Nophek Gloss and Azura Ghost (Orbit, 2020 and 2021). Covers by Mike Heath
I seem to have increased the amount of space opera in my diet. I think it’s because there happen to be so many good series on the go — from Becky Chambers Wayfarers books to Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch trilogy, from Alastair Reynolds’ Revelation Space to James S.A. Corey’s Expanse, Derek Künsken’s Quantum Evolution to Megan E. O’Keefe’s Protectorate trilogy.
But the one I’m excited about at the moment is Essa Hansen’s The Graven, the tale of one man and his sentient starship. Mostly because the second book, Azura Ghost, arrives next week. We covered the first volume, Nophek Gloss, last year. Not only has Hansen created an exciting space opera series, but she’s also mixed in the other hot SF theme de jour — the concept of the multiverse — spreading her tale across a rich canvas of parallel universes.
Library Journal gave the first volume a starred review:
Teenager Caiden has only known his life serving the overseers, until they betray his people in a horrific massacre that destroys his entire world but opens him to the multiverse that actually exists. Rescued by a crew of unusual salvagers and a mysterious ship that can exist in its own universe, Caiden focuses on his own fury and exacting vengeance for his family…
Hansen’s marvelous debut is a fast-paced, action-filled ride through the multiverse, introducing a complex found family of gender- and neurodiverse characters.
Here’s the publisher’s description for Book 2:
Caiden has been on the run for ten years in order to keep his Graven ship out of the hands of his old adversary, Threi. But when a childhood friend he once thought dead reappears to take it, he is lured into a game of hunter and hunted with the one person whose powers rival Threi’s; his sister, Abriss.
Now to have a fighting chance against the most influential siblings in the multiverse, Caiden is left with no choice. He must unlock the Azura’s true potential — which means finally confronting his own mysterious genetic origins.
Azura Ghost will be published by Orbit Books on February 1, 2022. It is 528 pages, priced at $17.99 in trade paperback and $9.99 in digital formats.
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