and so, plot wise, not a lot happens until the very end. I really enjoyed the characters so this wasn’t an issue for me but it did mean that there wasn’t as much world building as I would have liked. I wanted to see more of the planets they lived on and how the world works. It was actually difficult for me to actually visualise the world and places they describe. Hopefully we will see more of that in the next book.
This book has lots of political intrigue, drama and space adventures and the training that the main characters go through reminded me a little of Star Trek, which I loved! I definitely recommend picking this book up!