Nexus, by Joshua Grant: #BookReview.

389 pages

YA/Science Fiction

If you enjoy science fiction packed with action, humour and credible characters, but overlain with emotional content to make you care what happens to those characters, this is for you.

So many scifi thrillers concentrate on plot, action, with little attention given to the players. This book contains all the elements that make such books page-turners, but has the added quality of a cast of well-drawn characters who are easy to empathise with. The youthful nature of the main protagonists is aimed at the envisaged readership, of course. But the addition of credible adult players brings the book into the realm where mature readers can also enjoy this complex, incident-packed story.

The setting is a nightmare world, post-apocalyptical, following an unforeseen development of the automatons that once served humanity but are now programmed to destroy their makers.

Capturing the utterly logical, rational and morally unconcerned nature of the robots that stalk the cities and habitations of the few remaining humans, the author depicts a world where evil is very easily separated from good. But only on the surface. As the plot develops, it becomes clear that not all the characters are as straightforward or even ‘real’ as they are first introduced. These are layered people, full of surprises that sometime shock but are never out of character.

As the story progresses, the reader is led into a world of nightmarish incidents, populated by unfeeling machines bent on killing everything they encounter. The variety and intricacies of the many different monsters is testament to the author’s imagination, as are the various settings.

This is ultimately a tale of survival against the odds but carries other layers including many moral questions. We are faced with betrayal, loyalty, care, callousness, violence, tenderness, friendship, hatred, love and romance on pages that beg to be turned as we travel a strangely believable road on a journey beset with dangers, intrigues, questions, surprises and, once in a while, unexpected delights.

As a mature reader, I tend to avoid YA fiction, but I read this one after having enjoyed previous work by the author. I’m very glad I gave it a chance. A very good read.  

[Any review is a personal opinion. No reviewer can represent the view of anyone else. The best we can manage is an honest reaction to any given book.]

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