Book Review – Fractured Empire: Shadows of Empire (Cadicle Series) – A.K. DuBoff

I love science fiction. Space opera is great. I love telekinesis and telepathy and everything that comes with them. All this (and more!) was featured in the first part of A.K. DuBoff’s Cadicle series. This review is for the first installment, Shadows of Empire. I will post more thoughts on the later books as I navigate this 2000+ page epic.

I will be honest, at first I was worried about Cris, the main character. Living in a palace, has special powers and only trainers for friends. He sounded a little like Paul Atreides from Dune. But, fortunately Cris escapes into the real world and the fun begins. I liked Cris as a character. He wanted to become his own person, traversing the bridge from petulant youth to a seasoned adult over the course of the book. His journey made sense, and was relatable to the reader even if his perspective was my introduction into this vast universe.

The plot was interesting. Something is up. Cris knows it, the other characters know it, and nobody’s talking. It’s what keeps the pages turning. Even telepathy can’t spoil the fun there. The reader is given more information than Cris is, but you don’t quite have enough to uncover the actual truth. Seeds and story arcs are sewn in the first book, and I am very interested in finding out how they progress and resolve themselves. The blurb for the box set promises an intergenerational epic, which sounds really intricate and just plain cool.

My one complaint is a small one, which was the romance component. It seemed too easy. Cris meets Kate, they’re instantly perfect and there’s (very) little complexity in their relationship. For such a well thought out story, it came off as forced and convenient.

For my part, I will be continuing with the next book in the series.

By Thea

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