This tense and well-crafted second installment in Mackay’s award-winning SF series takes readers on another exhilarating adventure. The destructive first contact with the Forsaken has left nothing but a few survivors on the planet Stormwater who are barely trying to pick up the pieces while staying alive. Elora Bhele unites with Will Reach and Sarah Li in their fight to conquer an objective long-coveted by the Lumenarians: taking back lost ground. But the Forsaken aren’t the only ones the group has to worry about. The novel’s tone is right on mark—idealism balanced by hardheaded calculation; high action moderated by emotional elements. Mackay successfully juggles his characters’ backstories and interpersonal dynamic while also providing action-packed battle scenes and space intrigue. But he does so without letting the tense action sequences overwhelm the complex inner struggles of his characters. He’s especially good at portraying Elora’s fears that she will let others down as survival becomes a distant possibility. With an attention to detail that will please hard science fiction fans, Mackay raises fascinating questions about courage, resilience, will, determination, friendship, integrity, and lust for power and control. Fans of sophisticated, intricate military space drama should snap up this fun, thrilling read.
Categories: Science Fiction