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eARC Review: Echo of Worlds by M.R. Carey

Release date:  25 June 2024

Rating:  5/5

Book box(es):  Inkstone SE 

Synopsis:  From the author of the bestselling The Girl With All the Gifts comes the thrilling conclusion to the spectacular Pandominion duology, an exhilarating science fiction story perfect for fans of The Space Between WorldsThe Long Earth, and Children of Time.


Two mighty empires are at war - and both will lose, with thousands of planets falling to the extinction event called the Scour. At least that's what the artificial intelligence known as Rupshe believes.

 

But somewhere in the multiverse there exists a force - the Mother Mass - that could end the war in an instant, and Rupshe has assembled a team to find it. Essien Nkanika, a soldier trying desperately to atone for past sins; the cat-woman Moon, a conscienceless killer; the digitally recorded mind of physicist Hadiz Tambuwal; Paz, an idealistic child and the renegade robot spy Dulcimer Coronal.


Their mission will take them from the hellish prison world of Tsakom to the poisoned remains of a post-apocalyptic Earth, and finally bring them face to face with the Mother Mass itself. But can they persuade it to end eons of neutrality and help them? And is it too late to make a difference?


Because the Pandominion's doomsday machines are about to be unleashed - and not even their builders know how to control them.

 

Review


Around the 25% mark, I really thought I would negatively review this book because of a plot device.  I should have had more faith in Carey; not only did everything turn out okay, but the book, which falls solidly into the hard Scifi genre, turned out amazingly and dazzlingly fantastic.  All the characters we met in Infinity Gate team up in this concluding  second half, and though the first installment had a rough beginning, Echo of Worlds boasts all action and storyline.  No info dump.  No lag.  All pure rocket propulsion from one end of the book to the other.


The beautiful ragtag group we meet in Infinity Gate gets friendly and familiar in this one.  The found family trope holds a solid place in the top 5 of my favorite tropes list, and Carey does the trope here with a massive amount of style.  None of the folks in this group should form a cohesive unit.  Moon hates everyone.  Nkanika feels a sense of loyalty toward Tambuwal because of past circumstances.  Paz and Dulcie make a completely odd pair:  one is a machine spy and the other is quite a young and innocent self.  And Rupshe—can Rupshe really be trusted?


I honestly thought this one would have a deus ex machine solution for the conflict in the book—early on, I really did think it would go that way, and I lost a bit of interest in anticipation.  I stuck with the book, though, and ended up rewarded for my efforts because the ending was brilliant—though I felt I could have had a bit more details in the “epilogues,” but I can’t help that; I just love the characters so much.  


Overall, 5 beautiful stars/5.  The solid pacing and fantastic characters really made the book so enjoyable for me.  Though it was particularly hard on the science, I find I don’t mind that so much in my Scifi as long as there’s a compelling story as the carrier, and Echo of Worlds really brought the story.  Infinity Gate was a bit of a slog for me, as the whole first half of the book dumped a lot of info and didn’t really get anywhere.  Even so, I bought a copy of the book because loads of people tout Carey as amazing, and a bunch of Scifi nerds can’t be all wrong at the same time. 


My thanks to Orbit and Hachette via NetGalley for the eARC, for which I willingly give my own, honest opinion.


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