Top positive review
Why oh why did I wait this long to read this amazing series?
Reviewed in the United States on December 16, 2020
First off, this is going to be kind of an aggregate review for the whole series, since I read the almost 3000 pages at one fell swoop (in the space of about 10 days) and was unable to stop long enough to write reviews for the individual books. The books don’t really end in cliffhangers, but the whole story is just so riveting that one must know how it continues.
I am a great fan of Lindsay Buroker’s writing and I have read most of her other stuff (including books she published under her pen name Ruby Lionsdrake) and I loved most of it and liked the rest well enough. I think I was not really all that keen on this series as sci-fi/space opera is not really my preferred genre; I am more into UF (see her Death Before Dragon series). Also, I wasn’t really convinced by her lead characters, a geeky robotics professor with an unimpressive physique and health issues and his neurodivergent bacteriologist room-mate/best friend, or the hodgepodge of other characters, including a sentient spaceship and its aging, sarcastic captain. But I finally broke down and gave the series a try and then couldn’t stop reading every free minute until I had finished the whole saga. I not only loved all the characters despite (or rather because of) their short-comings, especially antagonist/anti-hero Tenebris Rache, who remains quite an ambiguous character throughout, but I was kept on the edge of my seat by all the plot twists and unexpected events. The series combines different genres like Sci-Fi, adventure story, revenge tale (even romance) and draws on and references popular culture icons such as Star Wars and Terminator.
The story is told from the perspectives of different characters, and I loved how dexterously the author wove the various narrative strands together. I was also impressed on how Lindsay Buroker unobtrusively raises and debates philosophical questions like nature vs. nurture, diversity, good leadership/good government, the role/importance of science, etc.; I am going to explore some of those themes more in depth in reviews for some of the individual books…
Note: The narration by Fred Berman is really great; I loved how he gave all the characters a different voice!