January 28, 2023

Save the Net Books

Blogazine on Books, Arts, and Music

The best books of this week

Set in the same universe as Everina Maxwell’s hit debut Winter’s Orbit, Ocean’s Echo is a standalone space adventure about a link that will change the fate of worlds.

Rich socialite, die-hard flirt, and walking disaster, Tennalhin Halkana can read minds. Tennal, like all neuromodified “readers”, is itself a security threat. But when controlled, readers are a rare commodity. As well as being able to read minds, they can also navigate the chaotic space, the maelstroms that surround the gateway to the wider universe.

Tennal is drafted into the military under dubious circumstances and placed in the care of Lieutenant Surit Yeni, a dutiful soldier, principled leader, and son of a notorious traitor general. While Tennal can read minds, Surit can influence them. Like all other neuromodified “Architects,” he can impose his will on others, and he has orders to control Tennal by merging their minds.

Surit, out of desperation, accepted a suspicious promotion track request, but he refuses to carry out his illegal commands to sync and control a disagreeing Tennal. So they lie: they fake a synch bind and plot Tennal’s escape.

Her best shot comes with a salvage mission into chaotic space — into the very neuromodification lab that Surit’s treacherous mother destroyed 20 years ago. And beneath the rubble lies a treasure that is as terrifying as it is unimaginably powerful, turning a decades-old power struggle on its head and starting a war.

Tennal and Surit can no longer leave their unit or their world. The only way to avoid life under complete military control is to complete the very synchronization they faked.

Can Two Involuntary Weapons of War Bring Peace?

Reasons to read: If you loved Winter’s Orbit, you might enjoy the second part of the series even more! Queer romance is a big part of the story here, but there’s also a compelling military plot. Plus, the main character, Tennal, is wonderfully chaotic, which serves as a nice counterbalance to Surit’s meticulous rule-following.