Book Review: THOSE LEFT BEHIND by N. C. Scrimgeour

Title in white on blue space with grey spaceship
Genre: Sci-fi
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: first book in trilogy


Book cover for THOSE LEFT BEHIND: title in white on planet below blue space with a spaceship

A dying planet. A desperate mission. A crew facing impossible odds. Humanity’s last hope lies with them…

Time is running out for the people of New Pallas. Nobody knows that better than Alvera Renata, a tenacious captain determined to scout past the stars with nothing but a handpicked crew and a promise: to find a new home for humanity.

But when a perilous journey across dark space leads to first contact with a galactic civilisation on the brink of war, Alvera soon realises keeping her word might not be as easy as she thought.

Her only hope lies with the secrets of the ancient alien waystations scattered across the galaxy. The mysterious technology could be the key to humanity’s survival—or bring unwanted attention from the long-forgotten beings who built them.

But remaining united in the face of annihilation is a lot to ask from a crew already splintering under the weight of their differences. A jaded pilot looks for a place he can start over. A young translator searches for meaning out in the galaxy’s lawless frontier. And Alvera reckons with the aftermath of betrayal as she fights for a way to save them all.

As they break apart to forge their own paths, Alvera and her crew all face the same question: what are they willing to sacrifice to save those left behind?

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


THOSE LEFT BEHIND is the start of an action-packed space opera stuffed full of all the sci-fi staples you could want. It has first contact, a mysterious enemy, and a galactic war, all bundled together for a fun ride full of betrayals and looming dread about what is coming while they’re distracted.

The book is action-packed, showing off a richly imagined galaxy with various unique species (some with really cool powers!) There’s a lot of places to explore in this book, and various new species to meet with their own adaptations and environmental necessities. I enjoyed the tensions between how it was all governed, and those beyond the control, fighting back for a place to call their own.

While the core of the story is about those in Alvera’s crew (and the mess they find themselves in thanks to several unscrupulous members), the book is much wider than that. There are characters not from the crew who help flesh out the wider story and the approaching, mysterious threat that sits ominously in the background of the book.

There are five POVs in the book, and I was able to keep track of all of them, and their stories with ease despite there being only 25 chapters in the book and most of the characters being split up. This meant there was often a lot of time between each POV appearing and usually I find that quite tricky to recall what’s happening (particularly when I’m burnt out like now.) However, that didn’t happen here. The characters were engaging enough and the start of each chapter able to ground me back into the POV quickly enough that I found myself eager to read each POV as it returned and able to follow along easily.

Thankfully, the next book is already out, and the final instalment is out soon, so I will be able to binge my way through the series!

Read my reviews of other books by N. C. Scrimgeour:

Waystations (this series):


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