The Book: Cydonia Rising by Dave Walsh.
The Summary: A sequel to his 2015 science fiction novel Terminus Cycle, Cydonia Rising follows characters old and new decades into the future of the far-off world of Andlios.
There’s a deposed princess looking to reclaim her throne, another deposed princess who’s been resurrected from the dead, a robot with a burgeoning soul, a smuggler in over his head, a mother concerned for the kind of brutal man her son has become, and a tired old man who’s had it up to here with all this shit.
The paths of these people all cross as the sociopolitical landscape becomes evermore turbulent thanks to creeping authoritarianism, growing unrest, and eventually war.
There’s a bit too much to summarize entirely suffice it to say each character is well fleshed out and feels voicey.
The Review: Walsh is really a master of pacing; the story never slows down and always keeps the reader engaged.
Where the book shines is in its array of perspective characters. For every one character you don’t like (and there was at least one I admit wasn’t for me), then there’s probably at least two you will love, if not more (I stan O’Neil and Trella).
The setting is also varied and fun. It’s a classical space opera mixed with some ancient Rome + medieval Scandinavia. A fascinating juxtaposition and difficult to pull off but Walsh makes it work.
If you’re a science fiction fan, as I am, add this one to your collection! The final book in the trilogy, Ganymede’s Gate, is about to come out so by the time you finish the first two you’ll have the third to read.