Rating: 1 star
This was honestly just a bunch of nonsense. The timeline and pacing were so incomprehensible that at some point, I just checked out and stopped trying to make sense of anything. A lot of this wouldn’t have been so much of a problem if the scale hadn’t been widened to include the entire galaxy. Honestly, I bet more randos got their second in the spotlight than the actual main characters got perspectives. And what was it with the head-hopping! Oh my goodness! I understand a little head-hopping. I don’t mind it as much as most people do, but it was too frequent and too much. Just stick to someone for more than like 4 sentences! Is that so hard?
Y’all know I have issues with the worldbuilding in this series, so suffice it to say that it got worse and the things that made some sense in Thunderhead stopped making sense. Themes? Don’t know her. Consistency? Never heard of it. Common sense? Now you’re just making up words.
The plot. Ughdfgfkgjkj the plot. With the pacing a veritable alphabet soup of confusion, the plot was lost somewhere along the way. Probably in a montage.
Considering the fact that the ending of Thunderhead was the only sequence I’ve liked in this series, I had some actual hopes and expectations for the opening of this book. But he decided to go the boring scenic route and have every little thing be explained beforehand via cartoon villain Goddard and passive af Grayson and all the 5 million randos so that the literal main characters can have their underwater beauty rest. I thought there would be, idk, intrigue and mystery and *gasp!* narrative tension, but instead I got whatever this was. As for the rest of the book, I read it but I honestly can’t tell you what happened. Like I said, I checked out. The ending was on the Extras by Scott Westerfeld level of straight up dumb. I’m a little upset about it.
The characters that weren’t shipyard randos were boring. Even the ones I’d liked before were stupid and boring. Grayson was boring. Rowan was boring. The Thunderhead was weirdly emo. The characters I didn’t like before were also boring, so yay! Citrus was still the sourest lemon of them all and yet also apparently the hottest because everyone was in love with her for literally no reason.
New “character” Jerico was a weird token who apparently had to mention or have others comment on how they’re ~so nonbinary~ in literally every single scene they were in as if they were contractually obliged to be an internet meme vegan. As literally the only LGBTQ+ rep in the series, they were a token, not a character, and a super weird one at that. Why were they so exotic and strange and enigmatic and ooh wow the sun covered the clouds so they changed gender! I’m sorry, but that feels like Shusterman is making fun of nonbinary people instead of respecting them as actual human beings. Better to do the bare minimum than that disaster rep.
Weirdly, the only characters I liked were Munira and Ayn Rand. They should have a buddy cop spin off series in which they solve historical mysteries and Rand kills anyone who gets in the way of Munira’s research. Except someone other than Shusterman should write it because evidently, he can’t write.
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