Mini Reviews: Zenith by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings and I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

Zenith by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

Zenith (The Androma Saga #1)Title: Zenith (The Androma Saga – Part 1)
Authors: Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings
Genre: 
Young Adult, Sci-Fi
Date Published: June 21st 2016
Publisher: Mirabel Inc.
Pages: 62
Buy: Amazon // Other ebook Retailers
Follow Sasha Alsberg on Twitter // Follow Lindsay Cummings on Twitter

There is darkness sweeping across the stars.

Most know her as the Bloody Baroness, the captain of a fearsome glass starship called The Marauder. Androma and her crew strike terror in the hearts of those who cross them amongst the many corners of the Mirabel Galaxy.

When a routine mission goes rogue, the all-female crew is captured by a bounty hunter from Andi’s past and forced into a job that could, quite literally, start a war that will devour worlds.

Meanwhile, on the far side of the galaxy, the ruthless ruler Nor waits in the shadows of the planet Xen Ptera, biding her time. The final pieces are about to fall into place, liberating a plan that will tear Mirabel in two.

As the Marauder hurtles toward the unknown, there is one lesson that proves to be true: No one can be trusted in a galaxy that runs on lies and illusion.

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Zenith is a serialised Space Opera that is co-written by Sasha from abookutopia and Lindsay Cummings. At this moment in time it’s only available as an ebook and is being released in four parts.

Given that this is technically a quarter of a book it is hard to do a complete review. Normally I’ll summarise the story, but I’d honestly just be repeating everything that’s mentioned in the Goodsread summary. I’m a huge fan of Sasha and I really want to read Lindsay’s The Murder Complex series so I was excited to read this because AN ALL GIRL SPACE CREW? SIGN ME UP.

I know this is only the first part, but I felt like the characters and world lacked depth. The writing seemed forced at times. We were just thrown into the world so there wasn’t much (or any, really) world building. Andi and her crew are all pretty morally ambiguous which is something I love, but they just didn’t feel completely real. It was great seeing a bunch of slightly murderous girls who definitely know how to handle themselves, but I have no way of telling whether they’re complex or just two dimensional.

I think we were supposed to find Dex, who is the Bounty Hunter <spoiler>and a past relationship of Andi’s who she then tried to kill</spoiler>,  to be the Token Attractive Bad Boy™ but honestly he just annoyed me. I can sense a love triangle brewing too, which I hope I’m wrong about.

We’re introduced to a potential antagonist at the end of this first part named Nor who is a Queen on a dying planet and is seeking revenge. She seems like she’ll be an interesting character. Revenge definitely seems to be the main theme of this story. Everyone wants it. So I’m curious to see how that plays out.

The first part was mostly just an introduction to the characters. Not much happened beside a few action sequences of Andi trying to stop her ship being taken by Dex. They were definitely some of the strongest parts of the book.

Even though I did have a few issues with this part, Zenith is a fun and quick read. If you’re currently in a reading slump then I think this could help bring you out of it. I’ll definitely be checking out the next parts!

My Rating: ★★★☆☆


I'm Thinking of Ending ThingsTitle: I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Author: Iain Reid
Genre: 
Adult Fiction, Thriller, I Don’t Even Know
Date Published: June 14 2016
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Pages: 224
Buy: Amazon // Book Depository
Follow Iain Reid on Twitter

You will be scared. But you won’t know why…

In this deeply suspenseful and irresistibly unnerving debut novel, a man and his girlfriend are on their way to a secluded farm. What follows is a twisted unraveling and an unforgettable ending that will haunt you long after the last page is turned.
Jake and a woman known only as “The Girlfriend” are taking a long drive to meet his parents at their secluded farm. But when Jake takes a sudden detour leaving “The Girlfriend” stranded at a deserted high school, the story transforms into a twisted combination of the darkest unease, psychological frailty, and a look into the limitations of solitude.

With remarkable, masterful skill, Iain Reid builds a plot that steadily crescendos into a harrowing ending—one that will have you at the edge of your seats and one that you will never see coming. Reminiscent of Jose Saramago’s early work, Michel Faber’s cult classic Under the Skin, and Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk About Kevin, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is an edgy, haunting debut. Tense, gripping, and atmospheric, this novel will pull you in from the very first page…and will never let you go.

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Trigger warning: If you’re triggered by books that deal with mental illnesses or if you don’t like feeling anxious then I’d probably give this a miss.

It’s actually hard to talk about this book at all without spoiling it. I honestly don’t even know what to say. This is probably going to be one of the shortest and most vague reviews I’ve ever written. There’s barely anything I can say in regards to the plot because everything is a potential spoiler.

This GIF could actually just be the entire review:

but I will attempt to go into a bit more detail.

I’m Thinking of Ending Things is about a young man named Jake and his girlfriend. The pair are on a road trip to meet Jake’s parents. Despite the story being told from the perspective of Jake’s Girlfriend she remains unnamed for the entirety of the story. On the way back from visiting Jake’s parents the two of them stop near an old school. Jake wanders off to investigate something. When he doesn’t return his Girlfriend follows him and craziness follows.

If you’re not a fan of internal dialogue (most of the story takes place via The Girlfriend’s memories) and extremely speculative and vague fiction then you probably won’t like this book. Those are two of my favourite things, but this was NOTHING like I expected it to be. It was so god damn bizarre.

I am normally not creeped out by books, but the summary was right – I was unsettled and I had no idea why. I felt extremely anxious at times when I was reading this. I felt on edge and paranoid. Iain Reid definitely succeeded in that sense. It makes sense once the ending is revealed.

I did figure out what was happening pretty early on in the book, but it was still interesting seeing it all unfold. I definitely think if you’re not usually one to read strange fiction or even thrillers then it could be quite the twist. The ending was pretty intense and hard to read. One of my other favourite things was that before each chapter we’re given dialogue of a conversation between two people. All we know is that they’re talking about the events that happened in the book. It’s even more hitting once you reach the ending and thing back to them.

I honestly can not say much more because this is a book you really need to go into blind to get the full experience. Read it at night too for extra atmosphere. It was definitely one of the strangest books I’ve ever read. It was definitely a quick read though and if you like reading books that don’t feel entirely real then you’ll probably enjoy this. I feel like I could bump this up to a four, but then at the same time some parts seemed quite boring and unnecessary and since I don’t give half ratings then 3 stars it is.

My Rating: ★★★☆☆


If you’ve read or are planning to read these books I’d love to hear your thoughts!

I hope you’re all having a fantastic day xx

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30 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: Zenith by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings and I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

  1. I just finished Zenith myself and I completely agree with your review! I really liked the story, but it suffers a bit because it’s only being released in 4 parts. There was just not enough time to really start to like the characters and the worldbuilding was a bit too fast and infodumpy. But overall I really liked it and will definitely pick up part two 🙂

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  2. I’m Thinking of Ending Things sounds so good! A book that can make you feel unsettled and paranoid? I’ haven’t read a book like that in ages! I think I’ll give it a go. Great reviews! 🙂

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  3. These both sound like amazing books! I haven’t read either but I may have to check them out.
    I really need to start more sci-fi books, the ones I’ve read so far I loved and I have a few more on my to-read list which sound really promising as well! Plus that cover is gorgeous.
    I’m Thinking of Ending Things may be a bit risky for me, I have a history with anxiety so I guess I’ll just have to wait until I’m in the right mood to pick it up, you know.
    Still great reviews! 😀

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    1. Thanks, Beth!

      Sci-Fi is great! I used to hate it until a couple of years ago, but now I’m obsessed haha. I definitely haven’t read as many sci-fi books as I’d like though.

      Yeah, I might give it a miss! I suffer pretty bad anxiety, but I’m never usually affected by books this one really got to me though which was strange, haha.

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      1. For some reason sci-fi was never in my radar until a few years back, now I really need I start picking up more from that genre because yeah I haven’t read as many as I’d like either! 😀
        Hmm, in that case I’d definitely have to think more on it before deciding whether to pick it up, although I am the same, never normally affected by books too much! 🙂

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        1. I feel like I do get through a decent amount with all the comics I read, but I definitely want to try and read more full length novels.

          Honestly you wouldn’t be missing a lot by not reading it, haha. So I wouldn’t stress too much over it! I actually wish I did get more scared because I feel like all the horrors I want to read or have read don’t have the same affect as me as they do on everyone else 😂

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          1. I only really read sci-fi books, and even then there’s not many that I have actually read, though I have a few on my to-read list to get started on soon.
            Nah probaly not 🙂 I’ll keep it on my to-read list just in case, maybe one day I’ll be in a place where I can pick it up and won’t be too botheted by the issues within it.

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  4. I agree with you for Zenith, it was had to get to know the characters in such a short time but it did leave me wanting more. I think people who marathon the four parts will be able to get to know the characters and such better without the story just ending on them after a few more pages like us.

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  5. Great reviews! I finished Zenith yesterday, and whilst I enjoyed it, I do have problems with it. But I think a lot of the problem definitely has something to do with the fact that we have to wait so long for the next part. We can only critique this part of the novel and unfortunately there isn’t a lot to go on.

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    1. Thanks Madeline! Yes, definitely! It’s really hard to gauge a book when you’ve only got a 1/4 of it, haha. I feel like it maybe should have been released as one part? Or even in two parts? I’m definitely going to be checking out part 2 though! Hopefully we’re able to connect more with everything.

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  6. I saw that Zenith had hit the NYT bestseller’s list and I was curious. The story as a whole sounded so interesting, but when I saw it was one of those serialized books, I decided not to pick it up. It doesn’t look like I’m missing out much if it’s lacking in development. And also a potential triangle? Hmm… I don’t like the sound of that! I’ll skip for now.

    Unsettled is definitely how I felt about I’m Thinking of Ending Things Too. The scenes at the parents’ really creeped me out. I was a bit bothered by all that internal monologue, but I also really appreciated the philosophical nature of the book. It did feel boring at times, but good thing it was a quick read.

    Lovely reviews! 🙂

    Nick @ Nick & Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist

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    1. Thank you!

      Wow! I had no idea that Zenith had hitt the besteller’s list. I feel like the seralised aspect really takes away from the story. I’m going to continue, but I really could not get attached to any of the characters. I think it should have been released once it was all finished or even in two parts. Fingers crossed it gets better.

      Right. I’m glad I wasn’t alone in feeling that way. The scene with the parents was really creepy and the ending when everything happened inside the school. Something about it stopped me from loving it completely, but I really appreciate how unique it was.

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  7. Ooohh I love Sasha as well and interesting that she co-authored a book. Zenith sounds like it was interesting with the murderous girl characters, even though it sounds like the world lacked depth. I’m Thinking of Ending Things sounds really curious, I have to add it to my TBR! It sounds like it really intrigues you with the plot and the mystery!

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    1. Sasha is wonderful! She was the first BookTuber I ever watched. Zenith was enjoyable despite the issues it had. I feel like the characters and world could have been fleshed out better if it was released all at once or even in 2 parts. I’m Thinking of Ending Things was definitely an unique experience! There was something about it that stopped me from completely loving it, but I did enjoy feeling unsettled and how unique it was.

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