Allison's Reviews > Last of Her Name

Last of Her Name by Jessica Khoury
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it was amazing
bookshelves: female-science-fiction, should-be-on-film

Ostensibly a sci fi retelling of the legend of Anastasia (the fairy tale version where she survived and escaped), this story starts predictable but the longer it goes on the more twists it throws.
We start with a girl running wild and carefree on a distant backwater farm, far from the troubles that have rocked her empire in the last fifteen years. When she was a baby the Imperial government of the space empire known as the Belt of Jewels was overthrown, the royal family murdered, and the rebels took over and proved to be harsher masters than the cruel royals they had overthrown. But our girl doesn't care. She has a sweet best friend, and they share a hidden attraction to the boy next door, and one day the three of them will explore the galaxy together.
Suddenly the government sweeps into town and declares that one scion of the royal family survived and has been hidden in their little village. Not only that, but they announce our point of view character, Stacia, is the missing Princess Anya. (Ana-stacia. Get it?) She, of course, doesn't believe it, but has to escape and find a rebel cell fighting against the government with her love interest before she can find out the real truth. Her innocent best friend gets captured, and our intrepid heroine vows to return and rescue her.
Sounds like something you've heard a million times, right? From our ordinary girl finding out she's secretly a princess to the love triangle, it seems like fodder for another fluffy YA romp with a mildly creative concept but manages to be shallow and just about teenage hormones rather than the story it purports to tell. But stick with it. This book has a lot of surprises in store, and literally nothing is what it seems. Those cliches are merely a jumping-off point. There is a surprising amount of nuance the more you learn about the rebels, the overthrown royal family, and the current government; it turns out there really are no 'good guys' in this fight. It's also surprisingly big in scope, and I'm impressed the author managed to cram this much content into one book (I'm also really glad she decided not to make it a series and draw everything out). I loved the worldbuilding in particular, and the imagery was sharp and clear. I would love to see what this would look like as a movie (as long as they kept all the twists and didn't make it into the stupid typical YA tripe it looked like it was going to be at the beginning of the story).
Hold onto your hats. You're in for a ride.
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Reading Progress

November 2, 2018 – Shelved
November 2, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
November 2, 2018 – Shelved as: female-science-fiction
April 1, 2019 – Started Reading
April 6, 2019 – Shelved as: should-be-on-film
April 9, 2019 – Finished Reading

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