This is quickly becoming one of my favourite series.
Like the previous book, there’s a big jump in years between this one and the last one, with the reputation of Hadrian and his crew has grown even stronger in the years. After the events of the last book, as well as others in the intervening years, Hadrian’s rise to prominence has created enemies, from those who fear he is gaining an almost religious aura around him and might cause him to have imperial ambitions. Due to these machinations he has been given an assignment that is set up to fail.
This is a big hefty book and spends more than half the time dealing with politics, research and archaeology. I loved every minute of it. The action when it happens is great, particularly the first part that had a real claustrophobic, Aliens feel to it. After that we have lots of mysteries, whether political or galaxy spanning, and they were equally as good. I think the best things about the books so far is that though they are obviously a space opera, with battles, marines, rogue AI, aliens etc., they also spend so much time with the characters and building their relationships. I love Valka, Palinno, Siran as much as Hadrian and even though he is still the sole POV, I am just as fond of them as I am of him.
There is a real mythological feel to Hadrian now, especially as the events of the book progresses. And though we are inside his head, we know how things have played out, you do get the sense that events are getting away from him. Why this has become one my new favourite series is that there are so many WTF moments, I had goosebumps so many times. All of my favourite series have given me moments like these, that when you re-read you get the anticipation building leading up to them. This is obviously a first time read but I can definitely see myself reading them again. Maybe not in the lead up to the next one, Mount Readmore is still too high, but probably in the lead up to the last book.
These books have gotten better as they have gone along and I really hope the author can continue with this progression, or at least stay to the same level as this one. From what I gather there are still two books to go and I am very much looking forward to getting my hands on them as soon as they are ready.