Detective Rhea Hawke continues her quest for truth and justice in a world that is not what it seems. Rhea's search takes her to the far reaches of the known universe from the Weeping Mountains of Horus to the blistering deserts of Upsilon 3. Amidst the turmoil of an imminent extra-galactic war, Rhea holds the key even as those she trusts betray her. No one is what they seem...
This is Book 2 of the Splintered Universe series.
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The delightful crazy continues!
There were plenty of questions from Book 1 and Book 2 plops us right down into the action. The first few hours, I was confused. I think there’s some jumping around the time line, or perhaps it’s jumping back and forth between the outer and inner diverses (since most people have a twin in the opposite verse). But then there was Serge, who I was 100% sure was dead at the end of Book 1 (which I’ve read twice). So I wasn’t sure if it was flashbacks to Serge before he died via Rhea’s death stare…. but, no, Serge is alive and well throughout Book 2. So, obviously I missed something and with the number of shapeshifters and dopplegangers, I guess that could easily happen.
Anyway, after about 2 hours, things level out and we stick to 1 universe and 1 timeline for the majority of the rest of the story. In fact, Rhea gets to go to prison. That was a delicious mix of Thunderdome and gray coveralls are the new black. Plenty of prison fights and Rhea has to come to terms with her previous mindless loyalty to the Galactic Guardians, an enforcement organization that isn’t above slavery and mass murder.
From there, Rhea has to confront yet another relative and she faces betrayal by a good friend. Enemies & frenemies alike still want the specs on her fancy gun. This lands her shape shifting into a blenoid in order to flee across a desert. I really liked this part of the book since it delves into animal biology. The blenoids are hunted for food but they are also seen as one of the universe’s most vicious creatures.
The tale ends with Rhea pulling together some tattered ideas of how to fight the nihilistic evil Vos, who want to damage Rhea’s universe. Along the way, she’s met several Vos and she now understands that not all are evil, but many are fine with standing aside and letting the evil Vos do their thing.
There’s so much I have enjoyed about this series so far. Rhea is a fascinating character from the start and she continues to grow throughout the tale. There’s her AI ship, Benny, her sentient great coat, her special made gun, and her own hidden shapeshifting abilities. Then there’s a cast of interesting characters, good guys and bad guys. I love that I don’t know how things will turn out; the plot keeps me guessing.
And then there’s the mystical portal to the alternate universe which is accessed via anal sex. Yes, you read that correctly. It’s just flat out odd. It came up in Book 1 (and I mentioned it in my 2013 review) and Book 2 starts off with Rhea confronting the mother of the mystical anal sea snakes which gave her some telepathic connection to the big mother snake… and that all ties in with a Vos trying to convince Rhea that she can be transported to this alternate universe once her body is prepared via superduper secretions during anal sex.
Yeah, I know. I say it out loud, try to explain it to my husband, and it just sounds too fantastical for this space opera. While I have taken some deranged glee in trying to explain this aspect of the story to others, the entire mystical aspect still bores me. Yawn.
Other than that, it’s a very entertaining space opera. 4/5 stars.
The Narration: Dawn Harvey does another great job. She was most excellent with Book 1 and she continues the same superb quality with Book 2. I love how she makes all the different alien voices, and I can’t even guess how she makes some of them. She’s got the perfect voice for Rhea and she tackles some tough emotional situations in this book too. Her male voices are masculine. There were no technical issues in this recording. 5/5 stars.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Nina Munteanu. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
- Book Addict
This is an Action Packed Adventure!
The second book starts with non-stop action, with Reah getting caught and betrayed everywhere she goes. In the first book I found it hard to relate to Rhea in the beginning. In this book I felt more invested in the outcome. In this book we find out more about the Inner Diverse. In this we find out so much more about the conspiracy to destroy some of the human colonies. As always I get all excited and on tenterhooks and then it finishes. I am now looking forward to listening to the Book three to find out more. We have Reah somehow managing to escape all the traps she walked into. I hope we get a final resolution for Reah as her heart’s in the right place.
- Nina Munteanu
Voice artist makes story come alive
What made the experience of listening to Inner Diverse the most enjoyable?
Dawn Harvey mastered over twenty alien voices including a sentient ship and gave the leading character a sultry edge that resonated with incredible life.