Friday, December 14, 2012

Kameron Hurley “Rapture” (Night Shade Books, 2012)

By now you should know what to expect from the Bel Dame Apocrypha.  Bugs.  Blood.  Betrayal.  Success that feels more like failure.

In Rapture, former bel dame Nyx is forced out of retirement in order to do one last job.  This time, she has to retrieve a political leader & bring him back to Nasheen alive.  As luck would have it, it happens to be someone she thought she had already killed.  Her journey to retrieve this man takes her beyond the edges of civilization.

Hurley builds upon the strengths of her earlier novels.  The world building, the characterizations, the tense action sequences are all here & even more developed than in the earlier novels.  The main complaint about the earlier novels was the plotting.  Here Hurley manages several seemingly unconnected storylines that ultimately join in to complete the story.  

With the conclusion of the Bel Dame Apocrypha, Hurley may have written the best SF series of the new millennium.  If one purpose of speculative fiction is to reflect and comment on present existence, few series tackle the problems of modern life in such an unflinching manner.  Examining violence, religious intolerance, sexism and gender roles, and environmental collapse, Hurley deals with the significant issues of our time. 

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