(2019) Sam Peters, Gollancz, £18.99 / Can$24.99 , trdpbk, 450pp, ISBN 978-1-473-21481-1
This future, off-world set, thriller is the final in the trilogy that began with From Darkest Skies and From Distant Stars. Do check out the previous sentence's links to reviews as there is no point repeating.
Suffice to say that this final book does wrap up the story arcs in an outing that is a kind of action-packed cross between Jason Bourne and Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy with perhaps a little bit of Westworld (the recent TV series) thrown in. Earth is after those human colonists with a gene that might have been of interest to the now-departed alien Masters who came to Earth, killed loads of people re-shaping the continents and then after a while left. Who is on whose side? Has a message from the alien Masters really been detected?
With the story's end in sight, the illegal AI construct of agent Keon's wife wonders what her fate will likely be. Earth is poised to send land a military force on Magenta. Keon himself becomes a fugitive from the AI Tesseract that effectively runs Magenta and its security.
This is a complexly woven trilogy with many characters (well it is all about a whole colony world). Readers should start with the first From Darkest Skies. If you like that then you'll love the remaining two in the trilogy. Indeed, you have the benefit of being able to read each in quick succession: I had to read each one year at a time as the books came out and so lost momentum. You will want to read these in quick succession to keep on top of who is who and what is going on. As Keon unravelled the crime in the first book, it becomes clear that there is another layer to a possible conspiracy and indeed by the end of this final book we are a few onion layers down and can at last deduce what is going on. The ride is a good one.
This is Peter's first foray into SF. I do wonder whether he will write some one-off standalone novel and whether these will be set in the same universe (or even some of the same characters)? If he does – and at the end there is a possibility with the protagonist getting a new ally – I'll be back for more.
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