ot this in withdraw after ripping through Book 8 of The Expanse. Was in the mood for a new space series and this looked promising.
So it starts pretty hardcore. Biran is graduating into the Keepers, a monkish organization who control the galaxy-spanning gate system and who have chips with gate design specifications installed in their heads. At the same time, his sister Sanda is leading her gunship squadron against the warlike Icarions, the inner-planet fascists who are rebelling against the Keepers with a total system conflict. But her ship is grievously destroyed, her pod deploys and is ejected into space. And when she’s finally picked up by an AI-driven flying Dutchman of a warship (and Icarion at that), she is shocked to find that 230 years have passed and the war has left the gate destroyed and every planet in system turned to rubble. She’s the only living soul in-system. Oh, and her leg’s been shot off.
Good start, at least, to the book. We end up with three plot lines, Sanda in the current time, Biran in the past, and some gutter girl on a different system, pulling “ops” (i.e. crimes) and getting into something she shouldn’t.
I was pretty good with the story – I won’t say how far, but some distance in (not the end) the author throws us a startling twist that really gave me heart palpitations, a superb story gotcha that really played well. However, like The Fifth Wave, that amazing setup is a bit squandered by settling into Space Opera-ish conventions by the book’s end. One annoying thing is that every villain gloats and monologues – why would a logical person of power actually do that, fall for the cheap thrill of verbal preening? Also, there seemed to be too many divergent storylines going on, chips and drugs and time and hidden power. There didn’t seem to be any central theme , something I could lock onto and see as the goal of the heroes.
This reminded me of what I read of the review of the movie Mortal Engines. It was “so close”.
Anyway, a good read you might wish to consider.