Ali Cross’s latest, Blood Crown, is an amazing sci-fi tale told from multiple narrators that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. I’m happy today to be part of the blog tour for Blood Crown. Keep reading for my review & not one, but two giveaways.
About the Book
Androids have claimed power over what remains of the human race. They rule without remorse. They are the Mind and humans exist only to serve them.
But it wasn’t always so.
Before the android uprising, select droids, called Servants, were pivotal in engineering a new human race with nanotechnology enhanced DNA. The Blood Crown theorum was to be humanity’s crowning glory and the key to their survival in deep space.
But Serantha, Daughter of the West, was the last female to receive Gifts from her Servant and when the Mind mutinied, she was hidden away, and presumed dead.
Without Serantha there is no hope of the Blood Crown being realized so Nicolai, Son of the East, abandons his crown to join the rebel forces. He might not provide the future for his people he had once dreamed of, but he will not go down without a fight.
When Nicolai discovers Sera among a small compliment of kitchen staff, everything changes–but Sera’s Gifts were never completed and she is ill-equipped to face a legion of androids determined to wipe her, and every other human, out of existence.
Their only hope is the Blood Crown–but even if Serantha and Nicolai can realize their potential it may be too late to save mankind.
Blood Crown was an entirely unique story, and I loved every page. Ali Cross wastes no time gently guiding readers into this new world, instead she drops us smack into the middle of a mutiny. The first few pages fly by breathlessly as readers experience the mix of urgency and confusion with Sera as she is unceremoniously shoved into a garbage chute by her servant Archibald. We catch up with Serantha nine years later where she is spending her days imprisoned with only bits of information about her true nature swimming about in her brain. The narration moves back and forth between Sera, Nicolai, and Archibald. While multiple narrators can sometimes be a distraction, I found that in this story, it added to the suspense and allowed me to feel as though I was on the journey with the characters, piecing everything together as they do.
The characters are beautifully crafted, each with their own sets of faults and strengths, but by far Archibald was my favorite character. Part C-3PO, part bad-ass Mary Poppins, Archibald stole the show for me and was, in my view, the glue holding this space opera together. Beyond these three, there are several notable minor characters who bring a bit of evil and a bit of humor to the narrative. The traitorous Galen and the nefarious Mind are devious and formidable opponents for Nic and Sera.
Wholly invested in the characters and this new world, I devoured Blood Crown in a single sitting. The politics and posturing of the various classes is timely, readers will find themselves choosing sides in this battle between humans and androids. Scenes of lavish feasts and opulence stand stark against scenes of battle and desolation. There are elements of fantasy, historical fiction, romance, and science fiction living harmoniously, this is just a beautiful and wonderfully unique story. There is also a bit of a cautionary element, as will any good science fiction, in the form nano-technology and the promise of a perfect humanity through the Blood Crown. What dangers lie in forcing evolution and changing DNA? What will happen if we eventually do create sentient machines? How will our species survive after Earth? All these questions lie in between the pages of this thoroughly entertaining tale of a girl, a boy, and a world in need of saving.
About the Author
Week Three Giveaway