cover image Eyes of the Void

Eyes of the Void

Adrian Tchaikovsky. Orbit, $28 (608p) ISBN 978-0-316-70587-5

Tchaikovsky again shines with his suspenseful second Final Architecture space opera (after Shards of Earth). The Architects, moon-size alien entities who destroyed Earth 50 years prior, have returned, and Idris, a genetically enhanced Intermediary able to traverse the void of unspace, is one of the few capable of communicating with them. After learning that the architects are slaves to an unknown force that commands them to destroy planets, Idris makes for the planet Arc Pallator to investigate the ruins left by the ancient Originator race, the only artifacts known to repel the Architects. He’s then kidnapped by a cyborg, a parasitic alien, and a mad scientist and brought to the irradiated planet Criccieth’s Hell, which houses the only known functional Originator laboratory. As an Intermediary, Idris alone can use an ancient Machine left by the Originators to peer into the unspace—where he makes a startling discovery about the relationship between the Architects, the Originators, and unspace itself. Meanwhile, the Parthenon, a cloned race of militant women, work to understand their connection to the Intermediaries. Tchaikovsky’s intelligent worldbuilding captures the essence of classic space opera, with an intricate plot that whisks readers along on a humorous, sometimes convoluted, but always memorable adventure. Series fans will be eager for more. Agent: Simon Kavanagh, Mic Cheetham Agency. (May)