Eyes of the Void (The Final Architecture, #2) (2022) 5 stars

After eighty years of fragile peace, the Architects are back, wreaking havoc as they consume …

I am in the key demographic, I think

5 stars

The second installment in The Final Architecture series is smartly crafted with good pacing, action scenes which are able to keep one's interest, and well thought-out character details which increase the interest we have in the primary and secondary players. It is all quite a feat. We spend maybe a third of the book in the viewpoint of the brain-hacked Intermediary navigator Idris Telemmier who is the target of galactic powers who want to possess him. He manages to become indispensable in yet another way straining credulity somewhat, as more light on the nature of Unspace and the hostile Architects is shown by means of a mysterious artifact. There is a galactic war, ruthless gangsters, sympathetic aliens, and sassy robots too in case the Architect plot grows dull. It all comes together in the end as a massing of forces for the third installment of the series but for me this wasn't a letdown. Of the main crew, there aren't any permanent losses, though some extended abductions helped keep up the tension. A couple of new, unfamiliar sorts of character were introduced, proving to be interesting challenges for the narrator, Sophie Aldred, who came up with I felt were ingenious approaches to the experience. It is a long story befitting a space opera written by one of the current leading figures in science fiction. I am giving it a high rating for the craftsmanship while recognizing it would not be to everyone's taste, not great as a standalone book for a newcomer to the universe. It won't be long before I pick up number three in the series to delve into.