- File Size: 4125 KB
- Print Length: 190 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Uncharted Worlds Media (March 30, 2017)
- Publication Date: March 30, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B06XSXJB3B
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,142,249 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Scandal: Scions of the Star Empire #1 Kindle Edition
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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I admit that at first I felt a bit lost while I started reading. Scandal is set in the future and there are a lot of words and the way society works that I didn't understand at first. There is some advanced technology, but that's actually the easier part. I mostly struggled trying to understand all the societal rules and terms surrounding them. Things like SoCap, the feeds, probabilities, the betting, scion hood, the different houses and how this all tied together and it's place in society. But slowly I got a grip on the world and things fell into place. By then I could appreciate how impressive Athena handled the world building. There are no info dumps or explanations and while that makes for a confusing start, it was very well written and cleverly done.
Scandal follows the story of Ione and Den. Ione is the daughter of the emperor and Den is the son of a powerful House. Because of the way this society works they have very little control about their lives. they have to follow the expectations society puts on them and at times it feels they are merely pawns in a game, while trying to outsmart the players and trying to achieve their own goals. Marriage is not for love, but for social power and it could very well turn into a prison of sorts. Certain people and houses couldn't interact with others and there were so many little rules and expectations governing every aspect of their lives.
The way the society and it's rules was described felt very oppressive, there was very little freedom and there were ruled and customs dictating a lot of things. But it did make for an interesting read with all the people who had their own goals, intrigue and schemes going on everywhere. And while in one sense the people in the higher levels had it better than those who lived in the lower levels, in another sense they had it worse. Because while they had clean air, money and luxury, they didn't have any freedom.
Most of the chapters are told from the point of view of Ione or Den, with a few chapters from Jaris Pulne's point of view. There were a few instances where I wasn't sure at first whose pov we were in until their name got mentioned, but this happened only a few times. The three different point of views really worked great for telling this story. And all three are interesting characters and I enjoyed seeing their side of the story. The book is split up into three parts or episodes. And each episode is split up in chapters again.
I liked getting to know Ione and Den. The main focus is on them and that's who we get to know the most. But I was also very intrigued by the few parts we got from Jaris Pulne's point of view as I know there's more to him and I wouldn't be surprised if he will play an important part. We just got less of a feel for his personality, then for Ione and Den. I enjoyed reading about them and how they dealt with the pressure society put on them and how they were trying to shape their own future. The secrets they must keep and the steps they make to try and achieve freedom and their own goals. There's this scene towards the end that really shows Den's personality and I can't wait to see how it all plays out in the next book.
Oh and the ending was great. It wasn't quite a cliffhanger, but it did have that effect. Something big happens at the end and while that scene wraps up and nicely finishes the book, I really want to see the fallout of it. I can't wait for book 2! I also have all these guesses and speculations that I want to see if they are true or not. And I am so curious how all these things will play out.
The world building in this book was so well done. It's really impressive how Athena created this world and brought it alive. It was very well thought out not only in terms of technology, but also the society. I loved learning more about this world. And every time I learned something new that only made me want to know more. As the world building is done solely through what the characters think and say and there are every few explanations, your knowledge about the world does grow slowly. And there are so many things that stay unclear, simply because the characters don't talk or think about it and it's not directly relevant. But at the same time the way the world building is done shows how well the author knows her universe. And I just want to learn even more about this universe.
To summarize: this was such a great read. Scandal tells the story of an advanced society where the higher social classes are governed by a lot of rules and expectations. It's pretty oppressive and there's little freedom, but it made for a fascinating read. There are things going, schemes of other people, the influence of the Trust and how the characters deal with it all. I really enjoyed this book and was absorbed in it. The first few chapters were a tad confusing until I got a bit of a grip on the world and what all the terms meant. The world building is very impressively done, we only learn what the characters think of talk about. But this made for a very natural way to learn about the world, even though that did mean there's also a lot the reader doesn't know. But I loved every piece of information we got. Really the whole book is so well written and I really enjoyed it. The ending was very well done, it ended with a big event, but the fallout of it will be in the next book. I am already looking forward to book 2 in this series and hope to read the author's other series soon too.
I received a free copy from the author and voluntarily reviewed it.
Princess Ione Ra is no stranger to scandal. In fact, she has been instrumental in starting them. It raises her social capital because everyone is wanting to know what she is doing and with who. Behind the Social Capital was the Probabilities Index. This index determined the likelihood of potential outcomes that fueled the engine of the economy. Given that her “who” is her long-term boyfriend Den Hades, they must play a game to keep their relationship interesting but not one that is a forgone conclusion. Otherwise their SoCap will drop and they will not have enough “status” to be considered for Scion.
The children of the great houses are given prestige, wealth and the best environmental qualities but they are not free. In order to gain their freedom, they must learn how to manipulate the social influence markets. If they are good at that and even better about betting for or against certain outcomes they can gain their own wealth and elevate their status enough for the Cultural Trust to grant them the title of Scion.
Scion is the title of freedom because whoever bears that title is free from the influence of control from the houses. They are able to make their own choices, and they can choose their own alliances, basically marriages. In this society, the privileged are not allowed to marry for love but their families choose strong alliances that are governed by the Cultural Trust. If the trust rejects the proposed alliance then the couple are forever denied access to each other and are forced into a different alliance, despite their feelings.
Ione and Den have been playing a long game manipulating outcomes and probabilities in order to achieve the title of Scion before their families petition for an alliance. If one partner does not have the title of Scion before an alliance is completed then they never have another chance to have freedom from their families. They want to be together but they want the freedom to make their own choices together. I really enjoyed reading about this couple’s plans to push the factors in their favor.
On the eve of Den really making a mark for himself and putting him close to achieving a high SoCap, Ione is caught in a compromising position and Den must do everything in his power to curtail the information from leaking. If she is ruined they will never be allowed an alliance and that is not something that he is willing to allow. Both he and Ione have worked too hard to achieve their goals and along the way they even fell in love.
Scandal is something that you would read slowly. There is so much going on! There is a ton of information that is given to you through conversations and interactions with the characters. So, a little at a time. There are three main characters and the story switches between their points of view. It creates a very complex story with a lot of moving parts so to speak but it is also utterly fascinating and will keep you enthralled until the end.
This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Lola's Blog Tours. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.
The characters were interesting and had depth. I especially liked Teshi and her wit and sarcasm. I also liked Ione Ra, the main character, for her strength and personality, and her relationship with Den. I enjoyed the story and am looking forward to reading Fallout to find out what happens next.
I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review.