In the final book of this explosive Philip K. Dick Award-nominated space opera, the universe is under threat and an ancient alien intelligence threatens to bring humanity down – unless Major Sanda Greeve and her crew can stop it . . .
The code has been cracked. The secrets of the Casimir gates have been revealed. But humanity still isn’t safe. The alien intelligence known as Rainier and her clones are still out there, hell-bent on its destruction. And only Sanda can stop them.
With the universe’s most powerful ship under her command and some of the most skilled hackers, fighters and spies on her team, it will still take everything she has to find the key to taking down an immortal enemy with seemingly limitless bodies, resources and power.
There’s a lot to unpack in this review as I read all 3 books in the series one after another over the past couple of weeks. And it feels like I just read a 1600-page book, as it definitely appears like it was carefully crafted and planned that way. So, although the review focuses on Catalyst Gate I’m providing an overall review of the series, as the final book delivers on all the promises and questions raised throughout the trilogy and I can’t review the conclusion book without considering the previous tomes. Overall, there were a few slower moments in the second book—definitely on purpose—but in the end, I loved it through and through.
The plot is spread out over several components throughout the series (and concluded in Catalyst Gate) and if you enjoy chapter ends that pushes you over the edge (“What?”), then you’ll be served. You experience politics, mostly through the eyes of Sanda’s brother Biran as he blossoms into a leader in the Keepers’s world. Also, we have Sanda—the main character—who throws us left and right through a sequence of events starting with her and a sentient ship in the first book all the way to godlike forces derived from ancient aliens and technology. As a Sci-Fi narrative, the Protectorate series delivers all the parts you expect in this type of novel.
We also get an extensive supporting cast of characters without a single person having the same skills, personality and behaviours…and they all strategically fill a role in the overarching trilogy…and I simply loved it! In the initial chapters, each character got their introduction and I couldn’t quite grasp their role in the larger scheme of things, but eventually it all made sense. The trilogy is thoroughly planned and delivers on all cylinders.
And the series presented a history and world building that connected to our present—and showed how we could evolve—if the elements presented in these stories were our reality. Absolutely logical and believable.
So if you didn’t get my passion for Megan O’Keefe’s books in this review; I truly enjoyed them and looking forward to read more from her. In conclusion, if you’re looking for a space-opera trilogy, filled with tension-driven scenes, politics, tech to fill a 30th century gadget magazine, Catalyst Gate and The Protectorate series is a must Sci-Fi read.