Saturday, January 29, 2022

Heaven's Door

Heaven's Door (The Messenger, #8)Heaven's Door by J.N. Chaney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the eighth installment of J.N. Chaney and Terry Maggert’s The Messenger series, Newton “Dash” Sawyer and the Cygnus Realm that he leads intend to take their war to the enemies of all life, the Golden, with their operating base, the Forge, constantly cranking out new and upgraded weaponry. The book focuses on his attempted alliance with the alien race Rin-ti, who yearn to be free from Golden control. The novel begins proper with Dash exploring a jungle planet and salvaging a probe, after which he seeks help from the Telorum Syndicate, headed by an Overseer who is initially hostile towards the Cygnus Realm’s fleet.

Dash eventually meets with Bercale, leader of the Telorum Syndicate, with their anti-missiles proving useful in whatever battles erupt throughout the book. However, indicators of sabotage within the Forge abound, and Dash discovers a substation within the Forge, with minesweepers suggested to deal with whatever mines the enemy lays. The Cygnus Alliance soon meets a serpentine race known as the Rin-ti, who are at war with the militant Waunsik, with a subgroup of the Rin-ti known as Far-Flung allied with the Golden. Towards the end of the novel, upgrades to Dash’s mech, the Archetype, become possible.

Overall, book eight of the series proves to be just as enjoyable as its precursors, with plentiful science-fiction mythos and actions in the form of well-described battles, references to Old Earth sometimes coming within the text. There are occasional stylistic issues within the story such as a few inconsistent capitalizations of “the” before the location known as Three Fangs, and those who have played various sci-fi-centric videogames will likely note the somewhat-derivative nature of the plotline. Regardless, things such as the book description before the primary text get readers up to speed with the literary franchise, and I definitely wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.

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