Well that was pretty spectacular.
It’s hard to review a fifth book in a series so I won’t go into the plot too much. After the fairly ‘local’ events of the fourth book we are thrown back into the reach of the solar system where the effects of the gates on humanity is starting to be felt in both personal and political spheres. These effects are going to change humanity forever.
For the first time we have POV’s of the whole Roci’s crew and that is amazing. Almost immediately the entire crew is split up with Amos travelling back to Earth, Alex to Mars, and Naomi to the Belt. Poor Holden is left patching the Roci back up and feeling pretty lost without them.
Having POV’s from the whole crew is truly great. They are how I imagined them but we learn so much more personal history than we have before. Amos is truly a sociopath but I really enjoyed his chapters, he knows what he is and that’s why he clings to his crewmates so much, they are his moral compass. Alex’s chapters were quite sad at the start, he’s been infected by the flying virus and it has truly shaped his life, both good and bad. His POV’s also bring back a certain Martian marine which is always a good thing. Holden is Holden, he’s definitely changed somewhat, and I think for the better but his was the least interesting from a growth perspective. Naomi’s was truly surprising. We finally learn why she was on the Canterbury. I’m not going to say much more but her’s was the most moving.
There occurs an event in this book that caught me totally by surprise and has profoundly changed the narrative of this series. It seemed to come from nowhere, maybe other people caught it but I certainly didn’t. This books may be labelled space opera but there are some truly dark and cynical moments throughout. What saves these books from being too depressing sometimes is the relationships between the crew. The battles etc are all good but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a crew dynamic done so well, they honestly seem like family, and a close healthy family, not a dysfunctional one.
This book has raised the bar and I’m very much looking forward to where it’s going in the next one. Though there isn’t a cliffhanger ending this book definitely feels like part one of two but luckily enough the sixth book is already out!
5 stars out of 5