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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Chaos Vector by Megan O'Keefe (reviewed by Caitlin Grieve)

Official Author Website
Order Chaos Vector over HERE
Read Caitlin’s review of Velocity Weapon

OFFICIAL AUTHOR INFO: Megan E. O'Keefe was raised amongst journalists, and as soon as she was able joined them by crafting a newsletter which chronicled the daily adventures of the local cat population. She lives in the Bay Area of California, and spends her free time tinkering with anything she can get her hands on.

Her fantasy debut, Steal the Sky, won the Gemmell Morningstar Award and her space opera debut, Velocity Weapon is nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award.

OFFICIAL BOOK BLURB: Sanda and Tomas are fleeing for their lives after letting the most dangerous smartship in the universe run free. Now, unsure of who to trust, Sanda knows only one thing for certain -- to be able to save herself from becoming a pawn of greater powers, she needs to discover the secret of the coordinates hidden in her skull.

But getting to those coordinates is a problem she can't solve alone. They exist beyond a dead gate -- a Casimir gate that opened up into a dead-end system without resources worth colonizing, and was sealed off. To get through the dead gate, she needs the help of the enemy Nazca. But some Nazca are only interested in the chip in her head -- and they'll crack her open to get to it.

FORMAT/INFO: Chaos Vector was published July 28th, 2020 by Orbit Books. It is 546 pages split over 81 chapters. It is written in third person from multiple characters, including Sanda, Biran, Jules, and Tomas. It is available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook.

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: Sanda Greeve didn't ask to be the sole owner of a set of coordinates leading to a mysterious point beyond a sealed dead gate, but it's what she was left with after events left her stranded on a ship with an AI named Bero. With Bero fleeing to the far fringes of space to prevent himself from being weaponized, Sanda will have to rely on herself and her very few allies to find a way to the coordinates. Because whatever is waiting there is something multiple people want to either hide or obtain, and they're all willing to kill for it.

That was a rather brief and vague summary for the second book in The Protectorate trilogy, but like its predecessor Velocity Weapons, Chaos Vector is a book of steady reveals. While not quite as gasp-inducing as book one (and really, how would you have topped THAT reveal), Chaos Vector nevertheless manages to zip along at a good clip, unpacking mysteries while introducing new ones. Chaos Vector is much more of an intergalactic trek this time out, as Sanda tries to collect the people, resources, and political clout she needs to activate a gate, something only the Keepers (protectors of gate technology and all its related secrets) can authorize. Those of you who like escapes from exploding space stations, firefights, and traveling to backwater planets will have the perfect book to snuggle up with.

Sanda continues to be the stand out character of the series, the epitome of a reluctant hero who takes the weight of the galaxy on her shoulders because she quite literally can't trust anyone else to do it. With the planets on the brink of war and multiple shadow factions trying to shape events to their liking, Sanda has to forge a path forward, sometimes getting it right and sometimes getting it wrong. It's a burden that definitely takes an emotional toll as the story goes on and fatigue sets in, but Sanda will keep trudging forward, one step at a time.

Sanda has a good supporting cast in the background as she adds new people to her crew, and her lover Tomas even gets a few POV chapters to flesh out other sides of the story, adding a new angle I appreciated. Jules continues to be a bit of an enigma, but is absolutely never to be discounted as a key influencer of events. Once again, though, Biran failed to be a character I really connected to. As a Keeper trying to manage peace negotiations with the rebellious planet Icarion, he adds key context to the galactic level stakes, but I just didn't care on an emotional level about what he was going through. His chapters are relatively few, however, so it didn't stall me on the book overall.

CONCLUSION: True to form, Chaos Vector ends with some reveals that quite dramatically shift the direction of events. There are still plenty of unanswered questions and dangling threads, but thankfully this series is a trilogy, so readers can expect for everything to come together in the next installment. If you like your space adventure with a healthy dose of intergalactic conspiracy, the time is now to catch-up with The Protectorate trilogy!


Rajib Roy said...

Excellent content on books thanks for share it

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