Raven Stratagem (The Machineries of Empire #2) by Yoon Ha Lee

Raven Stratagem (The Machineries of Empire #2)4ish stars.

An improvement in all areas on the already impressive Ninefox Gambit, reading this makes me glad I gave a second chance to NG. The POV characters are much more interesting and relevant, the pacing is much more consistent and the prose is just as military-grade immaculate.

This is expansive, unprecedented military space opera done right. If that sounds like your jam, go ahead and spread it on thick. If you’re like me and feel intimidated or if it just isn’t your preferred genre, give it a try (or two) anyway. There are enough payoffs by the end to make it worthwhile. (view spoiler)

Something I continue to struggle with is that, while the idea worldbuilding is incredible, the physical worldbuilding leaves me floating somewhere in the middle of hexarchate space. I have a really hard time visualizing a lot of what goes on and there’s not much physical description to help me out.

Otherwise a great sequel without a hint of “middle book” syndrome in sight.

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