A stunning debut! Truly an ambitious start to what can be a thrilling series! Very excited to read the sequel!
It does suffer a bit from having quite a lot happening all at once, with flashbacks and flash forwards, but it’s a very imaginative world with intriguing characters and mysteries yet unexplored!
Will definitely be telling everyone on my socmed about this one!
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eArc in exchange for an honest opinion!
A fun ride through space and time. I couldn't put this book down. Fast pacing, the characters were believable.
Prophecy, time travel and gay romance, this book has everything. It had so many threads that I was surprised they managed to fit it all in one book! But they did and it turned out to be a great one. There was a moment when everything was coming together, when I was really blown away by the scope of what was happening. It felt epic.
I loved Obi and the threads from 1812 a lot. Even though, because of his temporal sickness, they couldn’t use the time travel much for the resolution of the plot, I felt it gave him a really interesting backstory. I loved the little references like the one to the cat bus from Totoro, the little reminders that he was from more than just one time period.
The prophecy, while confusing at first, also added a huge element to the book. Right from the first excerpt, I was excited to see where it would all fit in and become relevant and there was so many places where I could speculate as to what would happen. It was so great to see it all fit together.
I’m really looking forward to the next book, which will hopefully have more prophecy and more time travel and even more fun.
The Principle of Moments is a beautifully written and thought provoking sci-fi, filled with complex characters, gripping action and a satisfying plot for the reader to piece together.
Usually I find myself struggling at first to understand how worlds in sci-fi books function, but Jikiemi-Pearson's writing allows for a smooth transition into the book and gets you interested immediately. The main characters are also expertly crafted individuals, flawed yet loveable and I enjoyed all of their POV chapters. The relationships between them are also a highlight, as whether romantic or platonic, the intimacy and love between them spills from the page and I adored them SO much.
I also loved the way prophecy was tied into the end of each chapter, I've seen seasoned authors do this far less skillfully. I can't believe this was the author's first book and I look forward to everything from her in the future! Whether you're a fan of sci-fi or not, I would highly recommend giving this book a chance.
This definitely lived up to the comparisons of Dr Who and Jane Austen with epic space journeys and action. I really liked the writing and the concepts, and the author does such a great job of interweaving multiple plot points. I did enjoy the characters and their past as well as how they deal with their trauma.
However, I have to say I am a teeny bit disappointed as this was my most anticipated book of the year! I felt like it was way too long. It could've easily been edited down and I would've enjoyed it a lot more. I might also have read this at a weird time so I couldn't get the most out of it. This is one of those that I will definitely reread to see my final thoughts in the near future.
The characters were good, but I didn't feel connected to any of them. Despite their banter and friendships, Obi and Asha's relationship by the end still felt quite surface-level to me. And the romance I didn't really enjoy between both the main pairings. It felt like it to was too in your face all at once.
The concepts of time travel and Magekind was so cool and I really wish that was discussed more. I wanted to feel emotional reading the ending, but I just didn't, so that really disappointed me. The beginning of this book was super strong, and the menacing evil character arc felt incomplete even though it was the most interesting in the book.
I love the author and the writing, but for now this was just a good read!
I adored this book! The settings being so far apart time-wise was really interesting and I loved exploring both worlds with the characters. I really rooted for Asha throughout but thought that the other characters were great too. The mythological aspects were really fascinating and all tied together as the story progressed. The author’s style was captivating and I can’t wait for more books! I can’t recommend this book enough, especially if you’re a fan of sci-fi and time travel.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC.
It took me a little while to get into this - the prose was a little dense and the characters took some time to jump off the page. But once the story got going it definitely kept my attention. Jumping between related timelines is always a fun device, the ending really tugged on my heartstrings and there are enough loose ends to keep me wondering about the next installment.
Although I am not usually much of a sci-fi reader, I chose to give this a go after seening several people mention how good they thought this was and I have to say I was pleasantly suprised! Especially with this being a debut novel I was really impressed with how well thought out the storyline and the characters are.
One element that I felt let the book down a tiny bit was the use of the inner voices that felt like they were speaking to the characters, this felt a little juvenile and aged the book down a small amount for me, however that is personal preference.
Overall the book felt new and interesting while also harking me back to my Dr Who fan days which was suprisingly nostalgic.
Clearly a book with a lot of love in it, will be keeping an eye for her next release!
The Principle of Moments promised to be an epic adventure through space and time with high stakes and great characters and I am pleased to say that it does not disappoint. I had no idea how all the various threads promised in the blurb could come together in a story that felt coherent but Esmie Jikiemi-Pearson shows a phenomenal mastery of craft and presents a story that not only manages to be cohesive but also juxtaposes those disparate ideas to build on the themes of the book.
I found the primary story of the book, that of heroes brought together by prophecy - to be harkening back to great science fiction and fantasy stories without feeling like a copycat. There is the sense that this book was intended to set up an even greater story so be prepared for some threads to feel a little untied by the end of the book but for the most part, I found the ebb and flow of the story to be just right.
If I had to make one small criticism I think the book was fractionally too long - I suspect this is because of the sheer amount of set up that is required but it did make some parts of the story feel a bit more of a slog. My overall feeling of the book was positive and I wouldn't say that is a reason not to pick this book up but I would suggest making sure you have enough time and brain space for what this world and this story will demand of you.
My favourite aspects of the story actually ended up being those moments set in the past which surprised me as I initially thought they might feel a little too fantastical for me (especially when compared to the more space-focused other side of the story). I think Esmie Jikiemi-Pearson clearly demonstrates the themes on which they want to write with just the right balance of show and tell. I cannot wait to read more of this series and I hope the wait will not be too long!
I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley - all opinions are my own.
I never would have believed that The Principle of Moments was a debut novel if I hadn’t been told – the concept, prose and execution of this book honestly feels incredibly polished, despite containing many elements that are hard to get right in Sci-Fi and fantasy.
First things first – THIS is how you write a ‘chosen one’ story! Asha is not your typical protagonist; her storyline takes place in the year 6066, and starts a human colony in a distant galaxy, that 100 years prior fell under the tyrannical rule of emperor Thracin. Here starts a refreshing take on the ‘chosen one’ trope. Asha is a competent, capable protagonist with all the skills needed to survive. She’d even planned her escape from her ‘prison’ by herself! The ‘prophecy’ in this book doesn’t need to make a warrior from an unlikely individual, but acts to give Asha the push she needed to act. Thracin by contrast is a wonderful antagonist in Principle of Moments, thanks mainly to the excellent setup and worldbuilding on the first few Asha chapters. The extremely Orwellian society that the human colony displays is wonderfully claustrophobic and overbearing, and I loved the flashes of Catch-22 with phrases such as ‘Peace will be maintained by any means necessary’.
A major part of the book also takes place in Regency London in the early 1800s, where our other major protagonist Obi is in a secret relationship with the regent Prince George (destined to become George IV). And yes, this does all happen in the same book, and yes, it does work well! Prince George IV is an inspired choice as main character for the novel (once I’d removed Hugh Laurie’s Blackadder rendition from my mind). A dash of forbidden romance elevated the tension of the book for me, as it can be inherently more relatable than the existential threats that often create the tension in Sci-Fi. Esme Jikiemi-Pearson has done a stellar job of casting underrepresented ethic and minority characters in lead roles in this novel, and it’s even reflected in the settings; A world that doesn’t look too kindly on minority races, and a different galaxy that doesn’t look too kindly on ANY humans.
The prophecy, along with time travel, are the glue that hold this novel together, and both were handled masterfully. I really enjoyed the snippets of prophecy exposition provided by the extracts from the ‘History of Chasca’ text, which felt very reminiscent of the snippets found in Brandon Sanderson’s Final Empire. Elements of time travel were of course necessary in a book spanning thousands of years, but I felt that it was handled with care, and the consequences of time travel were given sufficient weight to avoid potential plot holes undermining the whole story. I also love how the nature of the book opens up the potential of sequels to the Principle of Moments going in either direction in time.
This is a super impressive debut novel, and Jikiemi-Pearson is going straight on my ‘instant read’ list of authors for any future novels!
Oh my god. This book was everything I wanted and more. The blend of sci fi travel, fantasy and romance was perfect. It even had a little hint of regency with the Prince George scenes. I absolutely adored this. I cant wait to continue with the series and see how it fills out more. it has so much promise! Thank you so much for an eARC, this was such a great read!
I loved our main characters, and their flawed, courageous warmth. It was a genuine joy to see their character development throughout their building adventure. I'm not normally a fan of books with British royalty in, but I loved how many parts of this faced up to the most problematic elements of having a prince tied up in colonialism interact with a commoner. I look forward to seeing how this is developed in the sequel.
I don't read a lot of epic fantasy or sci-fi and at times I was a little lost in all the detail. However, the strong characterisation kept me invested and moving through the bits I was a bit unsure in.
I would echo another reviewer on Storygraph and raise a word of caution around characterising a ruling class as anything similar to a lizard. I felt like if they had been portrayed on screen, this could have been fleshed out more so it was clear they were not similar to antisemitic tropes. However with so much left to the reader's imagination and in the place they held in the society, I felt this might have benefitted from an amendment.
Overall, this was a satisfying and epic tale, and I can imagine myself picking it up again before the sequel comes out.
Because of the antisemitic trope, I don't feel comfortable reviewing this on Tik Tok, but I've added a review on Storygraph.
This was such an amazing and gripping time travelling space opera that had me on the edge of my seat! I enjoyed everything about this one and the adventure these characters went on.
Told in multiple POVs and timelines, I quickly grew to love these characters and the premise of this story as a whole. Asha life drastically changes in a blink of an eye and she's forced to fight for what she loves. She's an incredibly strong character who you cannot help but want to protect while also rooting for. The same actually goes for Obi who is ready to stop time-travelling but is thrown into the future with no way of getting back. His relationship with George was probably my favourite of the book.
I really liked the prophecy element of this book, especially with the excerpts about the legacy of the three heroes that we got at the end of every chapter! Whilst I'm always cautious with the 'chosen one' legacy I feel like it was really well done and had it's own spin to it! I cannot wait to see what happens next!
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
A space fantasy with guts, time travel and period romance – it’s bold and epic in every sense of the word!
I would describe this as a "Doctor Who meets Bridgerton" (Queen Charlotte’s Story) mash-up. The story follows two gloriously brown-skinned humans, Obe (who suffers a time-travel disease) and Asha (who is enslaved in an evil futuristic regime). It’s an ambitious novel for a debut, in my view, with three time periods and four POVs, but Jikiemi-Pearson rises to the challenge and delivers relatable characters, humour, plot twists/mystery and left me wanting more! I mean I don’t know if this is standalone but I would love to spend more time with the characters.
I’m not primarily a science fiction reader, so initially I was more drawn to the regency, historical fiction with a queer storyline, but once things fell into place – I enjoyed the sci-fi and action just as much, if not more. I love a mystery and surprises and this did not disappoint.
This novel has found family, love and rebellion. Asha is a gutsy heroine you can really root for and Obe, an amusing sidekick with soul and the queer romance is excellently written. More please! Jikiemi-Pearson has a rich imagination, great ideas and is definitely an author to watch.
I absolutely devoured this book! Everything i could possibly want with Star Wars / Doctor Who vibes mixed in with Pride and Prejudice elements. A sweeping plot of intrigue, action and romance with wonderfully diverse characters that you root for. Finished reading only hoping for more time in this world!
I had fun with the Principle of Moments, it's the sort of science fiction and fantasy blend I love with time travel, magic and prophecies. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
We have two main characters, Asha and Obi and I loved them both. Asha is incredibly smart, determined and a bit reckless. Obi is also reckless but he's also a bit more grounded and has more life experience. They are both swept along by the prophecy into situations they are completely unprepared for. There are three main heroes in the prophecy and I wish we had more time with the third who ends up feeling secondary and less well developed.
The scale of the story is huge and epic and I enjoyed how the prophecy was woven through the book even though it takes away a lot of agency from the characters. Unfortunately there's so much packed in that it feels a bit shallow in places. The magic in particular doesn't seem very cohesive and some of the things they were able to do with time travel magic in particular felt like they came out of nowhere, even if they were very cool.
Having said that, I was completely capable of suspending my disbelief and just enjoying the ride. I'm very much looking forward to the next book and I hope it can deliver a bit more depth on some of the interesting ideas this one introduced.
Writing: 4/5 Plot: 5/5 Characters: 4/5
I absolutely adored this book.
The alternative timelines were connected so well, usually alternative times tend to be clunky but the switch between the two was smooth and kept me interested. The archivists extracts at the end of each chapter, fantastic.
I absolutely adored the found family that Asha, Obi and Xavier made
This book will be a hit with fans of Dr Who and N K Jemisin.
I can't WAIT for book two 🥰.
My fave quotes:
✨"the cost of peace - who has to pay, and who gets to enjoy it?'
✨"Oftentimes, violence is a necessity when throwing off the chains of evil, through it pains many to admit it's true'
I would like to thank Netgalley and Gollancz for the advance E-book in exchange for my honest opinion and views.
OMG, this book was amazing. High praise to Esmie Jikiemi-pearson for creating such an immersive world that gripped me from beginning to end.
I wasn't a huge fan of sci-fi fantasy but when I saw this book with characters that look like me going to be on an epic journey I couldn't wait to read it and I wasn't disappointed.
From the opening prologue it was a epic experience I was completely lost in the words and the world; Esmie's writing is smooth and clear I didn't feel overwhelmed in her words and descriptions of the aliens and people.
Asha was a force of nature that I so much identified with how she wanted to break free of her subjugation.
Obi was well written and I was drawn to struggles as he fights to cure himself, I love the scene where he cornrows his hair these little details was what made the story so fulfilling, as a black reader.
Amazing space opera that will keep you turning the pages with beated breath, I couldn't put this book down and I will definitely be reading more from this author; book already ordered for our library and I was lucky to receive a special edition from a box subscription.
Fantastic book if you like N.K. Jemisin and Doctor Who this book will Keep you smiling. Well worth five stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This book was an interesting read that I enjoyed.
At the start it is very info dumpy, but once Asha and Obi meet it picks up and I really enjoyed their relationship. So much happens over multiple time periods, I was never bored. I can't wait to read the next book in this series to see how the prophecy unfolds.
My favourite parts of this book are the world building and the characters. I can't wait to find out what they do next and where they end up.
Thank you to Netgalley, the author and publisher for an eARC copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
The Principle of Moments is an epic, time travel, space opera that traverses different centuries, timelines and planets. As well as being a sci-fi, it has some fantastical elements to it as well as two, seperate romantic sub plots.
I was so excited to read this and very grateful to have a review copy from Netgalley but I do feel as though this book was slightly mis-marketed. Similarly to what others have said, it definitely feels very YA which is a shame as it's marketed as adult sci-fi. I also felt as though the author tried to cram a lot of different elements into the book and subsequently none of them felt especially well fleshed out or contained any depth. I enjoyed Asha's character and found her background interesting and I almost wished she had been the sole POV character. Whilst Obi wasn't a bad character per say, the combination of his time travel storylines, romance plotline set in the 1800s and the fantastical elements of the novel just felt like A LOT. There was so much going on that it all felt shallow and under developed. Again, a massive shame because I loved the concept of this book so much.
Overall I would recommend this to a YA audience but not to an adult reader of Sci-Fi unfortunately.