The third entry in Lefave’s (The Gadlin Conspiracy, 2017, etc.) dystopian series finds twins Elize and Keeto at the center of a government’s war against their Gadlin race.
When the twins first moved to the city of Eadonberg, they feared that their father would have Elize committed, like their mother. Now Elize’s psychosis is getting worse as she continues hearing voices and experiencing blackouts. However, the siblings may be able to find some answers in their new city, starting with the nature of their father’s secret project at the Unification Research Arm, where he was once director. They’re also searching for a boy named Teddy, who may have some insight into what happened to some recently abducted children as well as into the twins’ missing childhood memories, which could explain Elize’s mental deterioration. Meanwhile, Sothese, who’s the governor of the Global Spiritual Unit and the adviser to a political and religious figurehead called the Pramam, is hunting the twins. He wants revenge for their actions in the preceding novel; he’s also aiming to become the Pramam’s successor—whatever it takes. As the Unification government wages war against the Gadlins, blaming them for terrorist acts, Elize retaliates by leading the Gadlins’ underground community in an uprising. Although Lefave’s story picks up subplots launched in earlier books, it does show some narrative progress. The twins, for example, who’d previously only pondered their origin, finally receive a startling revelation. The author relays the action through three narrators: Sothese, Elize, and Keeto. The most engaging account is Elize’s, which is often abstract—her spoken dialogue intermingles with the taunting or advice-giving voices in her head—but never confusing. Throughout, Lefave’s prose is fervent and self-assured: “They are tuned into Eli’s deviant vocal chords, and they are waiting for the nefarious songstress to get a little too disruptive at the opportune moment.” This installment concludes the first trilogy of a proposed 10-part series, leaving a number of points unresolved.
Alluring, lyrical prose, although story questions still linger.