My rating: 4.3 out of 5
When I saw this published I knew straight away that I’d need to read it having immensely enjoyed Anderson’s Saga of Seven Suns series a few years ago. This book is effectively a continuation of that series after a number of years have elapsed, and the first of a new trilogy of space opera novels called the The Saga of Shadows. Kevin J Anderson has a writing style that I love, his stories flow beautifully and this is no different – unsurprisingly.
seven-sunsIt’s nice to be immersed again in this universe, and for me particularly nice to go back to the forest world of Theroc, home of the sentient Worldforest and the green priests who are able to use worldtrees for instantaneous communication over seemingly infinite distances. I absolutely love Theroc and ever since first reading about it, has been one of my favorite fictional sci-fi locations. This planet is now the hub of human government in the Spiral Arm, after Earth and it’s moon have been badly damaged, and there is still a slightly uneasy alliance with the Ildirans. The Roamers, a loose confederation of independent humans, are still scattered about the place in often the most unusual places and the various splinter colonies of humans and Ildirans coexist together, but everyone is still recovering from the Elemental War from the earlier series. The various elemental beings from before are present in the story in varying degrees, some dormant and some quite visible and active. Also present as a major character is Rlinda Kett, my favorite from the last series, now a big-scale (in more ways than one) business woman with a large fleet of interstellar transport ships.
Essentially, it felt like coming home to a universe that I really enjoy being immersed in. Having said that, I don’t believe that a reader new to Anderson’s Seven Suns universe will be lost here, because he adds plenty of background information snippets to fill any storyline gaps that pop up occasionally. Over the first half of the book the story cruises along nicely, with the foundation being laid for what is surely going to be another epic tale. After that, things really bolt ahead and we get a glimpse at the direction that the series is going to take. Just as a major new turn takes place and we’re introduced to a new and ancient species in the galaxy, the book ends and leaves us hanging and happily waiting for the next book.
Yes, I enjoyed it a lot and I think that most fans of space opera will as well. It lacks a little of the depth of some other space opera epics, however, it’s a massively fun story and a very well written tale that kept me hooked at every point.
4/5 for concept
4/5 for delivery
5/5 for entertainment
= 4.3 out of 5