Slightly Irregular Conformity

Ithaka Rising – the best kind of sequel

I finished a book this week – number 19 for the year.  Interestingly (well, to me anyways) is that it was the second in a series, and I’d finished the first one 363 days earlier, also the 19th of the year.  Patterns where there are no patterns shouldn’t entertain me this much.

Anyway, I wrote a review for it, because I want to be able to start sharing stuff that I love, and because I want to be able to figure out how to articulate things better than ‘this book was nice.  I liked this book.  You should read this book.’  Because that’s how most of my mental reviews go.  Bollocks to that.  I need to reassure myself that I can think a little deeper than that.

I’m not a fan of Goodreads, but I’ve found a relatively young book-lovers site called Leafmarks, so I’ve been using that track what I’ve been reading.  Now, I’m going to make more of an effort to review as I go, because authors need to know that they have fans.  To that end, I’m putting the review here as well, because I can.

Ithaka Rising (Halcyone Space #2), by LJ Cohen

Derelict, the first book in the series, came out last year, and became one of my favourite discoveries of the year.  This, book two, picked up the story and continued with just as much enthusiasm.

When Jem realises that his brain injury isn’t going to improve, he takes matters into his own hands and disappears, leaving his brother and friends to try and find him.  What follows is as much a journey of discovery for them as it is for him, and they realise there’s much more at stake than Jem’s chances at recovery.

The science and technology in this world is easy to come to grips with, and the politics take a back seat to the emotions and loyalties of the main characters.  Each of them have changed after the events in the first book, coming together in what feels like a natural progression, and it’s interesting to see them figure out how to work together.

The pace and tension seem really well-balanced, and it was hard to put this down between one chapter and the next.  Jem’s condition fascinated me, and I hope it’s expanded on in the next book, along with Barre’s relationship with Halcyone itself.
The ending made the story seem like a chapter in a much larger saga, and I’m already looking forward to the next part.

Verdict: 5/5 and an impatient wait for the next installment!

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