Lee's best friend went missing on Bodmin Moor, four years ago. She and Mal were chasing rumours of monsters when they found something all too real. Now Mal is back, but where has she been, and who is she working for?
When government physicist Kay Amal Khan is attacked, the security services investigate. This leads
MI5's Julian Sabreur deep into terrifying new territory, where he clashes with mysterious agents
of an unknown power—who may or may not be human. And Julian's only clue is some grainy
footage—showing a woman who supposedly died on Bodmin Moor.
Khan's extradimensional research was purely theoretical, until she found cracks between our
world and countless others. Parallel Earths where monsters live. These cracks are getting
wider every day, so who knows what might creep through? Or what will happen when those
walls finally come crashing down...
This is my third Tchaikovsky novel, and the first one that fell short for me. It could be
that the first two that I read, Children of Time and Spiderlight, were so
good that the bar was set too high.
The main story had an interesting premise, but the execution didn't work for me. I felt
that it dragged at times, too many scenes with people wondering what's going on or not
believing what their eyes are telling them. What I really enjoyed were the interstitials:
excerpts from other timelines where different species rose to prominence on alternative
Earths. The world-building in these mini-documentaries really demonstrated Tchaikovsky's
love for zoology. I wanted to read stories based in these worlds or their interaction
Which brings me to the characters. I really didn't care for them, well the humans anyway.
The non-human characters were the interesting ones. Khan, the foul-mouthed, chain smoking
physicist was the best of the humans. Lee and Mal were ok. Any scene with Julian was
disappointing. The blurb makes it seem like he carries the story, but he was more of a
passenger. He really couldn't handle anything outside a narrow British box of expectations.
I couldn't wait for his scenes to be over with. His co-worker, Alison, was ok by the end
but took a while to get there. Even the villain was dull, there to be the foil to the
underlying message of inclusion.
There's a big reveal towards the last quarter of the book that explains how all of this
came about. It got my hopes up for a strong finish, but then we got more navel gazing.
The execution of the last part, well, I've seen Star Trek do it better. And the
end left me like, "Oh, that's it?" If it wasn't for the world-building, I'd rate it lower.