The first book in this loosely-connected series was my first touch of Sci-Fi/Fantasy mix. The second book followed a new set of characters and an old enemy. This one takes place 200 years later, with (almost) all-new cast.
The first book started like an alien invasion. The second one with a mad scientist and soldier suffering from some form of PTSD. The third one blows this out of water with much heavier ordnance: genocide and death camps. Thus, the first portion is not really good for reading before sleep. I’d definitely consider it 18+ stuff and the sex scenes would be the very last reason for doing so.
As the characters in three PoVs get a taste of what’s going on behind the scenes of propagandistic lies, the books picks up the pace with a mix of combat and politics. Each of the characters have some ties to more or less recent events and some major motive, of which the major antagonist is on completely different level.
With the stakes increasing, the book dives into action, mostly in the form of Sci-Fi aerial combat. It also comes down to reveal more about the backstory and motivations of the characters – which are wowen together quite well. At this point, all I’ll say the book’s pace went into overdrive and held me until the end, wanting to see how it’ll all go down.
As for the other aspects, there’s also a good share of references to (in)famous lines, whether historical (“just following orders”, “doing it for our children”) or seen in movies (“old, not obsolete” from Terminator: Genisys).
Another greatly executed moment was the time when the Empress is described as being ‘three steps ahead’ – and the way the chapters before and after those words show this is excellent: the move she does before this is said about her seems strange but, after that line and the coming reveals, it falls in place perfectly.
I am going 5% up from the first two books and maybe it might deserve a 100 considering how much the other half gripped me. I would have read it faster if not for two things: I started reading an evening before a hike and the beginning is NOT good for bedtime reading. And I have poor experience with reading longer into the night which led me to splitting the ending into two days. The whole book took me probably around 6 hours to devour.