Eyes of the Void [The Final Architecture #2]

Adrian Tchaikovsky

Rating: 4 out of 5.

“He had asked it Why, and it had told him, through image and comparison. Why? Because it was a slave…”

Following on from the utterly brilliant Shards of Earth, Eyes of the Void continues the story of the disparate yet valiant crew of the battered salvage ship Vulture God in their fight for survival against the might of the moon-sized Architects.

Now that a way to safely transport the Architect-repelling Originator artefacts has been determined, the various governments of the colonies and their allies are feeling more secure in their abilities to defend themselves, and so their attention has turned inwards to petty bickering and brinkmanship. Relationships between the Hugh and the Parthenon are at breaking point, exacerbated by the fact that the only being yet to meaningfully communicate with the Architects, the Intermediary Idris Telemmier, has decided that his safety and morals are best guaranteed by the Parthenon, and has defected to work for the warrior faction in their bid to engineer their own Ints. When the Architects reappear and prove that they are not so easily deterred, can the former allies organise themselves to mount any sort of defence?

You absolutely, 100% need to have read Shards of Earth before coming to Eyes of the Void; you can’t pick this one up as you go along – it’s just too much information and history across too many people, species, allegiances, and worlds. If you have already read it but are worried that your recall is a little rusty, Tchaikovsky has been an angel and included a glossary of terms, historic timeline and a cast of characters to prod your memory.

Despite steady character progression, fascinating insights into some of the alien species (especially the crab-like Hannilambra and the composite-being Hivers), and plenty of action, Eyes of the Void slightly missed the mark for me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a great read, but it didn’t quite live up to the brilliance of Shards of Earth – possibly because it’s the middle book in the trilogy. The only specific reason for my dissatisfaction that I can put my finger on is that the pacing of the novel felt a little rushed in places, and that maybe the story could have been better served by the trilogy being stretched to a quadrilogy.

Whinges about pacing notwithstanding, Tchaikovsky has produced yet another great read, and I’m really looking forward to the concluding novel.

I received an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publication date – 28th April 2022

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