Genre: Sci-Fi Age Range: Adult Star Rating: DNF at ~30% Series: yes - book 2 of trilogy
*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for NOPHEK GLOSS*
Caiden has been on the run for ten years with his unique starship in order to keep his adversary, Threi, imprisoned. But when an old friend he’d once thought dead reappears, he is lured into a game of cat and mouse with the one person whose powers rival Threi’s: Threi’s sister Abriss.
Now with both siblings on the hunt for Caiden and his ship, Caiden must rescue his long-lost friend from their clutches and uncover the source of both his ship’s power and his own origins in order to stop Abriss’s plan to collapse the multiverse.
Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
I was so-so with NOPHEK GLOSS, the first book in the series. Something about it didn’t excite me, but I wanted it to – neurodiverse books are so rare, particularly written by ND authors. So I decided to give the second book a try.
But I just couldn’t click with this book either – and I found the first book even harder to read through on a second time around. I suspect it’s mostly a matter of writing style – that ephemeral, impossible to pin down quality – and not connecting with Caiden (and thus struggling to invest in the plot.)
It just felt like Caiden was repeating the same mistakes again and again and again across the first two books. I could understand that in the first book – he’s been traumatised and has gone through acceleration and a memory jog of the horrors that had side effects. But in the second book? He’s ten years older and he’s been through all this before – the lies and false promises ending in disaster – but he falls for it all again. It just felt like he hadn’t grown up at all since the first book, despite ten years on the run. And I just couldn’t bring myself to care about a character who felt like he was repeating the same events and bad decisions.
I did, however, like the fact we got a second POV in this book. Leta, the friend he thought was dead but has always had a prick of guilt that he didn’t save her. The biggest hook of this book was trying to work out if she was real and not a clone or something, and which side she’d ultimately end up on. It was nice to get another perspective, see events beyond just Caiden’s bad mistakes. But it wasn’t ultimately enough to keep me engaged and reading.
Read my reviews of other books by Essa Hansen:
The Graven (this series):
- NOPHEK GLOSS (#1)