The Principle of Moments

Longlisted for the 2024 TikTok Book Awards

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Pub Date 18 Jan 2024 | Archive Date 18 Jan 2024

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'My favourite kind of grand space opera'

'An audaciously joyous debut full of heart'

'Entertaining as all hell... it gets the vibe of being twelve years old and watching a lightsaber ignite on the big screen'

'A sprawling space opera fantasy stuffed with familiar tropes'

'Every page shines with the vigour and passion of youth'


6066: In Emperor Thracin's brave new galaxy, humans are not citizens but indentured labourers, working to repay the debt they unwittingly incurred when they settled on Gahraan - a desert planet already owned by the emperor himself. Asha Akindele knows she's just another voiceless cog working the assembly lines that fuel his vast imperial war machine. Her only rebellion: studying stolen aeronautics manuals in the dead of night. But then a cloaked stranger arrives to deliver an impossible message, and her life changes in an instant.

1812: Obi Amadi is done with time-travelling. Never mind the fact he doesn't know how to cure himself of the temporal sickness he caught whilst anchoring his soul to Regency London, the one that unmakes him further with every jump. Or if the prince he loves will ever love him back. Or why his father disappeared. He is done. Until he hears about the ghost of a girl in the British Museum. A girl from another time.

When Obi's path tangles with Asha's and a prophecy awakens in the cold darkness of space, they must voyage through the stars, racing against time, tyranny, and the legacy of three heroes from an ancient religion who may be awakening, reincarnated in ways beyond comprehension.

The Principle of Moments is a centuries-spanning adventure unmissable for fans of the spacefaring found family of Becky Chambers, the magical London of V. E. Schwab, and the epic climate-craft of N. K. Jemisin.


'This book! OMG this book was everything I could hope for! A queer love story, a space story, a rebel story and so well written' ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

'An absolute stonker of a debut... Fantastic world-building, well-rounded characters... I was hooked the whole way through' ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

'I absolutely devoured this book! Everything I could possibly want with Star Wars / Doctor Who vibes mixed in with Pride and Prejudice' ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

'THIS is how you write a "chosen one" story! Jikiemi-Pearson is going straight on my "instant read" list of authors' ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

'I have read quite a few debuts this year and this was easily my top of the year' ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

'Oh my god. This book was everything I wanted and more. The blend of sci fi travel, fantasy and romance was perfect' ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

'OMG, this book was amazing... Fantastic if you like N.K. Jemisin and Doctor Who... Well worth five stars' ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

'Beautifully written and thought provoking sci-fi... I can't believe this was the author's first book!' ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

'I adored this book! I can't wait for more' ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

'Hang on and enjoy the ride!' ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


'My favourite kind of grand space opera'

'An audaciously joyous debut full of heart'

Available Editions

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ISBN 9781473234192
PRICE £18.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 44 members

Featured Reviews

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the review copy. This is a brilliant debut. The world building is great, and I love how we get a little bit of mythology at the start of each chapter, and slowly start to understand how it relates to the story. The pacing is good, very easy to lose time as I did not want to put it down. I did guess a couple of the reveals but that did not detract from the experience in any way, and I am very much looking forward to the next instalment.

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An amazing debut by Esmie Jikiemi-Pearson! I love a space opera when done right. And this one certainly was. Great working building, interesting characters and well written. Would definitely pick up another book from this author!

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Hugely enjoyable time travelling, space opera epic with a dash or regency romance.
A time traveller falls in love with a prince in 1812 London and long in the future a girl must escape the prison that humans are kept in.
In the past, a powerful demon-like man wants to be worshipped like a god, whilst in the future a tyrannical galactic emperor will crush any and all dissent.
And then there's the prophecy of heroes reborn, mysterious cults and a planet-destroying weapon.
Not to mention a brilliant collection of characters that have to navigate this dangerous path to try to save those they love, the universe and each other.
Hang on and enjoy the ride!
I can't wait for the sequel.

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An enjoyable read throughout time and space! It's so much fun, but also got those high, nail-biting stakes that keep you turning every page.the characters are well written and in-depth, and make realistic decisions and choices. While it a common prophetic trope, the author really twisted it and made it all their own, and it brought new life to the tropes she used. The relationships between the characters are also really good, and show some excellent friendships (which is sometimes lacking in books in favour of romances). They work well as a team, and it was so interesting to see the parallels in the two different stories (one in Britain 1812,and je in space). It really played on the mirroring aspect and how history repeats itself, and led to a lot of interesting decisions. Really interested to see what the next book brings

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This was start to finish an absolute banger. It pressed all my buttons, ticked all my boxes. I loved this. The promise of the books to come is incredibly exciting, and I am so impatient to read them! Fans of NK Jemisin's broken earth trilogy will enjoy.

We follow three main characters across time and space (time travel? say less) in an epic space opera. The author makes you fall hard for the characters quickly and easily. I cannot recommend this book enough, hit that pre-order - you won't regret it. One of the best books I have read all year.

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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 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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This was such a pleasant surprise for me. I requested it because I had read a snippet of it from a festival promo leaflet and was curious to read more. It's quite a big book but it reads so quickly. It's so immersive and fast-paced. A breath of fresh air from my other recent reads.

The top highlights for me were the two main characters; I love that 'begrudging allies to friends' plot line and seeing their friendship blossom. I particularly enjoyed the London chapters as they showed the villain of the story in a different light.

My lowlight is the fact that the 'history' extract was located at the end of the chapter. Maybe I was used to reading the snippets before the chapter started so couldn't understand their positioning.

I have read quite a few debuts this year and this was easily in my top of the year. Can't wait for the next one!

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