It’s been three years since Esa joined the ranks of the Justified after her rescue from the fanatical murderers the Pax. Together, Esa and her mentor Kamali travel from planet to planet, searching for children with supernatural abilities. It’s hard work, but Esa has never felt more assured of her place in the universe.
On a visit to a planet so remote that its inhabitants never learned that the Sect Wars ended over a hundred years ago, they learn that the Justified are not the only people searching for gifted children. There is a creature with unexpected powers who will stop at nothing to get its hands on the children that Esa and Kamali are trying to rescue.
With their latest recruit in tow — a young Wulf child named Sho — Esa and Kamali will travel halfway across the galaxy in pursuit of answers. But the answers only lead to more questions, and the danger will only increase as their terrifying nemesis turns his eyes on them.
Review by: @Angelhearte I had much hype for this book after reading The Stars Now Unclaimed and was intrigued to see the change in viewpoint from Kamali (Jane) – The battle hardened super-soldier to Esa, the younger charge with the power (or maybe most powerful) supercharged powers. Esa’s viewpoint on what is happening is fresher and more nuanced that Kamali’s at it lacks the apathy associated with years of killing – she is more optimistic and vibrant where Kamali is focussed and quick to draw A-B to create a plan.
The plot starts almost a mirror of the first book – a “salvage” operation to find another empowered child which goes sideways in a very different way. A new and consistent antagonist is introduced and the team are pushed further than before. The action is fast paces, tight and a lot of fun to read making this book another single sitting sojourn due to its fairly small heft. A Muslim alien named Mohammed on a self-imposed exile to find Allah was a little on the nose but outside of this, this sequel was a fun, rompy light scifi story with much enjoyment.
I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes next, I’m very happy to give this 4/5*. Please take the time to enjoy it yourself!
Not read The Stars Now Unclaimed?
We have both books for you.
See info and review for the first book in Drew Williams series below:
Jane Kamali is an agent for the Justified. Her mission: to recruit children with miraculous gifts in the hope that they might prevent the Pulse from once again sending countless worlds back to the dark ages.
Hot on her trail is the Pax–a collection of fascist zealots who believe they are the rightful rulers of the galaxy and who remain untouched by the Pulse.
Now Jane, a handful of comrades from her past, and a telekinetic girl called Esa must fight their way through a galaxy full of dangerous conflicts, remnants of ancient technology, and other hidden dangers.
And that’s just the beginning…
Review by: @Angelhearte I thoroughly enjoyed this new endeavour into sci-fi.
It tries not to over-complicate the theoretical side of sci-fi tropes, focusing more on the action with the world building behind it in curved explosion not unlike the “pulse” – The background cataclysmic event which on a random basis is disabling technology of various levels across the cosmos.
Kamali – The protagonist is a nearly 200 year old commando who specialise in claiming children with powers. Her latest pickup turns into a galactic spanning battle which could easily have been a space-opera, but instead feels more like an action movie. The addition of her bundle humanises her immensely, adds a touch of maternal instinct to her and makes the pacing work.
This was a delightful pick up and read in one sitting novel, it flowed well, it has an interesting concept and i’m looking forward to seeing how it develops!
Drew Williams has been a bookseller in Birmingham, Alabama since he was sixteen years old, when he got the job because he came in looking for work on a day when someone else had just quit. Outside of arguing with his co-workers about whether Moby Dick is brilliant (nope) or terrible (that one), his favourite part of the job is discovering new authors and sharing them with his customers. A Chain Across the Dawn is his second novel.