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  • Writer's picturechristinerainswrit

Review of The All-Consuming World

Blurb: A diverse team of broken, diminished former criminals get back together to solve the mystery of their last, disastrous mission and to rescue a missing and much-changed comrade... but they’re not the only ones in pursuit of the secret at the heart of the planet Dimmuborgir. The highly-evolved AI of the universe have their own agenda and will do whatever it takes to keep humans from ever controlling the universe again. This band of dangerous women, half-clone and half-machine, must battle their own traumas and a universe of sapient ageships who want them dead, in order to settle their affairs once and for all.

Review: A team once shattered apart by the death of one of their own now must come back together forty years later to save another member. Much has changed, but certain things had not. Ageships chase them and demand their elimination. But no one messes with the Dirty Dozen and gets away with it.

This was a unique speculative fiction novel set in a mess of a future. It is dark, violent, and has a lot of profanity mixed with lyric prose. When I say there's a lot of profanity, there is A LOT! AI rules everything, and they're starting to think humans are too rebellious and they need to start over. Think of terminators in a way but giant sentient spaceships, and they're not nice. First they're searching for the clones and criminals. The Dirty Dozen is both. The team needs to find some way to work together again and discover the secret of the planet Dimmuborgir. If that place exists at all. The novel is written from various points of view, and at the beginning, it was confusing and messy. I almost didn't finish the story. Yet it really came together in the second half, and I couldn't put the book down.

I'm always big on characterization, and it's difficult to grasp a lot of the characters in this book. I felt many of them were just told as stories rather than experiencing their journey through their eyes. There are many points of view, and the only one I really got attached to was Maya. She's fierce and unstoppable, and stuck in a vicious cycle. How she comes out of it isn't easy, and that makes it all the more rewarding.

You can find Cassandra Khaw on her site and buy the book here.

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