Genre: Sci-Fi Age Range: Adult Star Rating: 4 stars Series: yes - final book in trilogy
The code has been cracked. The secrets of the Casimir gates have been revealed. But humanity still isn’t safe. The alien intelligence known as Rainier and her clones are still out there, hell-bent on its destruction. And only Sanda can stop them.
With the universe’s most powerful ship under her command and some of the most skilled hackers, fighters and spies on her team, it will still take everything she has to find the key to taking down an immortal enemy with seemingly limitless bodies, resources and power.
Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
CATALYST GATE is the final instalment in the Protectorate trilogy, a space opera with fast pacing, and an expansive world and plot as Sanda and her team try to stop the artificial intelligence bent on destroying humanity to rectify humanity’s theft.
As you’d expect from this series, there are lots of twists and turns, and the secrets of the past slowly come to light. I loved seeing the hints laid in the first two books, many of which just read as incidental lines at the time, pay off. So much has been set up since the first book, in a very subtle way, and seeing it all come together was such a rewarding experience.
It’s hard to say much without spoilers, but I downed this book VERY fast, wanting to know how it all ended, how the characters survived – and who would die. Rannier is a very impressive and terrifying villain, given her capabilities, origin story, and what she can do not only to the human characters, but the AI ship Bero.
Also Tomas is back with Sanda and they have a lot to work out, both together and about themselves personally. After his part of the story went dark at the end of CHAOS VECTOR, I was hoping he’d be much more integral this time and yes he was. Particularly after the reveal about him at the end of the previous book, which he had to work through.
Yes, Jules is still my least favourite character, because she still feels very unconnected and important to the main plot for much of the book. She was at least important for the ending, so it did come together But, yeah, at least I was consistent with who I didn’t enjoy as much as was hoping to get to the end of her chapters because my little quirk of wanting everyone to be deeply and continually linked to the character I deem the main (Sanda in this case) continues!
The ending was interesting. I can completely see why the final few chapters happened, but me being me (a secret lover of tragedy) I felt that it did undo a bit of the emotional resonance of the previous chapters (the Tomas-Vladsen scene was one of my favourites in the whole book – a shocking amount of character depth and growth and healing in one.) However, the tone of the very final page pulled back to focus on the toll and loss, which felt very appropriate and poignant to end it not as a big victory but with that tragic element at the fore.
Read my reviews of other books by Megan O’Keefe:
The Protectorate (this series):