A Forest of Stars


I really enjoyed the first novel in this series — Hidden Empire — so it made sense to pick up the next book.

What a difference a book makes.

Looking back at my notes on the first book, I think the structure of jumping between characters was the same, but in this one I found the constant switching really irritating. None of the chapters is very long so you seem to flit about — and with nothing happening for a third of the book.

You can live with the chapter hoping at the start of the series as you need to introduce everything — but we know who the protagonists are now, so we can settle in until something happens with each of them. Not so here.

Perhaps that wouldn’t have been so bad if the story had any depth to it — but it doesn’t. The intrigue and plotting is childishly simple. We brush past a character that seems unaffected by being imprisoned and systematically raped over years. Other world-shaking events are equally brushed aside and overlooked with the characters they happen to given no time to deal with them.

To be fair, the action when it comes is entertaining — if somewhat short-lived.

I probably won’t bother with the rest of the series.

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Reviewed: 5th April 2021