*I’d like to thank the author for providing me an ARC in exchange for my honest review.*
*As this is book 3 in a series, there will be spoilers for the first two books, but none for this one.*
This series is full of cliffhanger endings, and that trend doesn’t stop with book three. When the author graciously allowed me to read an advanced copy of this book, I immediately jumped in, and then got completely blindsided by the cliffhanger ending, in the best way! I now need book four, as fast as I can get it!
Sanaa just gets better and better as a heroine, and the main character of this series. I feel like I understand and know her more with each installment in this tale, and this one is no exception. She grows a lot, and really comes into her role as the empress. Of course, things don’t always go smoothly for her, but that’s why she’s got friends, family, and her husband Jiro to back her up.
Those friends and family help make the series great. There’s Kentaro, whom Sanaa now considers a brother. At first, I was wary of their relationship, but I now like and understand it better. Then, there’s Mark, Lucy, and all of Sanaa’s friends. They were a great support system for her in this book, especially since her life doesn’t appear to be becoming one of ease and leisure anytime soon. Finally, there’s Jiro. He’s the perfect love interest for Sanaa, and I think their relationship is wonderful. They mostly always talk everything out, and Jiro knows Sanaa well enough to know when something’s bothering her, even when she doesn’t want to let him know. What with events in this novel, I’m eagerly waiting to see what will happen to one of my favorite couples next.
The plot of this book was crazy. There was intrigue, exploration, adaptation to a new world, friendship, and romance. Once I started this book, I couldn’t put it down. I had to try and remember things from earlier books, but once I got into the swing of things, I couldn’t stop reading. The fact that Yusei already had inhabitants was a huge part of this story, since Sanaa had to try to establish herself as empress, while trying to usurp power from an oppressor of people, especially women. There was action, suspense, and awesome sci-fi elements that are a favorite part of mine in this series. Best of all, the romance between Sanaa and Jiro was as strong as ever, and it made the book even more enjoyable.
In the end, I think that this is probably my favorite book in the Nogiku series. Jiro and Sanaa are such a perfect couple, the sci-fi elements are vital to the story, and the struggle for a new world in which everyone is equal kept me reading. I loved learning about the new world of Yusei, and watching everyone have to adapt to living in open air, as opposed to a dome. The fact that this book has a cliffhanger makes me eager for the next installment, and the next part of Sanaa’s story.
S. J. Pajonas loves all things Asian and has been in love with Japan for as long as she can remember. Writing about Asia and Japan came naturally after studying the culture and language for over fifteen years. She studied film and screenwriting first and eventually segued into fiction once she was no longer working a full-time job.
Released is S. J. Pajonas’s second work, book two of four in the Nogiku Series. The first book in the series, Removed, is described as “a wonderful story” with “engaging characters, seamless world building, and an action packed plot.” It’s an “up-til-3am-because-I-read-it-in-one-sitting book.” She also writes contemporary romance and her upcoming first book in the Love in the Digital Age series will be published in 2014.
S. J. lives with her husband and two children just outside of New York City. She loves reading, writing, film, J- and K-dramas, knitting, and astrology. Her favorite author is Haruki Murakami
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