The planet of Benan Ty is just another poor and violent ex-Terran colony. Now the Chi!me, the major power in the galaxy, are coming to broker a peace deal between guerrilla group ViaVera and the government.
For Quila, a rising figure in the Chi!me diplomatic service, the posting to Benan Ty could be the making of her career. Meanwhile Terise, one of ViaVera’s inner circle, is just trying to get her lover out with his life. But in a conflict where no side’s motivations are pure, they are both about to discover how much they have to lose.
–from the blurb about The Caduca
Set in a future where humanity has gone to the stars, but taken exploitation and oppression with them, this is a story of imperialism, resistance, friendship and ultimately, liberation.
It’s been a good few months since I last read a good, classic science fiction book. (I think the last was The Red Rover: Origins back in April?) Anyway, I’m so happy I got the chance to review The Caduca by Elaine Graham-Leigh because this book absolutely blew me away. It was, in short, brilliant, but keep reading my review of The Caduca to find out more about why I loved this book.
Honestly, I can’t possibly put this book into a single category. It definitely fits in the space opera category, but it also has elements of a political thriller. And that huge scope is part of what made this story so excellent.
Graham-Leigh built a stunning galactic world for this book. There are a lot of different planets and people involved in the plot, and she put a lot of detail into developing each of them and their histories. That development was important because knowledge about that history gave important context to the events unraveling in the book.
Additionally, that background was important when it came to understanding the characters and their motivations. The cast of characters in this book was massively varied; we had characters from the rebellion, from different sectors of this book’s galactic version of the U.N., from the governments of the smaller planets, and many more.
And I loved how Graham-Leigh switched between perspectives, incorporating each of these points of view into the narration; it meant that we, as readers, got to see the motivations and plans of different people involved in the story. That made reading about the culmination of all those different plots when they came together so much more satisfying.
Additionally, the inclusion of different points of view meant that I could see why different characters wanted different things. Seriously, being able to see the story from different angles was so important to this book. Because, obviously, when a story is told from a singular perspective, readers only see the opinions of that narrator; so, we’re probably going to side with that narrator and their cause. But because this book showed the issues from pretty much every angle, I really questioned who was right, who was wrong, and who I wanted to win.
And, finally, this book definitely does an amazing job at incorporating real-world issues and questions into fiction. I won’t go into too much detail, but the book shows the realistic brutality and backward politics of the different groups and governments involved in the story. It’s very interesting, and you can see the echoes of real-world problems in these parts of the plot.
If you enjoy science fiction, I highly recommend picking this one up. It’s a brilliant book, with an unbelievable level of complexity that really makes you question right and wrong. It has excellent characters and a world with a very rich history; there’s little else you could ask for in this type of novel.
If you do decide to read this one, drop a comment below and let me know your thoughts! I always love to talk about books, especially the ones I love. Additionally, if you enjoyed this review of The Caduca, use the Book Reviews tab above to access my full library of reviews. There, you can find plenty of other amazing books I’ve reviewed.
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