Review: Empress of the Sun – Ian McDonald.

empressEmpress of the Sun is the third installment in the Everness series. But, if you’ve somehow missed the first two installments there’s still some promise to be found without the backup knowledge. The characters seem a little lacking in depth in some cases, but that presumably lies in the books before. So basically, if you can forgive a few little things like that, then you’re golden. If you can’t: hop on back two books and start there!

Making a Heisenberg Jump to an alternate earth, the crew find themselves in a place they could barely imagine: a discworld. The Jiju have millions of years on humans in terms of technology, having evolved greatly. War feels almost inevitable, and Everness lands right in the midst of the brewing tension between the Dityu and Febreen empires.

The book offers insights into not only Earth, but the parallel versions. One has no oil, another is full of telepathic twins. It has some points that might grind people: the use of iPads and common technology despite jumping between universes is one that stands out. But there are some interesting plot points, with Charlotte Villiers’ quest for the Infundibulum – which has codes for all the parallel universes – spices up the plot by offering you the option to choose sides.

A nice little sci-fi adventure for youngsters, with young characters who deal with both the inter-galactical and the completely ordinary. But perhaps don’t make the mistake I did and hop on at the third book in the series. Whoops!

[★★★.5]

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