cover image Zenith


Sasha Alsberg and Linsday Cummings. Harlequin Teen, $19.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-373-21259-0

Androma “Andi” Racella was a rising star in the Arcadian military until she accidentally crashed General Cortas’s personal transport vessel, killing his daughter, Kalee. Andi fled Arcadius to avoid execution, becoming one of the most notorious criminals in the Unified Systems of Mirabel. Now dubbed the “Bloody Baroness,” Andi and her all-female crew of space pirates are planning their next heist when bounty hunter Dex Arez, Andi’s traitorous ex, captures the women and delivers them to Cortas. The general offers to pardon Andi if she rescues his son, Valen, from an impenetrable Xen Pterran prison. But Dex must accompany her, and if they are caught, the Xen Pterrans will likely kill them and declare war on the Unified Systems. First in a trilogy, this sprawling space opera from Alsberg and Cummings (the Balance Keepers trilogy) features plentiful action, complex politics, and a rich mythology. Regrettably, these assets can’t overcome the drag created by clichéd characters, manufactured drama, and an overstuffed and largely predictable plot. Ages 14–up. Agent: (for Alsberg) Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary; (for Cummings) Pete Knapp, New Leaf Literary. (Jan.)