I don’t know if the problems I have with this book is due to the fact that it’s being published as a serialized story or the story and writing itself.
Zenith follows Andi and her crew aboard the Marauder. Andi is known as a powerful mercenary who’s notorious for her criminal history. When their mission goes awry, the crew finds themselves in an untrustworthy alliance in exchange for their freedom.
The first thing I thought after reading the first few chapters was that Andi reminded me a lot of Celaena Sardothien. Andi even wields swords that are like lightsabers (which are not explained whatsoever). The comparison to Celaena Sardothien is not a bad one, until the introduction of Dex. Without going into spoilers, all I’ll say is that Dex is similar to Arobynn and this is where the similarities bothered me. It felt like a blatant rip off.
This first serial featured the first nine chapters. These first nine chapters introduced the main characters, the plot, and the world. Most books can’t manage significant world building in 300+ pages, but Zenith did a decent job in just a few chapters. However, this was accomplished through info dumps that were lengthy and confusing. New words that are specific to this universe were thrown in with little to no explanation. This isn’t always an issue with most books, however this isn’t a book. It’s a serial. For this reason, and this reason alone, the world building through info dump doesn’t work. Serials, in my opinion, need to function as episodes of television. They need to introduce the story, characters, and world without feeling like it’s checking off items on a list just to say it got through them. Zenith felt like it was going through the motions just to get through them.
There’s a chapter near the end of the serial that I felt was completely unnecessary. It introduced new characters in a few pages and left me confused rather than intruiged. The inclusion of this chapter, I believe, was a misstep. This chapter should have been part of the sequel, so that this serial could focus solely on Andi and her story.
Despite all these complaints, I did think that the story was intriguing. By the end of the serial, I was interested in the future of the mission and the future interactions between the characters. However, I can’t justify paying 2.99$ for nine chapters that I found many issues with.
Also, I don’t know if it was just my copy or other copies as well but the font was horrid. The spacing between the letters within the same word was just as wide as the spacing between the words themselves. This spacing made it difficult at times to read.
Overall, Zenith has the potential to be a good science fiction book however the decision to serialize the story is a mistake. The issues I had with this first installment (world building, character development, etc.) are too great to warrant paying 2.99$ and I will most likely not be continuing the story.