A 21-year-old woman searches for a way out of the afterlife before her death becomes permanent in the fourth book of Lefave’s (Through Fire and Ice, 2018, etc.) sci-fi series.
Keeto Simone mourns the death of his twin sister, Elize. But it turns out that she isn’t quite dead yet; she’s floating in the purgatory-like “triverse.” Here reside otherworldly beings, including an entity named Tuffurie, who’ve been watching the Simone twins as they’ve lived their lives in the physical realm. The siblings apparently have a role in the Gadlin Prophecy, whose details remain hazy. To return to life in the physical realm, Elize must gather nine ultraviolet orbs in the triverse within nine days. She also must retrieve a stolen indigo crystal pendant in the physical realm that was once hers. To recover the latter, Elize enlists Keeto’s help by communicating with him via a years-old recording. Meanwhile, the Global Military Unit is on the hunt for alleged student terrorists at Schrödinger University, where Elize had once led an uprising. Keeto hopes to find Elize’s crystal in time, while keeping the fact that Elize is still alive from the GMU and others. Although Lefave asserts that this installment launches a second trilogy in a proposed 10-part series, it picks up right where the preceding one left off. As in earlier novels, the author masterfully plays with narrative structure by drawing on a trio of perspectives—here, the recurring twin protagonists and Tuffurie. Keeto, for example, writes journal entries, which include conversations that he’s recorded with his “transcriptor” device; he interrupts these transcriptions intermittently with annotations. Overall, there are more scenes of theoretical discussion than there are of action. But the cast of characters, including a villain whom Elize refers to as a “fedora-wearing freak,” is a motley, energetic bunch. The incessant arguments among the sentient, sometimes-helpful orbs, Batef, Katef, and Akhtef, are the book’s comedic highlights.
An intelligent but challenging entry in an often engaging saga.