Things are not going well when the second book in The Final Architecture series, Eyes of the Void, opens. In Shards of Earth, we learned the Architects were themselves slaves, forced to destroy worlds. But the contact Idris Telemer made with the Architect isn’t stopping the destruction of planets and ships.
Idris is with the Partheni, trying to find a strain of the clones that can be made into Intermediaries without the coercion and the high death rate in the Hugh (Council of Humans) program. Solace is traveling with the Vulture God crew and they are trying to find information. The Nativists are sure the Partheni are worse than the Architects. Things that were once thought true are not anymore, if they ever were.
Second books in an ongoing series are hard to talk about because it’s hard not to spoil the first book, and there’s a lot unresolved. Eyes of the Void does what a middle book is supposed to do. It advances the plot, reveals new information, ratchets up the stakes, and sets up the conclusion.
Tchaikovsky does such a great job of immersing us in characters and situations that feel like they exist beyond the bounds of the page. From passages of contemplation to bursts of action, the plot feels lived in. I enjoy the characters so much. Idris is the most important human in the universe, but so many people and institutions see him only as a commodity. The crew of the Vulture God, Solace, and even Haever Mundy are doing their best with what they have as alliances and allegiances shift. They don’t lose track of what’s at stake – all of life, human and alien, in the universe. There were so many moments when I said, “Oh sh*t” out loud while I was reading. I’m really looking forward to Lords of Uncreation next year.
CW: lots of violence and death, a religious cult, public whipping, war, betrayal
I received this as an advance reader copy from Orbit Books via NetGalley. My opinions are my own.