‘Into the Black’, E. Currie

Evan Currie’s fourth book in the ‘Into the Black’ saga is out in about a week. With that in mind, I decided to reread the previous three books, to have them fresh in my mind. I finished slightly earlier than what I had previously planned, so I have some time before I carry on with the final statement in that series. What I definitely wish to emphasise is that the author is an excellent storyteller, I enjoy the setting and the characters, even if not all of them are the deepest people in the world. I find they have a reality to themselves, a reality which, if I paraphrase the books, “has a quality all its own”.

This time round, one of the things I noticed was the number of inconsistencies between the books — the regrettable oversight of swapping Doctors Palin and Rame in Books 1, 2, and 3 (or rather, swapping them in Book 2 but not keeping to that mistake for Book 3 where he could have been written in properly); the countered statement from Book 2 in Book 3 which implied the Archangels were not at full strength after battle losses; etc. These inconsistencies make me unhappy because I can’t imagine they would have been difficult to flesh out in the direction the author wanted to take the books from the beginning. However, they weren’t. I shall only hope that the final instalment will be more consistent with the previous ones.

On the rest of the books, I find that I enjoy the story more and more. The concept of duty is explored so thoroughly I could not wish for anything more. Similarly treated is an odd quality we might call ‘sanity’. Who or what is sane? Is life? I can’t say I know, but it is interesting to think about. It is this (and the famous lifted statement from Battlestar Galactica) which led me to reflect a few days back how interesting the universe would be if we saw with our eyes some different frequency, some different wavelength. Imagine how our perspectives would be different…

And the Drasin allow for such imaginations. They are killers, certain, but there is nothing to indicate they are malevolent. And that may be the interesting bit about it all — anger is the emotion which is common to both these creatures and the humans. Nothing else. Will we be ever only capable of understanding things which are different from us through anger? One would hope not…

In any case, the last book awaits. I shall let you know what I think of it after I am finished. I am sure, however, it will not disappoint.

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