cover image The Second Rebel

The Second Rebel

Linden A. Lewis. Skybound, $27 (352p) ISBN 978-1-982127-02-2

The action-packed second space opera in Lewis’s First Sister trilogy (after 2020’s First Sister) skillfully maneuvers major players into position for the final installment while still constituting a satisfying story in itself. Astrid, now First Sister of Ceres, vies for more power, but becomes compromised by the very corruption she’s working to root out. Meanwhile, Hiro val Akira, exiled and trapped in a painful cyborg body, throws in their lot with a smuggling ring on the free station of Autarkeia, and must contend with forces bent on infiltration. And Lito sol Lucius, now a figurehead for the Aster rebellion, flees with a rescued operative, while back on Venus, Lito’s sister, Lucinia, risks all to carry on her brother’s work by stealing from her employers at the nefarious Val Akira labs. Replete with espionage, high-speed chases, and fight scenes, Lewis’s sophomore effort demonstrates a knack for building tension, while also adding layers of worldbuilding complexity to deliver some genuine surprises. With fascinating morally gray characters and sensitive representations of body dysphoria and disability, plus high stakes and themes of rebellion, sacrifice, and the greater good, this is a solid pick for space opera fans. [em]Agent: Alexandra Machinist, ICM Partners. (Aug.) [/em]