Hello people! How are you? And how are your reading going? I am slowing down a bit, but so far I am enjoying both the book I am reading, so that’s good! But today I am here to talk about one of the lastest books I finished, so let’s start!
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley and to the editor.
Title: The Last Emperox
Series: The Interdependency #3
Author: John Scalzi
Page Count: 320
The collapse of The Flow, the interstellar pathway between the planets of the Interdependency, has accelerated. Entire star systems—and billions of people—are becoming cut off from the rest of human civilization. This collapse was foretold through scientific prediction… and yet, even as the evidence is obvious and insurmountable, many still try to rationalize, delay and profit from, these final days of one of the greatest empires humanity has ever known.
Emperox Grayland II has finally wrested control of her empire from those who oppose her and who deny the reality of this collapse. But “control” is a slippery thing, and even as Grayland strives to save as many of her people from impoverished isolation, the forces opposing her rule will make a final, desperate push to topple her from her throne and power, by any means necessary. Grayland and her thinning list of allies must use every tool at their disposal to save themselves, and all of humanity. And yet it may not be enough.
Will Grayland become the savior of her civilization… or the last emperox to wear the crown?
To the women who are done with other people’s shit.
Usually, I am not a binge reader, and I wait for ages before finishing a series. Even when I love it, it is not something that depends on my enjoyment of it. Not at all. But I usually start billions of series, and then I take my time to go through them. Sometimes I wait too much and I need to re-read some of the previous volumes, sometimes I am luckier and I don’t need to re-read, but usually, I let years pass between the first volume and the last, and I do so with series, with trilogies and even with duologies. I am just bad this way.
But this didn’t happen with this one. In three months, given or taken, I have read the entire series, and this is quite a unique feat for me! And it tells you something about this series, too. Because if it is true that I wait years to finish series that I love, for sure I won’t pull a thing like this (finishing a series in three months) if the series was just meh, right??
And this series was good! You can read my reviews for the previous volumes, The Collapsing Empire and The Consuming Fire, so I’ll try to not be too repetitive. And I’ll try to not spoiler anything, even if it is quite difficult to review the third books of a series without at least minor spoilers on the previous books, but I would try!
I think that this third book is the most scientific of the series. This is a sci-fi, but it wasn’t really heavy on the science part. On my part there are no complaints here, because I really am not a science person, sorry not sorry, so I was quite happy to see not so much of it around, but in this one, we get to see a tad more of it, while we follow Marce and his studies, in his desperate tentative to save the universe as they know it.
But science aside, we have pretty much what we have in the other two books: action, intrigues, twists (!!!), and amazing characters. With the peculiar sense of humor of the author to keep us company while reading.
In this book Cardenia and Kiva live up to the expectations. While in the first book we are introduced in this new world, and to the characters, the plot is set in motion and we learn of the pending end of the universe, along with all the characters and all the people who, in this collapsing empire, are living, in the second one we get to know more about our characters, they realize the potential that we saw in the first book, and get to shine. And they go on shining in this last volume, too.
Cardenia, our Emperox Grayland II, is true to herself until the end of the book, and I have a couple of things to say about the end in just a moment, she is a good person, who tries her best to do good for all the people who are her people, because the emperox is, between a ton of things, “mother of all” and she takes seriously to her role. She is an amazing emperox, and an amazing person, who tries her best and manage to be true to herself even when the world is conspiring against her at every damn turn!
And then we have Kiva. She is just amazing. She is loud, rude, I think she has some record with all the cussing that leave her mouth every time she opens it, but she is, simply put, amazing. She is quite self.centered, that’s true, but her heart is in the right place, and she manages to remain true to herself, too.
“Well, since you asked”, she said, “I care because the emperox told me to care. I care because aside from the fucking Nohamapetans, this house employs hundreds of thousands of people who now have to rely on me to look out for their best interest. I care because although you will never know this, running a whole fucking house is an immense responsibility, and maybe, I don’t know, I would like to be seen as good at my fucking job. I care because despite the name on the door, this is my fucking house now. I care because when you come into my house, into my office, and tell me what is going to happen, you insult me and you insult my house. And since I can tell you’re not the sort to show any actual gooddamned initiative on your own part, you fucking cognitive mudfart, I care that your shitty little house is insulting me and my house – both of my houses, since I am still of House fucking Lagos. I care because I fucking care.“
And this is Kiva in a nutshell for you all. She has an attitude, a ton of it. And she is simply amazing.
But alongside these two amazing characters, who capitalize all the spotlights, we have some secondary characters that are just so good, in a more soft, secondary, way. We have Marce, who fell a tin flat beside the emperox, but who is just so cute and sweet, in his nerdy ways. And the archbishop. She is another great support character, and I really enjoyed her, too. And then we have Monsieur Chenevert, and Fundapellonan. She is the feminine version of Marce. Both of them are secondary to their love interest, because it is almost impossible to shine as much, but they are sweet, supportive and they make a great half of the couple. They are perfect for their partner. And this is just so cute!
And, last but not least, let’s not forget about Nadashe. She is quite the classic villain that you can find around. And yet, even if she is a cliche, and I didn’t sympathize with her so much, she is great in her own ways. And she is tireless and obstinate. She is a woman on a mission, and she won’t be stopped!
I was almost forgetting about a couple of characters, and that would be unforgivable! In this book, we have some important mothers. And it is quite unusual. But they have a lot of relevance to the story and are well-developed characters in themselves, so I have to just nominate them! Nadashe’s mother is not really present in this book, but she is in the first two and she is a prominent figure. Her plotting and scheming are everywhere! And Kiva’s mother. She is fantastic.
And now let’s talk a bit about the ending. I can’t say much about the story, because spoiler, and I can’t say a lot about the ending, obviously, but I have something to say nonetheless.
- I was expecting something similar from Cardenia since the first book. I am not saying that I foresaw this event, but it was just so typically Cardenia that, sooner or later, I was waiting for something like this. And hoping to be wrong all the way. It is not that is a bad solution, not at all. But I was hoping for something different, to be wrong, and to be rewarded with another kind of ending. (I know, cryptic and confused but hey! I cannot do spoiler!)
- Kiva… wow! I can’t say more, but this twist was quite unexpected, and it was just wow!!!!!
And finally, a couple of things more about the book. In this one, Scalzi shares the love for bullet lists, and it was fun! And the part about the acknowledgment deserves to be read. I usually read them, but if you are one of those readers who skip them, in this case maybe you should do an exception!
That’s all! What about you? Have you read this series? Or are you planning to do so? And have you read other books by this author?? Let me know!!