Publisher: Orbit Books
Publish Date: 28 July 2020
Page Count: 546 pages
“We all have our one… The one person you’d burn the universe down to save, or to condemn.”
“And do we get one of each?”
She smiled to herself, tight and strained. “No. Life’s never that clean.”
I recently read the first instalment in The Protectorate series, now one of my all-time favourite sci-fi books due to O’Keefe’s loveable characters, sarcastic sense of humour and knack for devising a completely unpredictable storyline. I was therefore extremely excited to jump straight into an advanced copy of CHAOS VECTOR.
If Velocity Weapon blew your mind, CHAOS VECTOR will scrape your remaining brain goo off the floor and launch it into space to be vaporised with a full complement of laser guns.
While the standout feature of Velocity Weapon is the twisting storyline and unexpected plot, I wasn’t anticipating this experience to continue in CHAOS VECTOR, thinking it an unrealistic expectation to have of any sequel. At first, this was more or less accurate as O’Keefe dives into the aftermath of the closing events in Velocity Weapon and delivers more of her signature intrigue and political espionage. But very soon I found I was quite wrong.
I have no idea how O’Keefe has mined so many fantastic ideas and deployed them all cohesively without relying on suspiciously convenient plot devices, but she did, and the result is incredibly fun. I had butterflies in my stomach as this book reached its climax which, despite all of my best efforts to predict, caught me entirely by surprise. The closing chapters of CHAOS VECTOR are both thrilling and satisfying, while impossibly leaving key questions to be answered in the next instalment.
“Essential communications only,” Sanda said. An emoji middle finger popped up in her text display. Despite herself, she grinned.
CHAOS VECTOR continues the three POVs from Velocity Weapon delivered in the same punchy, short chapter format. There are many familiar faces, and I was pleased to get to know Arden, Nox, Tomas and Graham a little better. New, likeable characters fill out an endearing little space crew. O’Keefe manages to create compelling characters in between all the conspiracies and action, so I hope there is time to explore their relationships further in the next book.
O’Keefe also introduces some new sci-fi elements in this instalment like the virtual interface internet and some pretty epic space warfare scenes that will please any hard space opera fan.
I realise I haven’t actually provided any plot details, but I promise this isn’t out of laziness. Rather, I assume that if you’ve read Velocity Weapon, CHAOS VECTOR is already high up your To Be Read list, and if you’re new to The Protectorate, I don’t want to spoil any of the details. If this review has piqued your interest check out the first chapter of Velocity Weapon for free on the Orbit website.
I began this review by boasting about my early access to CHAOS VECTOR which will be published 30th July, so I’ll conclude by complaining that I have to wait almost a whole month longer than most people to get my hands on the next instalment.
Thank you to Netgalley and Orbit for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, and congratulations to Megan E. O’Keefe on another fantastic novel.
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