Having read Kevin J. Anderson’s ‘The Saga of Seven Suns’, I was thrilled to see that he’d extend this tale with a whole new series. ‘The Saga of Shadows’ begins with ‘The Dark Between the Stars’; this Hugo nominated novel is a direct follow-on from the last book in the previous series, ‘The Ashes of Worlds’.
The book starts with Garrison Reeves stealing a ship from Iswander Industries, a Roamer family who have a lava processing facility on the world of Sheol. Garrison foresees a disaster happening on the planet, yet the owner of the Roamer company, Lee Iswander, has ignored his countless warnings and evidence. Convinced of his finding and seeing no other option Garrison takes his son, Seth, with him in his escape in a stolen ship – without informing his wife, Elisa, of his intentions. When she discovers what Garrison has done, Elisa gives chase; behind them, Sheol indeed suffers the catastrophe that Garrison predicted.
While pursuing her wayward husband and son, Elisa opens fire on his ship in an attempt to cripple it and, in her eyes, rescue Seth. But instead of stopping the vessel she manages to hit a group of strange spheres known as the bloaters. Believing that both son and husband were killed in the resulting explosion, Elisa discovers the bloaters contain an extremely pure form of star drive fuel, known as ekti, hence the explosion that destroyed her wayward husband’s vessel. With this information, she returns to her boss, Lee Iswander, who has suffered catastrophic losses due to the tragedy at Sheol. As a loyal and valued employee, Elisa hands her ekti discovery over to Lee, so that Iswander Industries can start up again and make good their losses and reputation.
Peace in the universe is threatened by the return of the Shana Rei, a race of shadowy creatures with whom the alien Ildirans had fought long ago, the dark history of which has long been hidden. The Klikkis robots raise their angry heads once more and join forces with the Shana Rei. So begins ‘The Saga of Shadows’.
Filled with subplots, the Elemental races, and the alliance between humanity and Ildirans, this is a space opera that scifi fans will love and want more of. Anderson is without doubt a superb writer, for this is an easy and gripping read. The way he ends each chapter with a hook, before moving on is admirable and leaves readers keen to read on.
This is a book I’d highly recommend.
Kevin J. Anderson, writer of X-Files, Star Wars and co-author of the Dune prequels doesn’t disappoint. This is one of those books that grabs you which readers will love.