Title: Eyes of the Void
Series: The Final Architecture #2
Author: Adrian Tchaikovsky
Genre: Science Fiction
Published: May 3rd, 2022 (Orbit)
Synopsis: After eighty years of fragile peace, the Architects are back, wreaking havoc as they consume entire planets. In the past, Originator artefacts – vestiges of a long-vanished civilization – could save a world from annihilation. Yet the Architects have discovered a way to circumvent these protective relics. Suddenly, no planet is safe.
Facing impending extinction, the Human Colonies are in turmoil. While some believe a unified front is the only way to stop the Architects, others insist humanity should fight alone. And there are those who would seek to benefit from the fractured politics of war – even as the Architects loom ever closer.
Idris, who has spent decades running from the horrors of his past, finds himself thrust back onto the battlefront. As an Intermediary, he could be one of the few to turn the tide of war. With a handful of allies, he searches for a weapon that could push back the Architects and save the galaxy. But to do so, he must return to the nightmarish unspace, where his mind was broken and remade.
What Idris discovers there will change everything.
Thank you to the publisher, Orbit Books, and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Following the second battle of Berlenhof, the Architects are indubitably back and causing chaos as they begin to destroy world after world. Where in the previous war, the presence of Originator artifacts on a world provided a certain amount of protection, the Architects seem to have found a way to circumvent its protection. Every planet a target and the various groups of humans, aliens and other species are thrown into chaos as they argue about how to combat the threat. Idris, who has spent his life running away from the memories of the first war, is very much in demand to get back on the front lines as his Intermediary abilities, combined with the discovery he made about the Architects at Berlenhof, may be the only ray of hope. As various factions make a play for power in the chaotic political situation that has resulted, Idris and his allies search for a weapon that can repel the Architects, but the answer may not be what they expected.
I picked up the first book of this series, Shards of Earth, pretty much because I was in the mood for a sci-fi novel at the time and it sounded interesting, but I certainly didn’t expect to get so invested in this story! I’ve been counting down the days to this sequel and was so excited to be approved for an eARC. In some ways, I liked this book much better than the first, because so much of the world building was in place and things were making sense right from the beginning. This story is set in a really complex world that continued to expand in this installment – something I was very impressed by given how much else was going on at the same time between fighting the Architects, finding a weapon, various factions going to war with each other, some truly intriguing political scheming on all sides and much more. I was especially glad for both the very useful recap of book one that was included, and also the glossary of sorts that was a great refresher on the many species, blocs and characters involved.
At over 600 pages, Eyes of the Void was no light read. The pacing too, was significantly slower, but there was just so much going on and I was so engrossed that I didn’t struggle with it at all. Not to mention that if it had been any faster, I would have probably lost the thread of the plot and ended up horribly confused. This book certainly managed to avoid the typical second book problem areas and has provided a solid storyline going into book three while developing both the world and characters. The many character perspectives provided a well rounded look at the brewing war from all angles and everyone who has a stake in ongoing matters. Their loyalties and agendas were constantly shifting which made for not only a fascinating read but also rendered something of a mystery element to the whole thing in my opinion that kept me at the edge of my seat wondering what the next twist would be and what repercussions that might have. The crew of the Vulture God remained my favorite of the lot, a group of such diverse personalities and motives, yet united in a single goal and they were as marvellous and entertaining as ever. They often injected some sarcasm or moments of humour into the otherwise serious narrative that effectively broke up tense moments and made the dialogue a lot of fun to follow too.
There was just one little thing I didn’t like about this sequel. This series is supposed to be a trilogy, and I’m rather annoyed with the reveal at the close of this book. It just wasn’t big enough given all the buildup throughout the story, and we’re going into book 3 without the crucial question answered – who is controlling the Architects and giving them orders to carve up planets? I really expected this book to close with that revelation and give a better idea of what the final confrontation, so to speak, will look like.
Overall, this series continues to be an amazing space opera and I can’t wait to see how this story ends! Book 3 is going to be one of my most anticipated titles for next year – or atleast I hope it’s next year. I don’t think I can manage to wait any longer than that! Though it’s not one of the genres I pick up too frequently, this series is more or less setting the standard for what I’m beginning to expect in sci-fi novels and I’m hoping to try the other books by this author soon. Highly recommended!
Eyes of the Void releases on May 3rd, 2022.
Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
All quotes in this review were taken from an advance reader’s edition and may differ from the final version of the book.
Other reviews in this series: