THE ALEPH EXTRACTION by Dan Moren.
Angry Robot Books. p/b. £10.99.
Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins.
It is three months since Simon Kovalic and his team foiled the Imperium’s plan and stopped a war. Three months since the betrayal by their team mate that left Elijah Brody in worse humour than normal and their team in despondence. With a new mission, the time has come to find a replacement for their former lieutenant and Major Kovalic, as he is now, suspects that former soldier Adelaide Sayers – dismissed before her training was complete – may be just what they need.
A no show meeting yesterday and now Takashi is missing from his home. Their cameras and detectors pick up nothing but he cannot simply have disappeared. Could he have found a way to avoid their sensors? Cue a chase that will probably be far from simple or painless. It comes down to a name and an upcoming auction. The Aleph Tablet is rumoured to be the key to uncovering the secrets of an ancient and very capable civilisation. Can Simon and his Special Projects team get their hands on it before the Imperium?
The Aleph Extraction is written with those same light-hearted witticisms peppered throughout as its predecessor, which help the tone and flow of the novel along just so. Brody steps back to let Kovalic lead the bulk of the point of view narrative, though he is still very much in the forefront during key moments. New character Adelaide turns out to be a refreshing protagonist, well suited to share the stage with Brody and Kovalic. She has an ever-present attitude, a lack of patience and steady conviction which fits well with the others and she easily holds her own on the page.
Whilst this is not the first cold war in space novel we have seen, Moren’s The Galactic Cold War series proves that it is more than capable of staying fresh and appealing in the face of competition. The pace is kept up with a deft hand no matter who is in the PoV driving seat and a little sentimentality drip-fed at all the right moments does this instalment great service.