Title: Last of Her Name
Author: Jessica Khoury
Pub. Date: February 26, 2019
Sixteen years ago, rebellion swept the galaxy known as the Belt of Jewels. Every member of the royal family was murdered–down to their youngest child, Princess Anya–and the Union government rose in its place. But Stacia doesn’t think much about politics. She spends her days half-wild, rambling her father’s vineyard with her closest friends, Clio and Pol.
That all changes the day a Union ship appears in town, carrying the leader of the Belt himself, the Direktor Eminent. The Direktor claims that Princess Anya is alive, and that Stacia’s sleepy village is a den of empire loyalists, intent on hiding her. When Stacia is identified as the lost princess, her provincial home explodes into a nightmare.
Pol smuggles her away to a hidden escape ship in the chaos, leaving Clio in the hands of the Union. With everything she knows threading away into stars, Stacia sets her heart on a single mission. She will find and rescue Clio, even with the whole galaxy on her trail.
This will be a SPOILER FREE review – I was lucky enough to receive an ARC through #booksfortrade on Twitter.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book – I’m still in this weird semi reading slump where very little actually holds my attention, but this book was an exception. For some reason – probably stupidity on my part, this is the first Jessica Khoury book I’ve read, and I’m pretty sure I’ve been missing out. Or it could be that my TBR pile is a monster that never gets shorter and only ever gets longer.
It’s an Anastasia retelling…in space. A book that combines two of my favorite things – it’s just about the perfect book for me.
I have a few issues with the book, but again, overall, I really enjoyed it. Most likely I’d read this book again, and I will definitely be shoving it at all my friends to read, because I liked it THAT much.
I loved all the main characters – Stacia/Anya, Pol, Riyan…etc. BUT I wish there had been more time to get to know them. Which leads me to my biggest complaint. The book wasn’t long enough. I feel like it would have been better suited for a duology, rather than a single book. I was invested in them, but I wish I had more time to really get to know them.
I felt that the pacing was really rushed, and Stacia/Anya and Pol weren’t really on the run for very long before the final confrontation at the end of the book. If I remember correctly it’s just around a month from the beginning of the book to the big climatic end.
But as for the characters, I really like how unique they were – each had a very distinct personality. Stacia is an apprentice mechanic living a pretty simple life when it’s uprooted by the Union govt. and through the whole book, she just wants to figure out who she is.
Pol, he’s been an outsider since the Direktor Eminent took control, his people looked down upon, but he’s willing to do whatever it takes to help Stacia.
Riyan, another who’s people have been pushed to the outskirts, wants nothing more than to get his sister back, no matter the costs.
Each of them balanced each other out very well, and work well together. I liked their interactions with each other, they all felt pretty organic.
The worlds/systems that were introduced made me wish I could travel the stars the way these characters do. Actually, this book reminded me a lot of Veronica Roth’s Carve the Mark duology – which is one of my favorite sci-fi duologies ever, so thank you for reminding me of them.
Even though I felt the book could be longer, I found it so easy to picture the different worlds, the different people, it was all very vivid. I think that’s a testament to Khoury’s writing ability. She made this world – these worlds – feel so real, that even though we didn’t spend much time in them, they were right there in my mind’s eye and I could see them.
The action in this book is constant – which is probably why it’s so fast paced. The minute something happens and is resolved, and new thing pops up. There were times while reading that I thought I knew where the story was going and then PLOT TWIST in a new direction.
My biggest complaint – as I said before – is the pacing. I really feel like the book could have been split into two and slowed down a bit. I know it’s almost a 400-page book, but it was so fast paced that it felt too rushed.
Maybe it shouldn’t be called a complaint – I just want more of this world, these characters!
I devoured the book in a matter of hours over two days, and thoroughly enjoyed it, but I do wish it were longer.
I think that if you love space and you have a weak spot for Anastasia stories (like I do) you will definitely love this. It’s enjoyable and full of action with some romance, because OF COURSE, and it’s about trying to figure out who you are, who you want to be and coming to terms with your decision.
Last of Her Name comes out February 26, 2019, and you won’t want to miss it!