Book Review: Abysm by G.S. Jennsen
Abysm is the sixth installment in G.S. Jennsen's epic Aurora Rhapsody series, and the final book in the Aurora Renegades trilogy. These three middle books in the series have dealt with the ramifications of the alien Metigen War from the first trilogy and the integration of human/artificaial intelligence hybrids known as "Prevos" into society. I think I mentioned this in my review of Dissonance, but as a social work student, I'm a huge nerd for stories that explore social issues like this and how drastic changes to society (such as the introduction of Prevos) can influence individuals, politics, and the world - or in this case, the universe. The OTS-induced riot on Romane and everything surrounding it were some of my favorite scenes in the story. Things drifted a little more towards the political in Abysm, but that's understandable. Furthermore, it was handled well enough that for perhaps the first time ever, I didn't find myself getting annoyed by the politics in a book or eager to get on with the "real" story. In many ways, the politics were the real story, and it was exciting to see Miriam Solovy really shine in those sections. Her verbal sparring with various characters in the story, including fanatical Prime Minister Pamela Winslow, is wickedly fun to read.
Over the course of the series, I have come to enjoy and appreciate the very nuanced, very real relationships dynamics between all of the characters. Not just the key players, but the minor ones as well. I imagine that can't be easy to pull off when you have such a large cast of characters, but Jennsen does it spectacularly. As always, it's the relationship between Caleb and Alex that's really the heart and soul of these books for me, and that was definitely true in Abysm as well. The personal challenges they both have to face here are heartbreaking to watch - so heartbreaking that I actually cried during one particular scene, which I suspect may have been the author's goal, so, good job.
The ending was wonderful, tying up the main conflict of Aurora Renegades while introducing new questions and conflict for the overarching series. I honestly can't wait to see what G.S. Jennsen has in store for these characters next. It's sure to be an exciting ride.