The Risen Gods by Frank Kennedy [8/10]

Fans of Frank Kennedy’s Asimov-league series The Impossible Future began the journey with “The Last Everything,”a breakneck adventure featuring three teens: James the hidden Jewel with hidden powers, Samantha with a hidden time-spanning past, and “normal” Michael. The finale of that first volume involved some of the best action scenes of my recent reading, but I had no idea what “The Risen Gods might involve in terms of storyline. Well, reader, jump in for a treat, for within a page of the Book 2, we’re in the vastly intergalactic Earth of the universe-domineering Collective, and now James, Samantha, and Michael are plunged into a space opera adventure within a brilliantly conceived world as evocative as that of the master, Isaac Asimov, and as politically intricate as James Scalzi’s. Nothing is as it seems, the headlong pace sucks you in, and our three heroes evolve and mature rapidly. Plot twists gyrate, new key characters sizzle, and the action stage keeps expanding. A highlight of this year’s reading, “The Risen Gods” presages an enduring, mind-blowing, kinetic sci-fi feast. May the series’ volumes come thick and fast!

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