The Midnight Shower by Frank Kennedy [6/10]

Frank Kennedy’s spiraling space operas set in the world of the implacable Collectorate have blossomed in the way that the best baggy science-fiction series do. A fresh series, Beyond the Impossible, is his most ambitious yet, and now we are blessed with the third instalment, “The Midnight Shower.” I greatly enjoyed the earlier two in the series (reviews here and here). The Midnight Shower is a consolidation phase, stitching together two mysterious strands that hovered at the edge of the earlier volumes. On the roiling world of Hokkaido, Ya-Li Taron, a young nobleman who emerged from an obscure role as reluctant husband of heroine Kara Syung, is revealed as a brilliant manipulator and possessing strange attributes, while super-assassin Ryllen Jee, who reappeared mysteriously in the previous book, is undergoing an horrific purgatory. The author seems to be able to vary the timbre of his books at will, and whereas the earlier instalments invoked mystery, planetary crisis, or space travel drama, The Midnight Shower is intricate space opera politics. Another smooth read, one that prepares us for grander adventures.

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