I’ve read a lot of John Scalzi’s books, but of the one’s I’ve read this is by far the best. I absolutely loved this book. The characters are amazingly well defined and well portrayed, and straight up fun. I love old guy that is now a ship, Chenevert, a long-dead king from another Flow system, the foul mouthed Kiva Lagos, who is a contemporary of both the Emperox and the brilliant but evil Nadashe Nohamapeton, constantly scheming to kill the Emperox. I love the leader of this advanced society, Cardenia Wu Patrick also known as Emperox Grayland II, and her boyfriend and flow physicist Marce Claremont. I love the concept and even the names he uses for the characters. It is a showcase of his growing talent as a writer.
The story twists and turns and the action hardly slows down. When it does the snappy dialogue is a joy to behold. Scalzi’s sense of humor is on full display here. Better than his Hugo winning Red Shirts by a mile.
I listened to the first two on Audible and this one as well. Wil Wheaton does a spectacular job reading all three, this one especially. He knocks it out of the park with this one.
This is the last book in a trilogy set in the far future where mankind travels through space using flow streams. But the Streams are collapsing and without them the Interdependency is in great jeopardy. The society was set up 1500 years before to save humanity from civil war that was destroying everything, an now, because of the way it was set up with all the major houses dependent on each other, society will fall into revolt.
Scalzi weaves everything together perfectly but doesn’t betray the ending, leaving us with an unexpected but ultimately satisfying ending. It’s also an ending the leaves open the possibility of another series to follow this one, if Claremont takes the path that has been laid out for him. I sure hope Scalzi writes that series.
The only thing that disappoints in this trilogy is the length. It’s short by most novel standards, with the third book being shortest of all. That is not to say that it feels incomplete, because it doesn’t and ties all the threads together remarkably well. I’m just sad I finished it so quickly. I was torn because I knew it was going to end but I couldn’t stop listening to it. The entire trilogy gets my highest recommendation. If you like space opera it should be right in your wheelhouse.