A science fiction space opera with great representation and a high-intensity adventure!
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I rarely read science fiction, and that too space opera. But the cover and premise of this novel was too good to resist. I buddy-read this with Emily@Moonlight and Moths and it was great to go through my thoughts with her! This book will be counting towards ARC August, hosted by Read.Sleep.Repeat.
The First Sister (The First Sister Trilogy, #1)
Published July 4, 2020 by Skybound Books
Data from Goodreads
First Sister has no name and no voice. As a priestess of the Sisterhood, she travels the stars alongside the soldiers of Earth and Mars—the same ones who own the rights to her body and soul. When her former captain abandons her, First Sister’s hopes for freedom are dashed when she is forced to stay on her ship with no friends, no power, and a new captain—Saito Ren—whom she knows nothing about. She is commanded to spy on Captain Ren by the Sisterhood, but soon discovers that working for the war effort is so much harder to do when you’re falling in love.
Lito val Lucius climbed his way out of the slums to become an elite soldier of Venus, but was defeated in combat by none other than Saito Ren, resulting in the disappearance of his partner, Hiro. When Lito learns that Hiro is both alive and a traitor to the cause, he now has a shot at redemption: track down and kill his former partner. But when he discovers recordings that Hiro secretly made, Lito’s own allegiances are put to the test. Ultimately, he must decide between following orders and following his heart.
Rep: LGBTQ+, Latinx, Japanese
My Review: Solid Start, Messy Execution
The First Sister had a strong beginning and the middle was also interesting. The ending was where things got muddled for me.
The Pros: What worked for me
- Every character was unique and well developed. Even the side characters were interesting! My favourite, by far, was First Sister, as her perspective was one of the most unique.
- I loved the use of mixed media via transcripts of recordings
- There was not a dull moment throughout the book; it was fast-paced and action-packed!
- The author made the genre of space opera approachable by not overwhelming the reader with too many facts
The Cons: What I didn’t like
- Some political details were confusing and could have been explained better. I struggled to understand how certain political decisions would affect different planets and races.
- The ending was very rushed and unsatisfactory. It lacked the thoughtfulness that permeated throughout the book
- (Click to reveal spoiler) The end revelation was so anti-climactic, with everyone just standing around. Also Lito had a PTSD episode and just … got over it? And the escape was just too easy! And what was with that last letter?!
Despite the negatives, I really enjoyed this novel. It had a great plot, intriguing characters, and good pacing. I’m definitely going to be reading it again, but I hope the author takes their time with the ending!