I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Dark Space: Avilon by Jasper T. Scott
Series: Dark Space
Published by Audible Studios on 03-31-15
Genres: Science Fiction
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The Sythians Invaded Again
Dark Space, the last refuge of humanity, is overrun; its citizens are either enslaved or dead. The relentless Sythians have slaughtered humanity wherever they could find them, and now only a few hundred survivors remain. Desperate to escape, these few chase rumors of a lost sector of humanity and end up on Avilon, a planet covered with a vast, kilometers-high city that lies hidden and shielded from the rest of the galaxy by its impossibly advanced technology and its benevolent ruler--Omnius, the Artificial Intelligence who would be god to his human creators.
Humanity Found Refuge on Avilon
Omnius reveals that no one really died in the war--he couldn't save them from the Sythians, but he did find a way to record the contents of their brains and resurrect them all in the bodies of immortal clones. Omnius keeps a record of everyone’s mind in order to make predictions about the future and prevent people from making mistakes. The result is a perfect paradise where you can be assured of a happy, successful life for the rest of eternity--just so long as you are willing to give up your freedom and submit to Omnius's will. If you refuse, you can live in the Null Zone, a city that lies cloaked in shadows below the immortal paradise where Omnius reigns supreme. In the Null Zone humanity has its freedom, but the result is chaos, death, and forced separation from everyone living in the Upper Cities of Avilon.
Paradise for Some is a Prison for Others
To Ethan Ortane, who spent years exiled on a prison world in Dark Space, Avilon and its utter lack of freedom is the Netherworld incarnate, and Omnius the Devlin himself. His son, Atton, is not so sure--it's hard to argue with Omnius's governance when death and suffering have become just a distant memory. Even better, it looks like Avilon with all of its advanced technology might finally be able to put an end to the Sythians. Omnius is sending his Peacekeepers to Dark Space to rescue the human slaves and take the fight to the invaders. . . .
The Road to the Netherworld is Paved with Good Intentions . . .
Despite the Sythian apocalypse, Omnius knows that humanity's worst enemy has always been itself. Darkness lies in the human heart and if paradise is to be maintained, that darkness must be contained. For Omnius the rightness or wrongness of an action is determined by a mathematical equation: the choice with maximal benefit for humanity and minimal detriment is always the right one. And with his ability to predict the future, who could be better suited to making those judgments? But when the looming detriment defies the very purpose of Omnius's existence, the benefit that outweighs it depends very much on one's point of view. . . .
In this book, Destra and crew must flee Dark Space and find a place to live while the Sythians and Avilonians battle for control. Meanwhile, Ethan and crew must adjust to live in Avilon and live under the rule of Omnios.
For the most part, the action here is non-stop. It quickly becomes apparent that Avilon is no utopia and we spend much of the book trying to find out the motives and true nature of Avilon. By the end of the book we have a much clearer picture of who Omnios is, what is wrong with Avilon, where the Sythians came from, and what part the resistance plays. Meanwhile, Destra and the Gores end up on somewhat of a cliffhanger, with their fate to be determined in the next book.
Overall, I enjoyed the action and the novel. The author even comes up with a nice way to explain the constant convenient coincidences that happen through the series. I continue to dislike most of the characters…they continue to be quite dumb, which I suppose adds to the realism, though I typically enjoy a very strong protagonist. And yet there really isn’t one in this series… Ethan certain isn’t it and Hoth mostly has a back seat in this book. Aton and Ethan make some incredibly dumb decisions through the whole novel, and Destra is just coasting. Hoth and Ilara don’t have a lot going on. But the book sets up well for the next one and everything is falling into place.
For the audiobook, the narration continues to be great with no misses, but yet I cannot decide if it is the narrator or the author who makes Atta such an annoying character.
Looking forward to seeing how this all ends.