Catalyst Gate by Megan E. O’Keefe

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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Publisher: Orbit Books

Publish Date: 24 June 2021

Page Count: 544 pages

Okay, it’s tricky writing a spoiler-free review of a sequel at the best of times, but Megan O’Keefe has made it impossible with Catalyst Gate, the conclusion of The Protectorate trilogy.

Unexpected plot twists have essentially become O’Keefe’s callsign, with all three books in this series delivering WTF moments every other chapter. So, as with my reviews of Velocity Weapon and Chaos Vector, I’m not even going to discuss the plot for fear of spoiling the fun. I recommend reading this series without even looking at the back cover.

The Protectorate is a fast-paced sci-fi adventure driven by action and intrigue while still allowing time for plenty of feels. It checks all of my SF boxes along the way (sentient spaceships, politics, mysterious space technology, queer characters and found family), making it one of my favourite series out there. Catalyst Gate was no exception to this, keeping up the pace and the stakes in a way that makes The Protectorate feel more like a serialised novel than a trilogy. The ending is as epic and satisfying as you would expect, having come to trust O’Keefe in the pilot’s chair. 

And–holy strong female lead, Batman–Sanda is such a memorable character. In fact, I love all the characters and their various, complicated relationships. 

 If you’ve already read Velocity Weapon and Chaos Vector, you won’t be disappointed with Catalyst Gate (although if you have a terrible memory like me, a quick re-read of books one and two won’t hurt). If you’re yet to start this series, I can’t recommend it enough. That’s all I can say!

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review! 

Trigger warnings: bodily harm, brainwashing, death, emotional trauma, self-harm, torture

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