Azura Ghost

Essa Hansen. Orbit, $17.99 trade paper (528p) ISBN 978-0-316-43068-5
The second time proves less of a charm in Hansen’s splintered second Graven space opera (after Nophek Gloss), which continues the machinations of supercharged beings across multiple pocket universes. After 10 years as a freelance problem solver, Caiden Winn discovers that his childhood friend, Leta, was not killed in a massacre as he thought, but survived to become a special operative for Dynast Prime Abriss, the most powerful person in the largest universe, Unity. Caiden attempts to free Leta from Abriss’s employ—and keep Abriss from freeing her own brother, Threi, Caiden’s onetime mentor and current prisoner—but soon realizes he’ll need the help of his former crew mates to succeed. Worse, he discovers that saving Leta from Abriss’s service may require dipping into the coercive mental powers granted to him by his link to the ancient Graven technology he despises, but which both Abriss and Threi seek. Hansen brings in a lot of backstory in this volume, with Leta assuming an important voice, but the additional viewpoints and the extension of the characters’ abilities to shift through space and time complicate the story without adding to the human element. There’s far more emotional impact when Leta and Caiden are allowed to simply sit and reminisce. This is strictly for series fans. Agent: Naomi Davis, Bookends Literary. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 11/23/2021
Release date: 02/01/2022
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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