There's three main story threads in the book. The first concerns a young woman with the capability to navigate through the tunnels connecting star systems. The second concerns an officer tracking her for the murder she committed and the third follows intrigue in a world on the edge of the imperium.
All three threads are well written and provide a decent contrast between their experiences. The characters are well drawn up. I found the first two the most interesting, but I can see the third developing into something meatier in the next books. They revealed more about the world the book is set in and in particular we start to discover more about what lies beyond the wall.
As with the first book, the world building worked well for me. It has sufficient nuances to mark it as its own and with the reveals in this second book kept me interested and eager for more. There are still mysteries to be explored so I've picked up the third and final book. I'm always a fan of new and good science-fiction and the author provides that with a well thought out thriller. A recommended read.
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Earth is gone. Centuries have passed since life ended on the blue planet. Humanity's survivors are now dispersed among distant colonies, thousands of light years from the barren, frozen rock that was once their home.
At a time when power means everything, the ultimate power, the imperium, rests with the Consulate Magistratus. In return for its protection, citizens must concede their rights absolutely. The Magistratus controls interstellar travel, access to technology, even procreation. Every citizen is implanted with a device to monitor their location, health and emotions. Freedom, religion and self-determination are anachronisms. Humanity's true history only survives in whispers of a secret archive.
The murder of a man in the lowest caste is seen as inconsequential, but Weaver, one of the few Caesteri lawmen who still believes in justice, refuses to ignore it. Fighting his own indoctrination, and the voice inside his mind that forces him to ignore his conscience, he follows the trail of evidence all the while struggling to hang on to the thin thread of his humanity.
The killer he hunts is violent and unstable, and haunted by her own callous ghosts. A woman who sells her body to fuel her drug addiction. She possesses an almost supernatural ability navigate the wormholes which connect humanity's distant colonies - an ability the Magistratus fears and must eradicate. Weaver will follow her to a planet the Magistratus has abandoned, where the only law is that of criminals. And then to the furthest reaches of space, where the truth that awaits them leads to the corrupt heart of the Republic - a truth the Magistratus will do anything to conceal.
The war to control humanity's future is about to begin...
Defiance is the second book in the Beyond the Wall series, an epic, hard science-fiction space opera about the future of humanity and the discovery of the truth of its past.