I’ve read many of G.S. Jennsen’s books over the years, and while I’ve loved all of them, I knew almost as soon as I started reading Exin Ex Machina that Nika’s story was going to be one of my favorites. Flash forward to now when I find myself at the conclusion of this trilogy, and suffice it to say, I am not disappointed. Far, far from it.
The Stars Like Gods (I LOVE that title) starts out a little slower than I had anticipated, just based on where we left the characters at the end of Of a Darker Void. But I really appreciated having a little time to get reacquainted with the characters and their world and to explore some of the character relationships a little further. I found myself tearing up more than once as the characters struggled with emotional and relational conflicts with stakes that felt just as high as they were in the overarching Rasu conflict.
That conflict is handled really well, too. The deadline the characters are given keeps the plot moving and forces them to make tough decisions and figure out creative solutions, and it’s always fun to see characters navigate those kinds of challenges. Things got really intense towards the end, and there’s one particular scene in there (chapter 51) that was handled so spectacularly I just…I have no words.
There are a lot of great revelations here for people who are familiar with Jennsen’s earlier work. (And if you’re not, you should stop reading this review and go catch up right now.) The biggest one comes at the end, and while I mostly saw it coming, it will still be really interesting to see what Jennsen does with her stories going forward.
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