Radiate: Book Three Of The Lightless Trilogy [Review]

C.A. Higgins’ Radiate, the final book in the Lightless Trilogy, is out today. Fans of the series will likely find that Radiate is a satisfying conclusion—but there were definitely a few issues.

The synopsis reads:

In the follow-up to Lightless and Supernova, C. A. Higgins again fuses science fiction, suspense, and drama to tell the story of a most unlikely heroine: Ananke, once a military spacecraft, now a sentient artificial intelligence. Ananke may have the powers of a god, but she is consumed by a very human longing: to know her creators.

Ananke may have the powers of a god, but she is consumed by a very human longing: to know her creators. Now Ananke is on a quest to find companionship, understanding, and even love. She is accompanied by Althea, the engineer who created her, and whom she sees as her mother. And she is in search of her “father,” Matthew, the programmer whose code gave her the spark of life.

But Matthew is on a strange quest of his own, traveling the galaxy alongside Ivan, with whom he shares a deeply painful history. Ananke and her parents are racing toward an inevitable collision, with consequences as violent as the birth of the solar system itself—and as devastating as the discovery of love.

Radiate focuses heavily on Mattie and Ivan, which was fine by me as I found those characters to be the most compelling. However, the constant FORWARD and BACKWARD time shift structure of the book causes the narrative to drag. The last section of the book picked up the pace and became a real page-turner, but I found the situation/choices of the characters in the conclusion to be a little too convenient. I could see what was going to happen from a mile away.

The story of The Lightless Trilogy is ambitious, emotional, and thought provoking, but I have to say that I didn’t LOVE it as a whole. Higgins does a great job with the characters and uses her degree in physics to make the science compelling, I just found the execution of the story to be lacking from time to time. Still, if you’re looking for an enjoyable space opera series, the three books in The Lightless Trilogy are certainly worth reading.

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