In the almost two centuries since the discovery of the first inter-universal portal, Arcana has explored scores of other worlds . . . all of them duplicates of their own. Multiple Earths, virgin planets with a twist, because the “explorers” already know where to find all of their vast, untapped natural resources. Worlds beyond worlds, effectively infinite living space and mineral wealth.
And in all that time, they have never encountered another intelligent species. No cities, no vast empires, no civilizations and no equivalent of their own dragons, gryphons, spells, and wizards.
But all of that is about to change. It seems there is intelligent life elsewhere in the multiverse. Other human intelligent life, with terrifying new weapons and powers of the mind . . . and wizards who go by the strange title of “scientist.”
I wanted to like this book so very very much! It’s a great premise, and sounded like something that I’d particularly enjoy… but reading it felt like slogging uphill through liquid clay. I don’t know why, but it’s just not for me. So, I give up, and I’m counting it as officially abandoned / Did Not Finish!
That was fun – I hadn’t read this one before, so it was good to get some fresh material in between re-reading the first few books of the series. Resolute (KL #4) does fill you in on the essentials enough that it doesn’t matter if you have missed this, but I did like learning the extra details, and especially getting that look inside Jack’s head.
This might sound a bit odd considering the subject matter, but one of my favourite things about this book was the feeling of realism. Yes, I know. But after all, that’s what makes the best sci-fi: that it could just be plausible. More than anything else, though, it was the characters who sold it for me.
Bryn is an excellent heroine, competent and mentally tough, but not unbelievably so, and despite her army training she isn’t a kick-ass superwoman who can take down any physically stronger opponent. Yes, she’s had hand-to-hand training and knows how to use a gun, but she’s as human (hah) as the rest of us and her reactions aren’t faster than a speeding bullet. She’s a dab hand at logistics from the sounds of it, and can think on her feet, but she’s an ordinary girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances. It’s how she then deals with that that makes her awesome.
The villain is nicely creepy (and I never was quite sure if he or the other boogeyman was responsible for a couple of things that happened to Bryn – could have gone either way) and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the next book with all the competing elements.
This was a real pleasant surprise – I thought it looked quite good, but it definitely exceeded expectations. Although we only saw Jilly quite briefly before the accident, I felt that I got a good sense of who she was… and how she changed (and didn’t) afterwards. I loved the relationship between her and RK, which is almost entirely unspoken but clearly strong. Plus there are lots of interesting characters populating the rest of the cast.
The plot had plenty going on to keep me interested, too: who caused the shuttle accident, and why, what was causing Jilly’s headache and personality swings, and was it related to her memory loss? Then on Tolq, more strands are added, but there’s never too much happening at once. And although I thought several times that I could see where the ending was going, it wasn’t as predictable as that. I did enjoy the way it all tied together, though. A good, satisfactory ending without absolutely everything being tied up in a perfect bow. I just wish there was more to read – I’d love to see a sequel, or something else in this universe.
View spoiler: Aliens and soldiers and vampires, oh my! Seriously, this is just genius. I love a genre mash-up, and this one was a ton of fun. Yes, a fair bit of it consisted of set pieces of Big Explosions, and the body-count was enormous, but that was kind of the point of the book. I also particularly liked the fundamental inability of the aliens to understand the human response to them. And the ending – oh, I had to stop reading and just laugh and laugh! Classic. This is one that I’ll read again.
I loved the vivid world-building of this story, and found the hero and heroine strong and interesting characters. The gradual reveal of their personal history was very well done. My only gripe is that I’d love for the book to have been longer!