That sad moment has finally arrived and many of you know how that feels- the moment when a good series has come to an end. I relished this story and the whole series right down to the epilogue. I am relatively new to Sci-Fi Romance, but this will be a series that I will highly recommend to those who might ask me for a recommendation.
Now because I am offering up a review for the last book in the series and there are references in the book back to the first book and even the prequel, I’ll be careful not to spoil it for you if you haven’t read the others. So read on with confidence (though when it comes time to read the actual book, do read it in order). Its a ‘see how far things have come’ story along with the introduction of a new element.
So what was this final installment of the series all about? The story just like the others has not just a few story lines that intersect and separate as the story progresses. One storyline follows Eri, a colonist and descendant from the original colonists who left Old Earth. She has been chosen for a mission team to leave the ship and make contact with the planets’ inhabitants and this is her moment to shine for the first time in her life. Eri is the only linguist on the ship, but she is not explorer team material. She has always felt inferior to the other colonists because she is the result of an unauthorized coupling (the colonists are assigned their life mate and don’t get to pick their partners or their careers) thus she is considered to have inferior genes. But Eri is no fool and she is well aware that something about this mission doesn’t smell right. Her sister and dearest friend gives her sage advice that is near traitorous in that she tells Eri to question things and think for herself.
On the surface of the planet, Striver and several others see the colony ship arrive in the heavens and the small expedition ship leave to descend to the planet. He and the others are descendants of humans who left Old Earth just like the colonists’ ancestors so he’s well aware of who these new arrivals are. He sees that the ship is landing right in the middle of land outside the protection of his peoples’ territory in Lawless land where the wild pirate-like people live. The Lawless will not hesitate to attack the colonists and steal their technology- specifically their weapons. Striver already fears that the colonists may not come to co-habit, but to annihilate his people and take the world for themselves and if they are attacked by warlike humans they most certainly will wipe them all out for their own safety. He convinces the council to let him go over the wall and lead a rescue team.
Several parties converge where the expedition ship lands and that’s when the adventure begins with a three-pronged stand off to control the planet. But is there another way?
The plot was exciting and intriguing with a strong romantic element. I love this blend that has the story switching mode as it moves along. The intrigue is created by the true purpose of the expedition and by a mystery found in a cave that’s remained hidden until now. There are several moments of excitement created by search and rescue attempts. And then there was the sweet romance developing between Striver and Eri who come from the opposite side of the tracks so to speak. I also enjoyed many of the lesser story lines that just made the story richer and deeper particularly the tension between Striver and his brother, Weaver and then the situation between Eri’s sister and her husband who is Eri’s team leader.
The characters were strong historic types who were vulnerable yet strong. The growth in Eri from her hesitant lack of confidence to a woman who bravely did what had to be done in the clutch moments was awesome. And Striver, he had a gentle side and he really didn’t want to be the leader, but took the responsibility and tried to save others by putting his own life on the line. The biggest villain was somewhat 2-D, but that didn’t matter because there were several ambivalent secondary characters who were really fleshed out and ranged from trying to be good to trying to be redeemable.
Now I’ve said it before about the other books, but it doesn’t hurt to say it again, the world building in this series is off the hook. It all makes sense in a gritty sort of way what led to earth dying and what those who actually avoided the disaster had to do to survive and thrive. The techno terms and otherworld stuff was not confusing or told in textbook pedantic style, but just infused in here and there with the right amounts so the story didn’t bog down.
As noted above, this is the final book in a three book and one novella series. I recommend reading them in order so many references in this book make sense. I have enjoyed all the adventures in the series and am sorry to see it come to an end. Maybe we can pester Aubrie to write more.
I recommend this to those who enjoy sweet Sci-Fi Romance and adventure.