Nightwatch on the Hinterlands

K. Eason. DAW, $27 (416p) ISBN 978-0-7564-1533-4
A murder launches a wild chase in Eason’s disorienting space opera, a return to the universe of her Thorne Chronicles series. Lieutenant Iari and Ambassador Gaer i’vakat’i Tarsik arrive at a bloody scene in B-Town, where an artificer, Pinjat, has been butchered. Pinjat’s cousin claims to have seen a riev escape the area after slaughtering Pinjat—an impossible scenario because riev, beings created from corpses and metal, are nonsentient and incapable of causing harm. Iari and Gaer report to Knight-Marshal Tobin, who entrusts them to find whoever must be reprogramming riev to kill civilians. Over the course of the investigation, Iari realizes that the riev are beginning to gain consciousness. Worse, she and Gaer learn that someone may have awoken Oversight, a communication network that connects all riev, and is likely planning to hack into it, enabling control of all riev at once. It’s up to Iari and Gaer to find this mastermind before they can activate a lethal army. The relationships are strong and the action scenes pack a punch, but keeping up with the onslaught of invented terminology and futuristic expletives (“oh, voidspit”) proves exhausting. Though billed as a standalone, the half-baked worldbuilding assumes a level of familiarity with this universe. Eason’s diehard fans are the best fit for this. Agent: Lisa Rodgers, JABberwocky Literary. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 07/27/2021
Release date: 10/19/2021
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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