ARC Review: EYES OF THE VOID by Adrian Tchaikovsky

I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.

Title in white on yellow space ships
Genre: Sci-Fi
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: yes - second book of trilogy

*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for SHARDS OF EARTH*

Synopsis:

Book cover for EYES OF THE VOID: title in white on rusty planet with spaceships in front

After eighty years of fragile peace, the Architects are back, wreaking havoc as they consume entire planets. In the past, Originator artefacts – vestiges of a long-vanished civilization – could save a world from annihilation. This time, the Architects have discovered a way to circumvent these protective relics. Suddenly, no planet is safe.

Facing impending extinction, the Human Colonies are in turmoil. While some believe a unified front is the only way to stop the Architects, others insist humanity should fight alone. And there are those who would seek to benefit from the fractured politics of war – even as the Architects loom ever closer.

Idris, who has spent decades running from the horrors of his past, finds himself thrust back onto the battlefront. As an Intermediary, he could be one of the few to turn the tide of war. With a handful of allies, he searches for a weapon that could push back the Architects and save the galaxy. But to do so, he must return to the nightmarish unspace, where his mind was broken and remade.

What Idris discovers there will change everything.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

EYES OF THE VOID takes the series from high-stakes mystery and pursuit to the brink of galatic war where everyone is arguing with each other over who gets to control Idris (without really consulting him) rather than teaming up to fight off the Architects. Because, of course, all the powers are far more concerned with how much power they might lose in a team up than all the lives.

This combination really makes you root for the narrators because they feel like the lone voices of reason surrounded by corporations/governing bodies who are all villains of one sort or another. Plus it really makes them the scrappy underdog up against literally everyone and highly under resourced as you can never quite trust the group nominally backing them right now.

Olli gets to narrate in this book, in addition to the four narrators from the previous (Idris, Kris, Solace, and Havear.) I like this spunky robot-controlling woman who has such confidence in taking on anyone. I really enjoyed seeing more of her.

The larger cast also lets the book be in more places at once. It’s still very tight, location-wise – it’s not far flung locations with everyone at different ends of the galaxy – but it does let there be more moving parts in an action sequence. It makes the book feel bigger while still very much feeling like a single, cohesive story (vs some other far-flung cast books that feel so separate.)

This book also very much confirmed to me that I am not a big fan of digital reading. I find it really hard to put down digital books and come back to them (my attention wanders MASSIVELY on putting it down) which means I try to read them in one sitting. And that is very hard to do for a book this big. I want temporary respite from books, particularly long, large ones.

It’s a testament to how engaging this book is that I didn’t struggle with it, given its digital length. I could certainly feel like I was in need of finishing, to have that break, by the end, but I was still interested in keeping going, still wanted to find out more. I didn’t resent the book (which I most certainly have for other long books I felt obliged to finish.)

The finale of this trilogy looks to have a big moral dilemma at the heart of how to defeat the Architects, and a new faction/splinter has joined the game too. Looks to be a promising third book next year!


Read my reviews of other books by Adrian Tchaikovsky:

The Final Architects (this series):

Children of Time:

Standalones:

Dogs of War:

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