A Broken Darkness
Mohamed’s thrilling, intricate sequel to Beneath the Rising
picks up a year and a half after the events of the first book. Nick Prasad, driven by hatred for his former best friend, genius inventor Joanna “Johnny” Chambers, has joined the mystical Ssarati Society to help monitor magical threats against Earth. Mohamed’s lush, intense prose bewitches as Nick volunteers to spy on Johnny at the unveiling of her new reactor. When the party is overrun by monsters, Nick’s convinced that the eldritch horrors known as Them are back, having found a way to bypass Johnny’s spell that destroyed the gates between their worlds. Now Nick coerces Johnny to let him help her uncover how They are getting through. Johnny’s scientific theories can be difficult to parse, as their quest takes them through chaotic alternate dimensions, but they result in one of the more convincing scientific frameworks for the existence of magic. New readers won’t want to jump in with this volume, but existing fans will be thrilled as Mohamed builds to an exhilarating finale. Expertly melding sci-fi, horror, and literary elements, this is an astounding examination of a shattered friendship. Agent: Michael Curry, Donald Maass Literary. (Mar).