cover image Neodymium Exodus

Neodymium Exodus

Jen Finelli. WordFire, $36.99 (392p) ISBN 978-1-68057-187-5

The universe is a dazzling place, and Finelli (Heartbeat in the Hallways) fully immerses readers in its strangeness with vivid descriptions of its myriad creatures and cultures in this fun, frenetic space opera. Troublemaker Lem Benzaran and Cadet Commander Jei Bereens are an unlikely pair, but they both have electromagnetic powers. Together, they’re tasked with investigating an attempted bombing by the Growen, an oppressive regime bent on uniting the galaxy into one homogenous culture under the slogan “diversity is death.” Growen captain Jared Diebol in particular is determined to eradicate the interdimensional contamination known as Njandejara. When Lem and Bereens are captured by the Growen, the Frelsi hire bounty hunter Lark Scrita to find and rescue them. Joining the search is Lem’s adopted brother, Cinta, a space-lemur. Meanwhile the Growen hire the terrifying Ebon Shadow to threaten Lem’s remaining family. Finelli’s worldbuilding is seamless, putting faith in the reader’s ability to keep up with the fast-paced romp through a wild galaxy. The threat of sexual violence adds a dark edge to proceedings, and may trigger some readers, but the fascinating characters matched with inventive biological details makes this an adventure that’s sure to enthrall. Space opera fans should snap this up.(Oct.)