The Farthest City by Daniel P. Swenson

Summary

In the far future, intelligent machines resurrected the human race then disappeared. Now humanity wages a losing war against the alien Hexi. One soldier, Sergeant Sheemi Tanamal, experiencing unbearable loss, possessed by her anger, wants as much revenge as she can get before she dies in battle. An unexpected mission changes everything. Citizen Kellen Beaudin, is a shy, sensitive artist with a different, but equally troubling past. Kellen’s origin is deeply intertwined with the machines, although he doesn’t understand how or why. He learns who he really is when his machine obsession takes him on an incredible journey. Neither Kellen or Sheemi will ever be the same.

Characters

I was on the edge on whether I liked Kellen at first. I liked Abby immediately and Izmat is interesting. Sheemi was immediately a complex character who took some time to grow on me. Kellen didn’t take long, he also had a lot of growing to do, like Sheemi, but his personality felt so real that I felt I had to like them.

The author did an amazing job bringing these characters to life. Every new character added to the plot, added to the story. Although there was a few points that there was a new characters overload, it didn’t distract from the story too much. All of the characters felt very real and it was for sure one of the author’s strengths.

Plot

This book was complex but took care to try and explain what was going on within reason. I appreciated that the author didn’t get so detailed that information became overwhelming, but it did require that you pay closer attention because not every detail was explained. In a way he expected you to know a little about the world already, but explained enough that you kept with it. I loved it!

I guessed a few things but it took me a while to put all of the pieces together. I rarely felt like this was predictable, but it didn’t feel like unexpected twists, just a story that was being told as it was being lived.

Overall

The first part of the book, mostly the few main chapters that were necessary to build to the rest of the book, were a little dull but as the story went on completely needed. One you get past that, you hardly want to put the book down. It is fascinating, the actions scenes were well described and most of the world building flawless. The heft of the book seemed daunting at the beginning but the continually fast/steady pace, one it starts, never really lets up. I got to the point that as I was close to the end of the book, wondering exactly how it was going to end.

This was a fantastic sci-fi. It wasn’t overly technological, but it held elements that were interesting enough to be believable. Despite the occasional complexity, it was easy to follow along. Something I really loved was the author’s ability to explore the human condition without it bogging down the story. It hit on multiple aspects of how people are and how we are defined by our choices.

Rating

5 stars

A satisfying sci-fi that will take you far and away on all sorts of adventures but hit you right at home. You’ll come to love the characters and the world that this author creates. All in all a solid novel.

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