by Megan E. O’Keefe
Dazzling space battles, intergalactic politics, and rogue AI collide in Velocity Weapon, the first book in this epic space opera by award-winning author Megan O’Keefe.
Sanda and Biran were siblings destined for greatness. Her: a dedicated soldier with the skills to save the universe. Him: a savvy politician with ambitions for changing the course of intergalactic war.
However, on a routine maneuver, Sanda’s gunship gets blown out of the sky. Instead of finding herself in friendly hands, she awakens 230 years later upon an empty enemy smartship who calls himself Bero. The war is lost. The star system and everyone in it is dead. Ada Prime and its rival Icarion have wiped each other from the universe.
Now, separated by space and time, Sanda and Biran will find a way to put things right.
This book came to me at exactly the right moment and I couldn’t be more glad for this. Seriously. I had been in a weird mood ever since May end and this need to have a deliciously good sci-fi book was just inflamed further by Skyward. Velocity Weapon really came through on that promise and more.
My first time reading Megan O’Keefe’s works and frankly, I am glad that I didn’t know much about the plot itself too! Both managed to blow my mind because this book is absolutely a hell of a ride and there’s no two ways about it. If there’s a problem with this book then it’s the problem of reviewing a book without spoiling anything because trust me, what I say in this spoiler free review would not prepare you for the actual mind-blowing awesomeness that is this book. I don’t know how I am going to restrain from spoiling it for you guys but I am going to try.
‘Velocity Weapon’ begins with Sanda, the gunship sergeant, she wakes up in an enemy ship after her own ship being blown bits with only the evac pod saving her. The enemy ship is entirely empty however there’s an AI on board which has saved Sanda from death. The ship is called The Light of Berossus, the AI calls itself Bero. Finds it simpler than the whole thing for obvious reasons, of course. Sanda is told by Bero that the battle she was injured in happened 230 years ago and that she has been ‘asleep’ for over two centuries. While Sanda is dealing with the realities of that, we are then taken directly to the ‘present’ time where Biran, Sanda’s brother, is graduating. He’s about to be a proper Keeper and about to make his dads and his sister proud when the disaster strikes.
The timelines and the pacing of both the timelines is so cleverly done and frankly, I found it very refreshing to read. The siblings offer such a brilliant look into the whole family structure as well. On one hand, we have the strong and frankly absolutely amazing Sanda who’s stuck in the enemy ship and trying to accept her reality and on another hand, we have Biran who has to face the reality that his world is about to crumple around him as well as accept that his sister is probably dead in enemy territory. Both the siblings are so damn resourceful and stubborn in their own ways and their love for each other really shines through the chapters.
There’s two more POVs that are there, one is of Jules who is a small time criminal. She finds something bigger and hopes to get out of the life she’s built but ends up getting more entangled than ever. While her story is worth being told, somehow, I was far more invested in the siblings and how they were doing. That’s not to say that Jules wasn’t interesting, I think the problem was that her POV didn’t really connect with me as much as it probably should have. There’s another POV who I would really be more interested in reading but mostly, those were interludes and I wish they were longer.
I have deliberately left some very key plot points out of the review because if I include them it would be incredibly spoiler-y. And we don’t want that. However, trust me when I say that if you like absolutely engaging characters, with brilliant pacing along with some truly mind-boggling twists then this is the book for you. Of course, it’s a given if you love sci-fi and space operas with a touch of sassy AIs then this is definitely the book for you.