When this meaty, harrowing conclusion to the Sky Chasers series opens, the inhabitants of the vessel Empyrean are fleeing their destroyed spacecraft to join their former enemies on board the New Horizon.
Action begins immediately, and the story shifts mainly among the points of view of Waverly, Kieran and Seth. Waverly and Kieran find themselves being used for opposite political ends, while Seth lives as a fugitive on the New Horizon. Readers who have forgotten the many intricacies of the previous volumes’ plots are eventually brought up to speed, but the author has wisely chosen to reintroduce the many characters and incidents slowly as new action unfolds rather than sum up the broad, detailed back story in one dense lump. The pace is at times methodical, and much of the suspense comes from characters’ and readers’ uncertainty as to whom to trust. Stakes are high, however, and readers witness graphic (though generally not gory) violence and bodily harm as the three teens work to both overthrow and defend Pastor Anne Mather, the New Horizon’s leader. It all comes to a head in a climax that is tense and viscerally frightening.
Detailed and gripping, with a thorough and satisfying resolution. (Science fiction. 14 & up)