I think the Hellhole series is off to a great start. The worlds are interesting, the universe deep, and the characters well formulated and plotted. What let the initial two books down, however, is each doesn’t read as a self contained story. I get the need for continuity, but having read in excess of 500pgs per instalment, as a reader, I want some return on investment.
Sounds harsher than I’m meaning it to be; I gladly give AWKAKENING and its predecessor 4 stars out of 5 on Goodreads, the books themselves are a great form of escapism in a well defined sci-fi setting that warrants many more stories set in this vast fictional landscape. I just think the author’s could’ve written the books with more emphasis on closure rather than cliffhanger.
You can read my review of HELLHOLE #1 here.
SPOLIER ALERT for HELLHOLE #1
HELLHOLE ended with a declaration of war with AWAKENING set up for a large scale confrontation between the Crown Jewel planets and the deep zone planets. Diadem Michella, Escobar Hallholme, and Ishop amongst others against General Adolphus and his alien Xayan race is epic within itself yet the added mystery of an anonymous space craft scanning Hellhole and the planets’ slow awakening added even more drama and chaos. There’s a lot to take in, and to the authors credit, they make it easily readable. This is one sci-fi series reader can enjoy rather than have to work to read.
Much like HELLHOLE, AWAKENING doesn’t give full closure to the story arc. Whilst I walked away satisfied, I would’ve liked less of a tease for the next instalment and more of a clear ‘end point’ to this book. Perhaps it’s more a criticism of my own impatience rather than the authors themselves – they have me craving what happens next. Mission accomplished in that respect.