Picking up virtually right where Exin Ex Machina left off, Of a Darker Void gets the ball rolling by immediately plunging our heroes into all sorts of new trouble, and it doesn’t let up until the final page (and even then…).
EEM introduced us to Nika and Dashiel, two characters separated by a tragedy and reunited in their quest to solve a series of mysteries…mysteries that in turn exposed a much larger and more sinister secret than either of them expected. A secret that originally contributed to Nika’s psyche-wipe and caused the two of them to be separated in the first place. A secret that has impacted thousands of lives across the galaxy and is on the verge of impacting thousands more. And as Nika struggles to fix all of these problems, she’s still struggling to fix herself. As reader and writer who’s a complete sucker for broken characters (psshh, who, me?), this makes the story all the more interesting.
Void includes more space travel than EEM did, so it has a little more of a space opera feel to it (but with all the same cyberpunk elements, of course). New worlds are visited, and more of Amaranthe’s alien races are introduced, but despite these things, the story still has a close-knit feel, as opposed to the Aurora Rhapsody series that was on such a big scale all the time. Yes, AR had plenty of mysteries to be solved as well, but I think the difference is that the mysteries here in ANR are so personal to the characters. They either were/are involved directly or else have some sort of individual stake in the issues. I think that makes for a unique story and continues to create contrast between the two series, even though they take place in the same universe.
The technology the characters use also never ceases to fascinate me. You would think that in a setting where the options for technology and tools are virtually limitless, it would be easy to use these things as plot devices and allow the characters to succeed too much. But that’s never the case here. Where the heroes are capable of one thing, the villains are capable of something else, and it’s always very imaginative.
And while G.S. Jennsen always creates great lead characters, one of my favorite things about her books is how she also creates compelling side characters. Sometimes I even find myself rooting for the secondary characters more than the leads! And better yet, they all have unique voices and personalities that make them jump off the page as if they’re real people. One of the neat things here in Void is that some very unexpected combinations of characters with different views and backgrounds end up sharing “screen time” and working together, which made for some really fun dynamics.
I—and the characters—still have a million questions about what will happen next, and I can’t wait to find out.
About G.S. Jennsen
G. S. Jennsen lives in Colorado with her husband and two dogs. She has written ten novels, all published by her imprint, Hypernova Publishing. She has become an internationally bestselling author since her first novel, Starshine, was published in March 2014. She has chosen to continue writing under an independent publishing model to ensure the integrity of the Aurora Rhapsody series and her ability to execute on the vision she’s had for it since its genesis.
While she has been a lawyer, a software engineer and an editor, she’s found the life of a full-time author preferable by several orders of magnitude. When she isn’t writing, she’s gaming or working out or getting lost in the Colorado mountains that loom large outside the windows in her home. Or she’s dealing with a flooded basement, or standing in a line at Walmart reading the tabloid headlines and wondering who all of those people are. Or sitting on her back porch with a glass of wine, looking up at the stars, trying to figure out what could be up there.