It seems strange to even say this about a Henry Vogel novel, but it started out slow. Like, really slow. Even though there were the usual fights, chases, pulse-pounding action, and hair's breadth escapes, it just seemed old hat for Matt & Michelle, now newlyweds settling down into a life where Matt's corrupt aunt and uncle are gone, and his parents have returned to reclaim the GenCo business empire.
Their world when we first meet them is dinner with parents and normal, every day life, a much-needed respite after the events of The Fugitive Heir. But all of that is, of course, gone as soon as Psi Corps attempts to black bag Matt for his emerging empathic powers and press him into service. Luckily, the always prepared Connaughts have an escape plan in place and rocket through a number of set pieces until they hit Piscaine Hub, where the majority of the story takes place.
And up until Piscaine, the book is slow. We've been here before, with the flying through space, witnessing Matt & Michelle's endless sex banter, them talking over how they're going to escape the latest death trap into which they've fallen, etc. If the book had just been about this, it would have been a miserable slog. But Vogel knows how to keep things moving, and he puts them in a new situation, albeit one that sounds and feels familiar.
See, there are new people for Matt & Michelle to rescue. Only this time, it's not (just) someone else. They have to rescue themselves. It makes for a more personal narrative this time because M&M are still in the sexy afterglow part of their relationship where you're making out every chance you get and staring at your partner's body when he or she isn't looking. Their marriage, then, is still full of infinite possibility, and for it to be ripped from them because of some tyrannical intergalactic law would be terrible. So, the stakes are actually higher this time for them, and once the cat-and-mouse game inside the space station begins, with the Navy and Psi Corps tearing the place apart looking for them, the adrenaline one feels from a Henry Vogel novel starts to flow in earnest. The effect is a most pleasing sequel to a near-perfect space opera.
The best part of Vogel's work is his decision to go against the grain. Right now, a reader can't throw a virtual stick across the internet without hitting 50,000 dreary, dystopian novels. Vogel says, "Y'know what? No." His universe is a just one. Mankind in his novels is basically good. There is love in abundance; friendship is attained with kind gestures and treasured unto death. Loyalty is worth its weight in gold. And while the universe itself might be cold and unfeeling, so long as mankind is present, it can enforce its will upon the very cosmos and bring about a permanent Golden Age of compassion and decency. For some, that might be too pollyanna-ish. And yes, Vogel's books probably would not have the impact they have were publishing not a grimdark, grimdark, grimdark, grimdark world at the moment. But it is, and Vogel is an author in the right place, at the right time. His unflinching optimism is refreshing, and, as I've said before, subversive in a time where we seem to want to wallow in despair. But Vogel and his books are showing us the way, if we care to look. Darkness is a dead end, and the only way for sf to go forward right now is to remember our humanity and celebrate it, rather than salivate at the notion of gorging ourselves, like pigs at the trough, on endless dread.
- フォーマット： Kindle版
- ファイルサイズ： 1631 KB
- 推定ページ数： 204 ページ
- 同時に利用できる端末数: 無制限
- 出版社: Rampant Loon Press; 2版 (2016/7/29)
- 販売： Amazon Services International, Inc.
- 言語: 英語
- ASIN: B01JDQ4K1Q
- Text-to-Speech（テキスト読み上げ機能）: 有効
- Word Wise: 有効
- カスタマーレビュー: 評価の数 6
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