Disclaimer: I am friends with the authors; I read this book during the publication process.

This stunning conclusion to the Path of Ra trilogy takes place over an action-packed 24 hours, with multiple mysteries to untangle. Rabarts and Murray wrap up multiple plot lines in satisfying yet unexpected ways, but I hope Penny and Matiu aren’t content to live happily ever after. I’d love seeing them both or individually in more adventures (though they work best together).

One of my favorite elements of this trilogy is definitely how the characters of Penny and Matiu play off each other. A male-female relationship that is not based on or intended to evolve into a romance is a refreshing change, and their sibling affection and contention are a spot of realism in an otherwise speculative story line. That doesn’t mean romance is completely off the table — I thoroughly enjoyed the very nontraditional romance arcs that Penny and Matiu do follow with their respective partners. Craig and Erica, like all the supporting characters in this trilogy, are fully fledged and intriguing characters in their own rights. (And due to my friendship with the authors, I may have put a bug in their ear about an origin story featuring a particularly interesting character — you can thank me later.)

Everything comes full circle in this trilogy conclusion, when the line between science and magic/myth blurs even more. Rather than being jarring, the dichotomy is a fluid element that highlights the madness of the world and solidarity of our heroes’ connection to each other.

This trilogy has much to offer for speculative fiction fans of all sorts, and I highly recommend it. And even though Murray and Rabarts’ vision of a near-future Auckland is far from utopic, I’d still love to visit one day.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

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