Stars: 3.5 out of 5.
First, I need to point something out for those who just finished the first book in the series. The sequel has absolutely no ties to the first book, apart from happening in the same universe, so be warned if you expect to learn more about Freya – she isn’t even mentioned in this book. My husband launched into this book right after he finished the first one, and he didn’t enjoy it as much precisely because of this. He said the disconnect was too big at the beginning of the book – it is the same universe, but all the characters are new.
I, however, started book 2 about a year after I read book 1, so I didn’t mind the fact that we are told a completely different story a few thousand years in the future from the events of the first book as much. Sure, I would have loved to find out more about Freya and her sibs, but I was happy enough to explore this new evolution of the world introduced in book one.
And it’s a fascinating world where humanity (at least a variant thereof) spread into the stars and created a vast society of colonies almost everywhere in the universe close to their point of origin (Earth). I found the structure of their society fascinating. When warp drive or hyperspace or faster than light travel don’t exist, interstellar travel takes dozens, sometimes hundreds of years. Even laser uploads via laser arrays, the fastest form or interstellar travel, takes dozens of years. It’s fascinating to read about a society that thinks in scopes of centuries and even millennia when founding a new colony or engaging in any type of financial transaction.
The whole financial and economical system is very interesting as well, and, as far as I remember, this is the first science fiction story in which this aspect of a society is explored in so much detail and is so integral to the story. In fact, it’s a little bit too integral to the story, and the endless explanations on how slow money works and different fraudulent manipulations thereof were a bit tedious to go through after a while.
The biggest problem of the book, at least for me, was the main protagonist, Krina. She is a very passive character that reacts more than acts on her own. For the duration of the book, she had been a victim of the circumstances, kidnapped, altered, thrown into the deep end of a water planet, etc. And when she finally gathers enough power to have her own agency… the story ends. That was very disappointing, especially when you compare Krina to Freya from the first book.
Despite this, I thoroughly enjoyed this story, even if I could have used a little less exposition about the different financial instruments. This is definitely a series worth your time and effort.