Book Review: Of A Darker Void by G. S. Jennsen
After starting G. S. Jennsen's new cyberpunk series with the release of Exin Ex Machina this past summer, I was immediately hooked, so it's no surprise that this book became one of my most anticipated reads of 2018. As much as I loved Jennsen's previous Aurora Rhapsody books, there's just something about the characters in the Asterion Noir series that grabbed me from the very beginning, and coming back to their story and their world in this book was everything I could have hoped it would be. It's honestly a little hard for me to figure out how to write this review because I basically spent a little more than 48 hours flying through the pages as fast as I could between all of my other life obligations. It's all a bit of a blur now and I definitely need to go back and reread the book from the beginning sometime soon so I can take my time and really enjoy it, but man, what a freaking ride! I can say one thing for sure: I loved every second of it.
Of A Darker Void explores the questions raised in Exin Ex Machina to unravel a sinister mystery and reveal answers that force every character in the book to make some pretty drastic decisions. While the stakes were already high in the first book, we didn't really understand why that was, which meant we (and the characters themselves) didn't realize just how bad things really were until now. And maybe we still don't. There are a lot of questions that have yet to be answered, and I'm already looking forward to the information the characters will uncover in the next book.
Nika and Dashiel take center stage here yet again, which was great because I love them both. Especially Nika. She's easily my favorite. It was an emotional journey watching them both navigate the complexities of their relationship and, in Nika's case, her very identity. However, I also really appreciated the way the secondary characters were fleshed out and took on a life of their own in this book. They were good characters in the first book, too, but here it seemed like we really got to know some of them better and understand their relationships with each other, as well as the things that motivated them and how far each of them were willing to go to do what they thought was right. I tend to be a little hesitant about books with more than 3-4 point of view characters, but Jennsen balances her cast wonderfully, and I felt a lot more invested in some of the secondary characters' personal journeys than I expected to.
This series has quickly become one of my favorites, and Jennsen continues to be a phenomenal storyteller. I have no more words to really express how much I love this story, so all I'll add is this: If you enjoy cyberpunk sci-fi and you aren't already reading this series, you need to start, like yesterday.