Thursday, December 9, 2021

The Dark Between

The Dark Between (The Messenger #2)The Dark Between by J.N. Chaney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The second entry of J.N. Chaney and Terry Maggert’s The Messenger series opens with protagonist Dash Sawyer aboard the space station Passage, where his ship the Slipwing and mech Archetype are, with an introduction to Leira’s mechanic cousin, Amy Anson, who agrees to repair Dash’s vessel on an IOU. The crew agrees to fly to the Archetype’s place of origin, a space station known as the Forge, whose security system activates once the Slipwing approaches it, although they do make it aboard and explore. There they learn about the eponymous Dark Between, between real space and unSpace.

Dash seeks power cores to increase the strength of the Archetype, having one, although he learns that the Forge cannot produce them, and the space station eventually finds itself under attack by alien vessels, with forewarning of more attacks, and a level two power core deemed necessary to withstand another assault, expected within three days. Dash and his companions debate on how to proceed, and ultimately proceed to planet Shylock, where they find an order of monks that expected the coming of the Messenger, and many of them, spearheaded by Kai, join the crew of the Slipwing.

Battle and its aftermath conclude the events of the book, which is overall just as satisfying as the first one, sure to please fans of science-fiction and even similarly-themed videogames such as Xenogears and Xenosaga, not to mention anime such as Gundam and Neon Genesis Evangelion. Granted, the second entry like its precursor seem somewhat derivative of said franchises outside literature, and while characters such as Conover receive good development and even a bit of backstory, luminaries such as crewmember Viktor somewhat seem to lack depth. Regardless, those who liked the first story in the series will most likely enjoy the second.

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