on 8 May 2014
There is no doubt that this is written by the man who created Space: 1889. He paints such a rich canvas in his depiction of Mars and it's various cultures. I do feel, however, that he occasionally paints too rich a picture, going into more detail than is necessary. Not a bad thing, as such, but perhaps a little bit overkill. Regardless, this book is finely tuned, tightly plotted, and very well characterised.
Chadwick does some amazing things with Annabelle, really putting her through the wringer after the events of the previous book. The consequences are multitude, and quite hideous in places. She is once more changed by circumstances, losing a part of herself in the process. And yet, once more, she proves her strength of character in the way she handles her situation, refuses to give in to the horror of it.
Nathaniel also comes out well, discovering much about himself and the lengths he will go to when it comes to protecting Annabelle. He has become more than a friend; her protector and her brother. But the book ends on a cliffhanger, as the events of the previous book catch up with Nathaniel. It's a cliffhanger that is bound to shake up Nathaniel more than anything else so far. Even now, after only five adventures, both Annabelle and Nathaniel are much changed. One suspects they have a long way to go yet.