Last Updated on December 31, 2023 by ThoughtsStained
We are diving into a week of overdue reviews! By gods it’s been a minute. So, I hope you all don’t mind as I get caught up on these. (Especially since my brain is excited about the prospect of starting 2024 on a “clean” reading and review slate, whatever the fuck that means.) To start, let’s get into Chaos Vector by Megan E. O’Keefe and how it’s basically solidified O’Keefe as one of my favorite authors.
Publisher: Orbit Books | Release Date: July 2020 | Pages: 546
Age Range: Adult | Genre: Sci-Fi | Format: Paperback | Source: ARC
Sanda and Tomas are fleeing for their lives after letting the most dangerous smartship in the universe run free. Now, unsure of who to trust, Sanda knows only one thing for certain — to be able to save herself from becoming a pawn of greater powers, she needs to discover the secret of the coordinates hidden in her skull.
But getting to those coordinates is a problem she can’t solve alone. They exist beyond a dead gate — a Casimir gate that opened up into a dead-end system without resources worth colonizing, and was sealed off. To get through the dead gate, she needs the help of the enemy Nazca. But some Nazca are only interested in the chip in her head — and they’ll crack her open to get to it.
- Raising stakes. I would fight an entire galaxy for Sanda, let me be so very clear. She is put through so much and the stakes just keep rising, to levels that shocked me. It was delicious.
- More twists. I will never get over what I considered the main twist in Velocity Weapon. But good gods did these twists, even if they didn’t feel as powerful, still leave me absolutely reeling.
- New characters. I loved how our cast of characters grew, from getting more page time from older characters (hi Nox and Arden!) to meeting new characters who intrigued and enraged me. It was lovely!
- Pacing. I think I’m always going to give a disclaimer whenever I complain about pacing that I know it’s 100% me. I don’t read as much and it’s taking me longer to read, so of course it feels slow, sometimes. But I did struggle to read the first half of this book in a way I didn’t struggle at all in the first one. (But also didn’t struggle with the latter half, good god, I was late to work multiple times due to the last 100 pages.)
- I miss Tomas. This is also very specific. Chaos Vector is not a romance novel, though it does have romantic threads. I am very invested in a certain romance that was non-existent in this book, so that made me sad.
For me, Chaos Vector was a very solid sequel to one of my favorite books of all time, Velocity Weapon. I don’t think it was better, personally, but it definitely left me itching to read the final book in the series, Catalyst Gate. (Which I immediately started, no worries there.)
If you love sci-fi with high political stakes, intense personal trauma and more plot twists than you know what to do with, O’Keefe is your author and The Protectorate is the series for you.