Title: Crownchasers (Crownchasers #1)
Author: Rebecca Coffindaffer
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Expected Release Date: September 29th 2020 from HarperTeen
Format: Kindle ARC via Edelweiss
Goodreads Synopsis: A deadly competition for the throne will determine more than just the fate of the empire in this riveting duology opener, perfect for fans of The Hunger Games, Aurora Rising, and Three Dark Crowns.
Alyssa Farshot has spent her whole life trying to outrun her family legacy. Her mother sacrificed everything to bring peace to the quadrant, and her uncle has successfully ruled as emperor for decades. But the last thing Alyssa wants is to follow in their footsteps as the next in line for the throne. Why would she choose to be trapped in a palace when she could be having wild adventures exploring a thousand-and-one planets in her own ship?
But when Alyssa’s uncle becomes gravely ill, his dying wish surprises the entire galaxy. Instead of naming her as his successor, he calls for a crownchase, the first in seven centuries. Representatives from each of the empire’s prime families—including Alyssa—are thrown into a race to find the royal seal, which has been hidden somewhere in the empire. The first to find the seal wins the throne.
Alyssa’s experience as an explorer makes her the favorite to win the crown she never wanted. And though she doesn’t want to be empress, her duty to her uncle compels her to participate in this one last epic adventure. But when the chase turns deadly, it’s clear that more than just the fate of the empire is at stake. Alyssa is on her most important quest yet—and only time will tell if she’ll survive it.
When I saw the cover for this book, I KNEW that I had to try it! A galactic treasure hunt in space?! OH YES! I’ve been loving YA science fiction the last few years with titles such as This Mortal Coil, Aurora Rising, the Renegades series by Marissa Meyer and one of the newer ones Goddess in the Machine that came out this year. But this book reminds me a lot of Star Wars with its huge vast world and snarky characters. This book was brilliant, intense, witty, great romantic tension and although the cliffhanger ending is MEAN, it’s so well done! Here are five reasons to read this debut novel:
1. Alyssa, badass lead: Right from the first chapter, I loved Alyssa’s voice so much. The story opens when she wakes up from a huge hangover and I was snickering and loving her voice as the protagonist. She is very talented, driven and pretty fearless as well. She tells about some of her adventures from Hell Monkey and she is SUCH a ballsy main character. She’s wanted to explore the stars since she was young, being raised by her two uncles. But when her uncle dies, she realizes how much she misses him and we also get flashback scenes of her when she’s younger to show more of her past and the different sides of her. She almost reminds me of a combination of Star Lord, Han Solo and even Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn. Alyssa is confident, smart, driven, loyal to those she cares about and appears fearless. But the author does a brilliant job in showing how complex Alyssa is as a character and the way her weaknesses and vulnerabilities come about felt so natural. Alyssa surprised me a few times while reading the book with how she changes and comes to realize what this crownchase really means. She’s one the most memorable, sassy and real protagonists I’ve read this year!
2. ROMANTIC TENSION TO THE MAX!: I loved loved loved the romantic tension between Alyssa and Hell Monkey, her engineer and ship mate. The reader sees the moments where they think about each other and notice things about the other person so much and you’re waiting for them to kiss already. But their chemistry is so natural, as they talk, avoid death and blast across space during the crownchase. These two have been through a lot, so seeing their different adventures in flashbacks and especially the serious moments towards the end were so satisfying! These two are just so perfect together and I am desperate to know more about their relationship in the next book.
3. Space world building: This sci-fi debut has such amazing world building, with mostly Alyssa’s internal dialogue and the prose talking about the different planets, aliens, weather, history and even the lore of the world. This is very far in the future, so the worlds and creatures remind me of Star Trek and Star Wars with how varied and literally otherworldly the world is. It’s interesting to see how the Emperor’s position rules so much and there’s even some paragraphs of rebellion or riots happening in the background. I think these pieces will be the plot for book two. But this science fiction world felt new compared to other forms of media and the author really brings her creativity to the forefront with the world!
4. Great side characters: We also get to know some of the side characters in this first book. There’s Nathalia Coyenne, a girl from one of the prime families that is part of the crownchase, Edgar Voles, a key player in the background whom you’re unsure about and Hell Monkey (of course). While Alyssa shone the most out of all the characters, I quickly grew attached to Nathalia and Hell Monkey. I liked seeing how Alyssa knows the other crownchase players, with flashbacks to help develop how they know each other and their individual personalities. But for me, Nathalia Coyenne was an amazing side character. I loved the sister like banter between her and Alyssa and her intentions and how she changed as the story went on. This was a great cast of characters for this first book and I’m so curious of what the final book will bring.
5. Such a polished debut novel: Anyone who has followed my blog for a long time can tell that I’m a very writing style oriented reader. Writing style is a very important factor for me to like, let alone finish a book. Since I’m an aspiring writer, the style of the author’s prose can either grip me from the beginning (this book is a great example) or it can crumble quickly. This author has such a polished, sleek, snarky and clever writing style. It’s one of the best debut novels of this ENTIRE year! The author knows her vision for the story and delivers on her promises of action, humor, sharp wit and plenty of new aliens and a treasure hunt across star systems. This book was engaging the entire time and I didn’t want to put it down and I am desperate for book two!
Overall: It’s very obvious that I loved this book lol. But this is a book that I needed at this time to get lost in. It’s funny, expertly written, with great unexpected moments, great romantic tension and a finale that brought the intensity and emotion to make you mad that you don’t have the sequel already. While a tiny part of me did wish for the actual crownchase to occur over more chapters, hence having this book be a bit longer, but that’s just a personal thing. This was everything I wanted from a YA science fiction and I NEED more people to check this out when it releases at the end of this month 🙂
Have you heard of this book? Are you excited for it? Let me know in the comments!