I was not prepared for this book to be the level of bad that it was. I love a good sci-fi and the way this story was described, it certainly ticked all of the boxes. However, what was in the actual story was anything but a good sci-fi. I’m going to be frank with you, I’m not exactly sure what this was. It was set in space, that much is for sure, but everything else was such a cluster of confusion that I still haven’t figure out the point of this story. I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about this so I am going to try my best to explain… and I will have receipts.
Where to start…. we’ll go with characters.
The characters were such a hot mess. It appears there was an entire cast of characters but I hardly remember any of them. They were not properly developed at all. There was no proper description given of any of them aside from some physical attributes that were mentioned constantly and that they are all stunningly beautiful. Get out of here with that noise. I cannot tell you what the protagonist, Androma (aka Andi aka Bloody Baroness), looked like other than she had white hair with purple highlights. I remember that because it wasa pointless detail mentioned a billion times. Why was it necessary to mention her hair color, you may ask. Answer: I have no idea. It did not add anything to the character herself or the story. Who in the flip cares to be reminded of such stupid details. Another example of terrible characterization: aside from being completely forgettable, one character was described as a giantess who had scales. Oh, and these scales apparently changed color with her emotions. We are never told where this giantess comes from or the point of her scales. We are only told that when she got upset, they would change color and sometimes quiver a little. That and the scales could burn clothes and flesh when she was angry (I think that is how it went). Was she from a planet where everyone was a giant? Did everyone have scales? What did she look like? Great questions! None of them can actually be answered though. The were two male characters but I cannot tell you what either of them look like or any real characteristic about them. Sorry if I am hung up on what these people may or may not look like. It bothered me so much because I was not able to picture these people in my mind without a description. SHOW ME, DON’T TELL ME. These people could have been incredibly diverse but we won’t ever know because that information was omitted. Are they POC? Do they come from a race of people that became extinct?
I was constantly (and I do mean constantly) told/reminded that all of the girls aboard this space ship were the meanest bunch of bloodthirsty pirates to ever sail the universe. Every single time they had dialogue, the authors felt it necessary to mention how heartless and badass these girls were. If that was the case, why was Andi so damn weak? Why was she constantly crying when nobody was looking? She was always talking about how she spoke to the spirits/souls of the people she killed. Nobody that is that heartless is going to be that way. Either the girl is bipolar or has multiple personalities because the girl I read about was fake. She just put on a show. She would usually only refer to herself in third person “I’m the Bloody Baroness“ and try her hardest to convenience everyone that she was the baddest of the bad. HA. I laugh at that. If she really was so ruthless, why was he always begging forgiveness? Either she is truly badass or she isn’t. In this case – she wasn’t. And she had this weird backstory of being a dancer that was always being talked about? What in the fresh hell? Who cares. I did not give one stinking crap that the girl used to dance when she was younger. This did not give her depth, this did not make her more real either. It was just one more odd and confusing thing on top of a growing mountain of confusion put into the story.
The plot. WEAKSAUCE. Or maybe I should just say it was non-existent. I cannot remember another time I was so bored with a story. I think I knew what the point of the plot was but if that was the case, the story hit climax around page 200. There are over 500 pages in the book. That isn’t difficult math… 300 pages of fluff? You betcha! What else were they going to fill pages with…. Terrible writing? Horrible similes? Chapters that constantly repeated what someone else just said but from another POV? Backstories that do nothing but confuse and have no point? You bet your bottom dollar! Which leads to my next topic-
The writing. I think it is important to note the writing style was the worst, most unbearable part of the book. Granted, I listened to the audio and there was a “full cast” but that only helped me figure out when a chapter switched to a new POV. There were 6 different POVs, by the way. This story did not need that many, that’s for damn sure. But I digress. Here are some examples, my receipts – if you will – of the bad writing found within the pages of this book:
“Why do you insist on ruining my beauty sleep, she said in her fluid little voice” – Who has a fluid voice? What does that even mean?
“Androma Racella wasn’t an angel, she was death incarnate” – What. Just… what? I’m not sure they know what the word “incarnate” means, but goodness knows they used it a lot throughout the story. “Everyone became a number in the end. Valen was 306. Deep in the belly of hell incarnate.”
“She was angry as a wet feline” and “Hissing and spitting like cats thrown into water” are just two small examples of how there were so so many references to people being like cats thrown into water. This book is full of them.
“She was an angel of darkness come to him in the pits of hell” – Huh? Again, what does that mean?
“It felt as if the weight of a thousand boulders were all forced into it, seeking to torment her endlessly.” – Seriously. Just stop already. You’re trying too hard to get your point across. Using that many words is not necessary.
“Andi grimaced as Lira pull out a hunk of Moon Chew and popped it into her mouth. ‘That stuff can kill you, you know.” – Yet one more random reference to this substance that is never described. Is it like tobacco? Gum? Tictacs? Beef jerky? Whatever it is, it sounds disgusting.
My all time favorite quote and terrible catchphrase: “Hope, is a raging asshole”.
Oh you read that right, my darlings, that is an actual quote. I am not going to even begin to figure out what made them think that would be brilliant to but into a story but it is seven shades of wrong.
Asides from the above horrific quotes, I must also point out that there is a metric sh!t ton of repetition. Somewhere towards the middle of the story, there is one chapter that talks about Andi and her crew blowing up another space ship full of innocent people. In the very next chapter, the exact same scene is described again but from another POV. Was that necessary? Absolutely not. This happened again towards the end of the story when there is a huge battle taking place. The chapter is told from Andi’s POV, then the next chapter tells the exact same series of events but through a male’s POV. His chapter added nothing to the story. I still cannot figure out why an editor did not remove these pointless, boring chapters. But remember, the repetition was not just about chapters, it happened all of the time in normal dialogue. Characters were constantly repeating themselves. I lost count of how many times I was told about Andi’s traumatic event that (allegedly) scared her for life. I am pretty sure it was mentioned in almost every chapter. I was also reminded by Andi that she The Bloody Baroness every single time she talked. The girl said it like she was being paid every time she spoke the phrase. If I had made a drinking game out of every time she said her self-proclaimed title, I would have been blitzed out of my mind.
I’m not sure I need to do a big wrap up with this one. I was warned it was bad but I didn’t know just how bad it would be. I did consider DNFing and I probably should have. I zoned out pretty quickly in this story so I will admit I have gaps in my memory of (boring) events that took place but I’m confident I didn’t miss anything important. If this story had been truly engaging then it would have held my attention. I am upset that I finished the story because I was doing nothing more than rolling my eyes and screaming to myself over the absurdity of what I was hearing. I will leave you with my final thoughts about this story: