Tuesday, April 13, 2021

A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine

I loved loved loved A Memory Called Empire when it came out.  It was stunning and wonderful and I didn’t want it to end.  It was everything I wanted in a space opera - politics and romance and space stations and aliens beyond the edge of known space.  It brought back all of those good Babylon 5 feels.  I was thrilled when it won the Hugo (in a very tough, competitive year) and I was dying to read the sequel.   I was thrilled when Tor and NetGalley gave me an eARC in exchange for an honest review.  But I was afraid.  Could it possibly live up to my personal expectations? 


Yes it did.


The author really opened up the universe by adding in other point of view characters, so it’s not just Ambassador Dzmare, but also Three Seagrass, the 90% imperial clone Eight Antidote, and a new character.  Those mysterious alien threats from beyond known space? It’s all about them! It’s a marvelous First Contact story, it’s a love story, it’s a political story, it’s a military story, it’s ALL I want from space opera, basically all I want from science fiction. It’s a practically perfect book and the worst part about it was that it ended and I don’t know when/if there will be a followup.  This book will be on my Hugo ballot for sure.  

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