Vaughan’s this sequence to the page-turning Doom of Star hits many of the familiar beats of the post-apocalyptic genre, but it does so with easy skill. Maya has succeeded in fleeing the Destroyer into the far-future, only to find herself trapped in another never-ending nightmare of a journey. Trying to make it to the surface, Maya finds an unlikely ally in Karan and Yarl, the residents of the far-future world, who are trying to escape the death sentence at the hands of their village’s head. The trio begin to look for their destination, unaware a strange fate awaits them ahead. Blending hard SF with human drama, Vaughan’s assured, crisp prose takes readers through Maya and Karn’s journeys of identity and survival, imbuing the fully-fleshed out protagonists with purpose. Maya, Karn, and Yarl’s stories unfold gradually, revealing their horrendous worlds rife with unforeseen dangers and horrific traps as they look for earth’s surface. Maya, with her sheer determination and will makes for the strongest voice in the story. The secondary characters, including humans, interstellar humanoids, and robots, are given both tenderness and humanity. Karn and Yarl’s burrow dwelling community members interact in a realistic, natural way that makes them come alive on the pages. Unsettling, poignant, and haunting, the novel makes for a winner.
Categories: Science Fiction