Yoon Ha Lee does it again with creating another high stakes, complex, and very human story. This one misses my interest with the lack of o “on the ground” fighting that the previous book had. I’m a sucker for politics though and this book is chock full of it!
There’s a ton more intrigue and a lot more complexity in the first, especially as the reader tries to figure out what Jedeo has planned. This plot only becomes thicker when Cheris, fully possessed by Jedeo hijacks an entire fleet in order to continue to chase the invading Hafn. The other motives that the two individuals have will come to fruition as the story goes on.
The writing itself is not bad, but I thought the story’s pacing became terribly slow in the middle for a while, since it becomes bogged down by the planning and machinations of the various characters. I wanted more of Jedeo, but we can only receive so much without his plans becoming spoiled.
Lee writes with both a serious consideration of people, but recognizing their humanity through small glimpses of humor. And it is in these small glimpses of humor that I might appreciate his writing the most. I think overall the Machineries of Empire series is one of the most important series to have come out in the past decade for space opera/military science fiction, due to the truly strange far future humanity and how understated all of the strangeness truly is. The world building alone is astounding and one reason why I keep coming back to these books.
I will return to the hexarchate to finish this trilogy! (eventually)