RogerBW's Blog

The Chase, Kristine Kathryn Rusch 13 September 2023

2021 science fiction in the Diving Universe series. Everything lands in the same place all at once.

Many questions about the series are resolved here. It's now clear who the new faction from Searching For the Fleet are; the modern Fleet from Thieves turns up too; and the Enterran Empire, the original political obstacle in the series, gets involved too.

It ends up being a five-sided fight, with nobody having as much information as they'd like about the other factions, and that's great. Alas, the people are spread a bit thin; most of the ship captains have basically the same personality, meticulous about detail, gathering information before making a choice, finding it hard to trust their subordinates to do as good a job as they would.

Perhaps it's because they are so similar that I felt it a shame that everyone's first reaction was to fight, without any attempt at diplomacy or even communication. (Especially as it seems rather out of character not to try.) Each side has various wrong assumptions about the others, and none of those ends up being corrected.

This is also quite a long book at 150,000+ words, and more importantly one that feels long: there's an awful lot of setting up, considering this, considering that, worrying, making plans, trying a thing which doesn't work, making different plans. Combined with a tendency towards choppy single-sentence paragraphs, I found this hard work to read, particularly to restart reading after I'd had to do something else; compare it for example with something like Elliott's Furious Heaven at twice the length, which I found myself diving back into at every opportunity.

Definitely not an entry point to the series; at the very least you should have read those other two books, and ideally the whole thing. If you're enjoying the series, and I still am, this answers most of the big puzzles without actually resolving the plots.

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See also:
Searching For the Fleet, Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Thieves, Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Furious Heaven, Kate Elliott

Previous in series: Maelstrom | Series: Diving Universe

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