First, a quick disclaimer - I'm not particularly well-versed or well-read in science fiction.
Now that we have that out of the way, I can let you know that I enjoyed Empress of a Thousand Skies. In large part, my interest in the novel is two-fold: the characters and the world.
Both Rhee and Aly were well-written, both fleshed out enough so that I never felt confused about which perspective I was reading from. Their motivations were clear, and their personalities were fairly consistent all throughout. While I didn't necessarily form a strong connection to either one, and while they often made frustrating choices (frustrating to me, anyway), I still found them to be engaging characters to read about.
The world was absolutely fascinating. It is a bit complicated to keep track of, and I'll admit that sometimes I got a little overwhelmed. But for the most part, it made me feel a little bit like I was immersed in a universe as complex as the Star Wars universe - futuristic technology, multiple races with differing appearances and languages and a plethora of terminology and names.
As for the story itself, it does have predictable plot elements, many of which I've encountered in other stories. That didn't deter me from getting invested in the outcome, however, and I was racing to find out how things would end for Rhee and Aly. My only complaint, really, is that I need more - and I'm certainly hoping there's a sequel in store for us readers. All in all, I'd give Empress of a Thousand Skies a thumbs up for being a fun science fiction YA read.
Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza
Publisher: Razorbill | Publication Date: February 7, 2017