Hi, y’all! I’m so excited to be partnering with FFBC Tours to bring you my post on their blog tour as well as an exciting giveaway!
However, I must warn, if you have yet to Zenith, I’d suggest waiting before reading this post or any of the other tour posts.
#1 New York Times bestselling authors Sasha Alsbergand Lindsay Cummingsdeliver the dazzling finale to the acclaimed Androma Saga, where stunning betrayals and devastating secrets send an embattled galaxy spiraling into the ultimate nightmare.
Her ship is gone, her crew is captured and notorious mercenaryAndroma Racella is no longer the powerful Bloody Baroness, but a fugitive ruthlessly hunted across the Mirabel Galaxy. The bloodthirsty Queen Nor now rules most of the galaxy through a mind-control toxin and she’ll stop at nothing to destroy her most hated adversary.
Andi will risk anything, even her precious freedom, to find a cure. Stranded with her unlikely ally, Dex, on the unforgiving ice planet of Solera, their plan to infiltrate a black-market city proves dangerously irresistible.
Back inArcardius, Nor’s actions have opened Mirabel to invasion. As Andi’s crew fights to regain their freedom, Andi and Dex discover a threat far greater than anything they’ve faced before.
Only by saving their mortal enemy can the crew of the Marauder make one last desperate strike to save the galaxy—unaware that a shattering, centuries-old secret may demand the most wrenching sacrifice of all.
*I WAS PROVIDED A PHYSICAL COPY FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS TOUR. THIS DOESN’T AFFECT MY OPINION*
There was something both heartbreaking and exciting about this book that I still can’t get over and won’t be over for a very long time.
Nexus brought back all the memories of Zenith, something I was excited to see after being away from the story and the characters. It was an immediate catchup to what occurred during the last novel and the characters we lost and/or just barely made it out with.
Something I really loved about this novel was the differing attitudes. I love that each character had a different set of attitudes and wasn’t just stuck to being the “try-hard” or “the wannabe, bad queen.” Each of them had multiple roles to play, and I think that was really vital to the formation of the story.
Another thing I loved was the multiple plot twists we were given. And because I’m known for predicting plot twists, I wasn’t as hit or surprised by them, but I still really enjoyed their additions.
However, one thing that really got to me was just how many POVs we were given. I’m not against multiple POVs in any way, shape, or form, but I felt there were just too many happening in this book. I felt like, through some of the chapters, we were just seeing repeat information or filler chapters.
Another thing that kind of got to me was the kind of choppy ending we were given. It seemed like it was very rushed and just thrown together, and I was a little let down by it.
Other than that, though, I did really love this book. I’ve been waiting a LONG time for this book, and I’m so glad I was given the opportunity to read it early and review it for FFBC Tours. For everything listed, I rate Nexus 3.75 stars. I look forward to whatever the authors release next, and I do suggest y’all pick up this read.
Sasha Alsberg is the #1 NYT Bestselling Co-Author of ZENITH: The Androma Saga. When Sasha is not writing or obsessing over Scotland, she is making YouTube videos on her channel Abookutopia. She lives in Massachusetts with her dogs, Fraser and Fiona for her writing, she is represented by Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary.
Lindsay Cummings is the #1 NYT Bestselling co-author of ZENITH, along with her duology, THE MURDER COMPLEX from Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, and the MG trilogy THE BALANCE KEEPERS, from Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins. She is represented by Pete Knapp at Park Literary in NYC.
Lindsay deals with chronic fatigue, writes full time from her home in the deep woods in North Texas and loves to chat with fellow book nerds. Lindsay created the #booknerdigans hashtag.
She’s still waiting on her letter from Hogwarts–it was probably just lost in the mail. You can follow Lindsay on twitter @authorlindsayc or on Instagram @authorlindsaycummings.
Prize: Win a copy of NEXUS by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings (US Only).
Begins: May 1st, 2019
Ends: May 15th, 2019
Andi’s bones ached, her muscles screamed, and the wound in her chest pleaded for her to stop moving. But images of her crew flashed within her mind, propelling her endlessly forward through the silver halls of the ship.
If she could just get back to Arcardius…she knew she would find a way to save them.
Lira. Breck. Gilly.
Dex’s words echoed in her mind as she stumbled into the small hallway leading toward the bridge, reverberating through her skull as she held her palm up against the blue access panel to the right of the door.
They joined with Nor.
Andi shook her head, willing away the treacherous notion.
Her crew would never join with the queen of Xen Ptera, no matter how threatened. But what had Dex said about them… changing?
Then the door slid open, and all thoughts were driven from her mind as Andi darted inside, quickly scanning her palm on the interior access panel and entering a command to seal off the bridge. She exhaled, for what seemed to be the first time since she woke up, as the door slid shut behind her. It wouldn’t keep Dex out forever—after all, the ship had been his for years—but he’d still have a hell of a time getting in here once he came to. For a moment, Andi rested her forehead against the cool metal of the door, which was at such odds with her flaming flesh. She closed her eyes and took a slow, deep breath, then turned to look
at the row of seats where her crew had once sat.
Seats that were now so terribly empty.
Her vision, once murky from the drugs, slowly started to clear as Andi made her way toward the front of the bridge. A groan slipped its way past her lips when she finally sat down in the pilot’s seat. It felt so wrong sitting there, as if she were taking the space that had always belonged to Lira. A space that she had no right to claim, after what had happened to Kalee. But Andi pushed her discomfort aside, replacing it with the fierce need to get her girls back. How she felt about piloting didn’t matter—not when their lives were at risk.
That was, if Queen Nor hadn’t killed them already.
Even as the thought crossed her mind, she vanquished it immediately. They were alive. They had to be. She couldn’t afford to think otherwise; couldn’t deal with that pain. It would hurt more than being skinned alive and slowly burned until her bloody flesh crisped over.
She had to save them, even if she got herself killed in the process.
Trying and dying was better than not trying at all.
With every second counting against her, Andi willed her aching arms up onto the console and slowly, painstakingly entered the coordinates for Arcardius. The navigation holoscreen began to flicker before her eyes, highlighted by the swirling, shimmering clouds outside the varillium walls of the ship.
The dense fog of color obscured Andi’s view of the stars, and the sight of it sent a shiver of dread down her spine. “Memory?” she asked breathlessly.
The soothing female voice of the Marauder’s control system came to life around her. “How may I assist you, Captain?”
“Where exactly are we?”
There was a long pause before Memory responded. “The navigation system is currently off-line. I am unable to determine our precise location at this time.”
Andi stared at the dancing whorls of pink and gold mist, a sudden suspicion dawning. “Memory, what was the destination of the last hyperspace jump?”
“The last coordinates entered were for a location just outside the Xintra Nebula.”
Andi’s hands began to shake with rage. Her ship was inside a damned nebula. A massive pocket of space filled with gases and debris that rendered the Marauder’s tracking and navigation systems utterly useless. A place only the most skilled pilots could hope to fly through without losing their way.
And not just any nebula—the Xintra Nebula. Clear across the galaxy from the Phelexos System, and Arcardius. As far away as she could possibly be from her girls.
Andi choked out a humorless laugh. She was going to murder Dex when he woke up.
The sound of a pounding fist on the bridge’s door made her jump, sending a wave of pain crashing through her body. A muffled shout echoed from the other side. “Andi, please, let me in!” The unfamiliar voice had Andi rising from her seat and instinctively reaching for her twin swords. She cursed softly when she realized that they were likely still in the med bay, and began scanning the room for another weapon. Surely Gilly or Breck had stashed a gun in here somewhere.
The person outside hammered on the door again, more urgently this time. “Andi, it’s Lon. Open the door! We need to talk.”
Andi’s knees went weak with relief. Lon. She’d forgotten that Lira had arranged for him to be moved onto the Marauder during the Ucatoria Ball, to speed the crew’s departure from Arcardius after they finished their guard duties for General Cortas. He must have already been on the ship when Dex brought her on board after the attack.
And, most important, he was an ally. Surely Lon wanted to rescue his sister just as much as she did. Together, the two of them could convince Dex to pilot them out of here and back to Arcardius.
The anger and adrenaline that had carried her thus far was quickly dissipating, though, and the distance to the access panel suddenly seemed a lot farther than it had earlier. Andi sank back into the pilot’s seat, cursing under her breath at the state her body was in, and said, “Memory, unseal the damn door before Lon pummels it to death.”
The bridge door slid open with a hiss, and Lon entered cautiously, a wary expression on his blue face. Andi raised an eyebrow at him and turned back to the holoscreen, which was flashing with an error message. She swiped it away and brought up a diagram of the Mirabel Galaxy, projecting it into the air around them.
“We’re in the Xintra Nebula,” Lon said, pointing to the dusty pink cloud that hovered in space between the Olen and Tavina systems.
“Yes, I’d gathered that already,” Andi remarked dryly. “And why, exactly, are we here, when my crew—when your sister—is on the other side of the galaxy?”
Lon looked weary as he sank down into the seat that was usually Breck’s. “We’re here because Queen Nor is also on the other side of the galaxy. Along with her army of mind-controlled min- ions.”
She blinked. “Excuse me? Mind control?” Even saying those two words sounded ridiculous. “What the hell are you talking about?”
He sighed in exasperation. “Seriously, Andi? Didn’t you let Dex explain anything before you knocked him out?”
Andi felt her temper rising as heat flooded her cheeks. “He
left my girls behind, Lon. I wasn’t exactly in the mood to listen to anything he had to say.”
“He didn’t have much of a choice. If he’d tried to rescue them, too, we’d probably all be dead or under Nor’s control now.” Lon shook his head and rose to his feet, holding a hand out to Andi. “Come on. Let’s head back to the med bay. You’re bleed- ing all over the place, and we can try to wake Dex up. He was there—he can tell you what happened much better than I can.”
For years, Andi hadn’t allowed herself to rely on anyone but herself and her crew. No one else had proved worthy of her trust, and even when it came to Lira, Breck and Gilly, Andi vastly preferred being the one guarding their backs.
So as she and Lon made their slow trek to the med bay, Andi was mortified to find herself leaning on him more and more, unable to stand upright on her own. She gritted her teeth in frustration and tried to will some strength into her legs, but the effort was useless.
“There’s no shame in accepting help, Andi,” Lon said gently. “You nearly died, and you’ve been heavily sedated for almost a week now. I’m surprised you were even able to make it to the bridge in the first place.”
Andi stumbled to a halt as a wave of shock washed over her. She could feel the blood draining from her face as she turned to look up at Lon. “I’ve been out for a week?”
He caught her as she swayed, then guided her the last few steps toward the med bay. “Andi, I don’t think you realize how badly you were hurt, how much blood you lost before Dex managed to get you and General Cortas onto the ship.”
“Wait,” Andi said, her mind reeling with confusion as Lon raised a hand to the access panel beside the med bay door. “The general is here? Cyprian Cortas is on my ship?”
The mere thought of that man here, aboard her ship when
her girls were not, made Andi’s blood boil.
“Was,” Lon said. The door slid open, revealing Dex’s muscular frame sprawled out on the floor. Lon entered the med bay swiftly, kneeling down and shaking his shoulder roughly. “He died shortly after we left Arcardius.”
Andi braced herself on the door frame, trying to gauge how she felt about the general’s passing. Cyprian Cortas had been a cruel, ambitious man, but he’d also been one of the greatest generals in the history of Arcardius. And he was the father of the girl she’d once loved like a sister—the girl she’d failed to protect.
The sound of Dex’s groan pulled her away from her dark thoughts. She watched, feeling slightly guilty, as he stirred and raised a hand to his neck, wincing when he touched the spot where she’d stabbed him with the syringe.
As Lon helped him sit up, Dex’s dazed brown eyes slowly rose to meet Andi’s. She held his gaze for a moment, hesitating, wondering what he was thinking. Then his lips quirked up into a half smile, and he said, “I know I needed the sleep, Baroness, but you could have just suggested I take a nap.”
His tone was teasing, but Andi could see the underlying sadness and worry in his eyes. She tried to keep her voice light as she asked, “And would you have actually listened?”
Dex ducked his head, but not quickly enough to mask his pained expression. “Probably not. You know I’ve never been very good at that.”
A pang of remorse filled her chest, adding to the gradually worsening ache from her wound. “Me neither,” Andi admitted. He looked up at her incredulously, hope filling his face. Andi tried to smile at him, but it turned into a grimace as a stabbing pain coursed through her. She sucked in a breath through her
teeth as Lon stood and hurried to her side.
“You both need to rest,” he said sternly, steering her back toward the bed she’d woken up in. “And you likely need some new stitches. But I think you might try to stab us with something worse than a dose of soduum if you don’t get some answers soon.” “You’re not wrong,” Andi replied weakly, easing herself onto the mattress with Lon’s help. Dex clambered to his feet and made his way to her bedside while Lon peeled away the blood-soaked bandage on her chest. Andi glanced down and hissed at
the sight of the angry-looking gash.
“Another scar to add to my collection, courtesy of that bastard Valen Cortas,” she said darkly.
“That description of him is truer than you might imagine,” Dex said, settling into a chair next to Andi’s bed as Lon hurried to fetch the supplies he needed to tend her wound. “Consider- ing he’s not the son of Merella and Cyprian Cortas.”
Andi stared at him, certain she’d misunderstood. “Come again?”
“Well, Cyprian is—or rather, was—his father,” Dex clarified. “But his mother…his mother was Klaren Solis.”
Andi’s jaw dropped. “What?” she yelped. “But…that means…” Dex nodded. “That he’s Queen Nor’s half brother, yes.” Before she could fully process the horror of that thought,
Lon returned with a needle, some surgical thread and bandages. He coaxed Andi back onto the pillows and began repairing the damage she’d done to her wound as Dex filled in the rest of the story, telling her what the general had revealed during his dying moments.
How Klaren had somehow bewitched him during the years she’d lived on the Cortas estate as his prisoner. How she’d become pregnant with his child—a son he’d always feared would someday inherit his mother’s strange abilities. A son he could never trust, could never name as his heir.
A son who was half–Xen Pterran—or perhaps something else entirely.
“So Valen and Nor have some kind of compulsion ability?” Andi asked as Lon finished smoothing the new bandage into place.
“Judging from what happened during the Ucatoria Ball, I’d say definitely,” Dex said, his expression darkening. “All those people who were shot… I thought they were dead. But they weren’t bleeding. The room should have been full of blood, but there was hardly a drop. And then…” He shuddered, as if he were reliving the memory in his mind. “They started to rise. And when Valen told them to bow to their queen, they just… did. Without question.”
“The girls, too?” Andi whispered.
Dex nodded jerkily, and Andi looked away, her eyes welling. She breathed in deep, once, twice, holding back the tears that threatened to fall.
Tears wouldn’t save her crew. Tears were a weakness she couldn’t afford.
“We have to go back,” she said. “We have to free them.” “It’s not that simple,” Lon interjected, shaking his head. “We
have no idea how Nor and Valen are controlling them. How they’re controlling everyone. We can’t just go flying back to Arcardius and hope for the best. We need more information. We need a plan.”
“They want to be there, Andi,” Dex added, taking one of her hands in his. “Or at least they think they do. They’ll likely fight us if we try to take them away from Nor.”
She didn’t want to believe their stories of that night. But their faces were haunted, as if, even though they wished it weren’t true, they could not escape the reality of it.
The thought of leaving the girls in Nor’s clutches broke her heart. Valen and the Xen Pterran queen could be torturing them right now, or forcing them to do the most horrific things. But Dex and Lon were right—they’d never be able to rescue her crew if they got themselves killed in the process.
Andi squeezed Dex’s hand and nodded decisively. “So we find a way to free their minds and come up with a plan to get them out.”
“And then?” Lon asked.
Andi allowed an icy smile to spread across her face. “And then the Bloody Baroness will go hunting.”