In the beginning I struggled with this one. It was slow to start, and some of the new characters I really didn’t like. Especially one of the villains. Those were hard to read. However, towards the end it really picked up, and I started to like it a lot.
It’s very hard to write a review with no spoilers of the series. It’s the third book, so everything in the story is very connected to the events of the previous books. So regarding the story, humanity still faces a crisis, and the different groups in the solar system still can’t get along. There are those who try, but there are also those who are resistant. This is pretty much the same in all the books. Reading it can be very annoying, because you find yourself screaming at the book to just get along already. The good thing about that though is that it can be applied to real life. There is an increasing crisis right here, on Earth as well. If only everyone could just set aside their differences and work together, we could deal with the problems. If not, then using the book as a metaphor, similar events can take place right here. That is something that I like about sci-fi. It is set in the future, but it also shows us something about our present.
Now let’s move onto the characters. Our favourite Holden is still in this, so you can relax. He’s still likeable, still trying to do his best, and sometimes failing, sometimes winning. Without spoiling much, I was really afraid for him in this one.
There are a couple of new characters in the book. Anna is an interesting one. She’s a lesbian priest. Sometimes she’s frustrating, and feels like the authors just put her in to pander to the religious readers of the story. She often wonders about god in the world she’s in. As an atheist, I resolve this simply, as there is no god, so it’s not a question. However, later on she also becomes the voice of morals, and also takes action herself. That’s when I actually started to like her. She’s the person who isn’t jaded by life, while all the characters seem to be. She even brings up one of my favourite ideas in the book. Why can’t we work together without going through all the screaming and dying first?
Overall, the start of the book was a real struggle. However, after a while I found it hard to put down, and quickly read the last third. The real question at the end is, to quote Buffy, “Where do we go from here?”