Empire of Light concludes events started in Stealing Light and continued in Nova War. I say concludes but more it draws an arc to a definitive end but leaving the door open for more stories in this world.
I’ve given high praise to the series so far with phrases like, ‘clever, intelligent, thoughtful, and gripping’ and ‘Gibson has a devious imagination, a sense of bigger picture and a more twists than a corkscrew’. So not a lot to live up to there then.
And does Empire of Light continue that tradition. Yes and no. It’s gripping and I really felt for Dakota in places; I really wanted her to succeed. But we are drawing to the end and all the preparation that has taken place up to now has been leading to this point. So we don’t get a meander through more of Gibson’s mind. Instead we have a gripping race to the finish.
The double-crossing and scheming Trader is shown in a new light, as is Corso and so are the human-piloted Magi ships.
It’s a case of if you’ve read enjoyed Stealing Light and Nova War you’re going to enjoy
Empire of Light. It’s still filled with some nice twists and turns but it’s more focused and narrowed than I remember the earlier books being with less exposure to new things.
Not sure what to add beyond that. If you enjoy a SF series with a lot of energy the Shoal Sequence is one for you.
Gary Gibson’s latest novel is Final Days is out now in hardback/kindle and Empire of Light is out now in paperback/kindle