Book review: Nova War

Gary Gibson’s Nova War.

Author: Gary Gibson
Publisher: Tor

Gibson has had two standalone novels published previous to the first part of the Dakota Merrick trilogy, and is becoming well established within the sci-fi genre. Nova War picks up where Stealing Light left off and will be followed by the final part of the Shoal trilogy, Empire Of Light.

Set in a universe where rival species The Shoal and Emissaries have been fighting a frontier war for power for centuries, we see Dakota Merrick – a massively out-numbered human among numerous hostile species – held captive by the winged Bandati, who want her to aide them in their quest for profit from recent discovery of technologies previously only known to The Shoal species. Quickly this situation starts to move out of control and a dangerous environment is created where the threat of a Nova War, which would destroy numerous worlds, evolves. Realising that working with a member of The Shoal, Trader, may be the only way to maintain peace, Dakota is suddenly forced to cooperate with a species that she realises have been keeping dark and dangerous secrets from humanity. Gibson further increases tension by separating Dakota from her partner from Stealing Light, Corso, as he is forced into working with a separate Bandati hive.

An immediately enthralling and intelligent read, which captures the reader’s attention through graphic description of numerous exotic species and locations alongside early dramatic developments, Nova War is an example of a shining piece of sci-fi writing. The description and writing style is detailed without edging toward being laboured, as some other sci-fi can be, and pace remains high throughout the book. It is worth reading Stealing Light first, but it is accessible without doing so. We would definitely recommend trying Gibson if you haven’t already.

[isbn name=”Nova War”]978-0230706804[/isbn]