Velocity Weapon is the best kind of space opera, filled with riveting action, the highest of stakes, and endless mysteries just waiting to be uncovered. O’Keefe has taken time scale to a new level, sending us back and forth through centuries as we try to piece together what became of a major civilization in deep space. Amidst the intense action and mystery of it all lies tragedy and the strength of familial bonds across the ages. I was enthralled by the storytelling and am excited to see where this series takes us next.
Now on to a few of my favorite things. Quick warning – there are a couple of spoilers ahead, so stop if you don’t want anything revealed!
WONDERFUL CHARACTER WORK
The multi-faceted characters are the real highlight of the book, revealing intricate work on the author’s part to create believable characters we want to follow. While there are technically four narrative paths, the most intriguing lie with Sanda and her brother, Biran. From Sanda, we see the fear and loneliness of unknown space and separation from all she’s ever known. From Biran, we see the pressure of an entire society on one man’s shoulders and the determination to get to overcome the war waiting on the horizon. Together, they form authentic narratives that highlight each other well.
THE MOST HUMAN AI
I’ve seen many an AI in my reviewer travels, but this one really takes the cake. Bero is an extremely human artificial intelligence with more feeling and emotion than I’ve seen in recent memory. O’Keefe moves beyond the oft-highlighted humor of a sentient AI voice to delve into the loneliness a ship must feel when stranded in deep space without a companion of any kind. We see real feelings expressed throughout and a caring relationship that grows between Bero and Sanda. This unique perspective drives home how desolate space can be and highlights the importance of human contact, no matter your make or model.
There’s always something epic happening in each chapter. Whether it’s a heist gone wrong, damage to a spaceship, startling discoveries, or ominous histories, there’s nary a dull moment to be found. In my opinion, the action in a space opera should be akin to an Indiana Jones movie and Velocity Weapon fit that bill at breakneck speed. It’s exciting to read and foretells a future for the series that never quits trucking.
By Megan E. O’Keefe
Published by Orbit
NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.