Review: Escalation

Escalation (The Frontiers Saga: Part 2: Rogue Castes: Episode 1) by Ryk Brown

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Now, wait a minute. I see where this is going, but how can that possibly…. oohhhhhhh!”

This statement sums up my reaction on many different occasions while reading this book. Mr. Brown has once again re-hooked me into the Frontier’s Saga, and I will no doubt snatch up each book as it is released.

I can’t say a lot about the plot of this one because it would be too easy to spoil things for those who have not read it. The general setting is about 9 Earth years after the events in the concluding volume of Part I of the series. Things seem to have settled into a rhythm of normal life for the member worlds of the Alliance and many of the main characters from the series. That quickly changes, of course, when the Jung – having been pacified by threat of annihilation – suddenly rear their ugly heads again. I’ll say no more.

The pacing of this book is absolutely spectacular. I was drawn into each viewpoint to such a degree that I was cringing when it switched to another because I wanted to know what happened… only to repeat the process. The hints and foreshadowing are very obvious, – so much so that you doubt the author’s ability to pull the expected off believably – but then you see how he does it, and you think… why did I ever doubt you! The book is gripping and intense in may places. I found myself just waiting for the other shoe to drop an several occasions. As for the fact that it is a sequel, the backstory is not rehashed to the detriment of long time readers of the series. It is explained enough that a new reader would also understand what is going on, but… I guess my opinion is that you COULD start reading here, but you will not be as invested in the characters if you do, so I recommend starting from the beginning of Part I. The whole thing is a great series, and you won’t be disappointed.

I think that this first book in the second part of the Frontier’s Saga is a definite winner, and I can’t wait for Episode 2. I can’t say that I understand the “Rouge Castes” in the title yet, but that must be an indicator of the direction the series will take. We shall see.

I give this book 4 stars and call it a Satisfying Read.

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