I was approached about joining the ARC team for this series last fall and ended up really enjoying the first three books. Imagine my surprise when I received the latest newsletter announcing there would be another trilogy!
At the end of Book 3, Rath's Reckoning, our heroes more or less wrapped things up in terms of their ongoing battle with the ruthless Janus Group. But nothing can change the regrettable things they did while in the employ of the Guild. Rath's Trial essentially deals with the aftermath: Rath trying to atone for his sins, Paisen trying to stay one step ahead of the law as she continues leading independent operations, Beauceron trying to regain some sense of normalcy in his life, Dasi trying to find new ways to make a difference...and the corrupt powers-that-be frantically trying to pick up the pieces leftover from their precious operation.
These stories are more or less cyberpunk political thrillers. There's action and intrigue and espionage, there's also scheming and powermongering. I admittedly struggle a bit with all the corrupt politicians simply because those aspects aren't really my cup of tea, but the other elements make up for it. There's a certain simplicity about the writing in these books that make them quick, fun reads, but there's enough complexity that you're left wanting more and you find yourself drawn closer and closer to the characters the further you progress.
Realistically I probably would have rated this book 4 stars, as I'm not sure if I enjoyed it quite as much as the original three, but revisiting all of these characters was so fun that I'm bumping it up half a star. Rath has grown on me with every book and continues to display intelligence and resourcefulness even when in adverse situations that don't require direct action. Paisen is cautious but still as badass as ever. It's neat to see her in a leadership position in this book, willingly working with others and having those people look up to her. Her bluntness and snark never fail to entertain me. Beauceron and Dasi have also both seem a lot of growth, but developments in Dasi's arc in particular has piqued my interest, and it will be cool to see how working with an AI changes her role. A few new characters are also introduced, some allies, some enemies, and some who leave us with many questions. Time will only tell where they fall on the spectrum.
Looking forward to the next installment!
About Piers Platt:
“I grew up in Boston, but spent most of my childhood in various boarding schools, including getting trained as a classical singer at a choir school for boys. I joined the Army in 2002, and spent four years on active duty, including a year-long deployment to Iraq in 2004 as a tank and scout platoon leader.
When I’m not spending time with my lovely wife and daughter, I’m frantically working on my next book.
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