Laakko delivers an elaborate blend of fantasy and sci-fi set in Aktinos, a mythological realm lost to an unnatural darkness, where a resilient young Aktinan warrior struggles to find his way in the face of relentless betrayal and conspiracies in her series starter in The Beyond the Hostile Sky series. The seemingly desolated lost realm of Aktinos has fallen, its sky tainted by a peculiar darkness, threatening to swallow the adjacent regions in the ensuing destruction. Explorers, Brinna, Ljuset, and Salainen, arrive in Aktinos, seeking to learn the cause behind the realm’s downfall. When they find an old book containing the histories of Aktinos’ wars with the Skiai, the trio discovers that the truth extends farther than they could ever have imagined. Filled with ancient magic, sparring kingdoms, and exciting mysteries, Laakko’s world of Aktinos is vividly atmospheric, permeating the story with an undercurrent of violence and bloodshed. Laakko deftly sketches emotionally complex, well-rounded characters and an action-packed plot, resulting in a nuanced fantasy that’s rife with magical and sci-fi intrigue. Readers will champion Makheteon’s wit and incredible grit. While the ending solves some of the disparate plot threads, readers will eagerly anticipate the next installment in the series. With its fast-paced narrative, fluid prose, and a complex magic system, this entry makes for a wildly inventive, intricate fantasy adventure.