ARC Review: Empire Rising

Empire Rising
Empire Rising by Cheyanne Young
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Eighteen years ago, Maci Knight’s family was destroyed when Aurora Falcon killed her mother. Now Aurora’s partner, Felix, has kidnapped Maci’s brother. For five long months, there’s been no sign of Max. His Codex is offline and she can’t feel even the slightest trace of his power. Maci refuses to give up hope, but when a new threat on King City emerges, Maci is ordered to abandon her search.

Somehow Felix has managed to do the unthinkable: repower all the villains that Central has depowered over the years. Now they’ve banded together to get revenge on the Supers who wronged them. What feels like an arduous mission becomes an opportunity when Maci realizes that if she can stop the villains, she can get them to lead her to Felix—and her brother.

We begin another installment with a Hero exam, which was obvious from the start. It has been five months since the events of the last book, and Maci has been desperately trying to find Max. After months of barely any activity from the regular villains, suddenly repowered villains are making an appearance. Seems the plot didn’t want to deviate from a regular super heroes vs super villains story, even in the finale. The rest of the world is just a playground for this species to push each other around. The writing this time around was, however, significantly better, though it is still far from delving into characters. There are unnecessary scenes, and dialogue that makes me cringe, and problems that go way deeper than the construct of the society. Some side plots from previous books didn’t even get a mention in this one, when there was such a good way to add complexity to the main plot.

With the repowered villains on the scene, Maci finally uses her dysnedo-whatever-given brains and links the appearances with her brother’s possible location. Nova fades into the background as this secondary character, and mostly her sidekick. While the ending was interesting, it also felt like getting a miracle to tie up the plot. So, no, I wasn’t entirely happy with that – considering so much words were wasted on chasing around villains, and describing Evan Letta’s hotness (I swear to god, enough of those flip flops he wears). Since the series has been a disappointment so far, I would say the finale didn’t make any further drops but mostly stayed stable in my view.

Received a free galley from Alloy Entertainment, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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