Top critical review
Your mileage may vary.
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on July 11, 2022
First let me preface this by saying that I actually like the universe that this Author has been hinting at.
That said, it immediately becomes evident that despite promising "cerebral and investigative elements" this book (I have not yet read any further in the series) is a first person narrative.
From the point of view of a character that has an incredible amount of empathic awareness of the people around her, but has compacted her own view of the world and all its wonders and horrors down to a pinprick camera obscura hole in the wall of a dark room of her own making, where her nightmares constantly play out in vivid detail, accompanied by the chorus of interdimensional angels.
This character, this archaeologist in space, will discover the wonders and horrors of ancient, now forgotten technology - and promptly ignore any thoughts of its construction, how it works on any but the most superficial plane, and what specifically went wrong when it was attempted to be replicated, despite having a first hand witness standing in front of her ready to bare her soul in an attempt to get her to understand.
Because "she's not a scientist". And to then later muse about how a different character has "knowledge that nonscientists shouldn't".
This is honestly the only reason I am giving the book as low a score as I do, because from the first plot arc onward the author has dangled the hope of learning more about this strange and forgotten technology in front of me, and every time any relevant information is about to be dropped, her main character does everything aside from sticking her fingers in her ears and screaming "La la la, I can't hear you!"
She literally chooses to completely phase out and ignore a villainous monologue plot dump for crying out loud!
So in closing, if you enjoy "cerebral and investigative elements" in your science fiction, this book is probably going to make you as angry as it did me, if you like emotionally fragile people that have rebuilt their outer shell with duct tape and super glue, and then booby trapped their own toilets for good measure, this is a five star read.