Finally a Sci-fi that didn’t leave me feeling stupid.
A war criminal, Aden, has spent the last 5 years imprisoned on Rhodia. One year longer than the war went for. The time has finally come, he is out, it’s time to head home, to his planet Gretia. Deciding to take the long route, he buys passage on a cargo ship. All goes well until they are hit by pirates and left drifting in an escape pod.
Indina is on her second tour of Gretia. Keeping the peace and enforcing the treaty, she and her team are out on a regular patrol when after years with no hostile activity, they are hit by weapons unlike any they have seen before. The loss of her team hits her hard and she is recalled to the city to work with the local police.
Dunstan and his crew are almost ready to head back home for leave, when something comes up on their radar. Unsure of what it is, they assume the worst. But even following the rule book doesn’t prepare them for what comes next.
Finally we have Solveig. Daughter of the man whose company built and supplied weapons for the war effort. He is no longer allowed to run the company, so it’s fallen to her to meet her fathers high expectations and keep the company afloat.
Who are the terrorists blowing up protestors, police and medical personal? Who are stealing the ships? And why when the peace has lasted so long is everything looking like it might fall apart.
While there is plenty of action in Aftershocks, it’s a character driven story. We delve straight into Aden’s experiences, he gives us a sense of the universe. The planets, the technology, the way the war has affected the people. Through him we get a real sense of before and after. This is all done so naturally, that a large portion of the world building is completed before you are fifty pages in. I never once felt bogged down with information, it flowed. Every word that we got was required with no filler in between. As the rest of the characters are introduced the worlds are fully fleshed out. The temperament of the people on the street, the peacekeepers in the air and on the ground. The tension starts to build and it continues slowly for the rest of the book.
I said it at the start, the technology and the way it was discussed didn’t leave me feeling stupid. The technological aspects weren’t overly in-depth, which works for me as a lot of the time it goes over my head. I loved the different planets. They were all harsh and the people all had to adapt, meaning on one planet there is only one small continent split down the middle by a mountain range, another is so unbearable that the people have to live underground and then you have the planet that has perfect living conditions. And yes, it was the Government of one of those planets that started the war. It’s easy enough to guess which one I’m sure.
The characters were all well written, distinctive in their voice and natures. While I appreciated all of them and their role in the way the story winds together, I enjoyed reading Aden the most. Not all characters got the same amount of page time which worked well. Using the characters, Kloos was able to bring the planets and the story together in a cohesive way. As the book progressed, I did find that certain terms were repeated, which I didn’t like but that was only in the last half. I found his style of writing easy to read, and while the story did feel slow, I liked it.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD… YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
My issue was the ending. Um… What The Fuck was that?
I still don’t know how I feel about it, and while I enjoyed this book, I’m concerned about what book two will be like. Will the pacing pick up? Will there be more consistent action? Will there be answers? The book didn’t feel complete.
I received an arc from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Author: Marko Kloos
Released: 1st July 2019