Revenant Gun (The Machineries of Empire, #3)

By Yoon Ha Lee

Rating: 4 stars

The final book in the Machineries of Empire trilogy sees the hidden hexarch Nirai Kujen download the remaining memories of Shuos Jedao into a new body and try to use him to reclaim the Hexarchate. Unfortunately, the reborn Jedao doesn’t have any conscious memories beyond that of a cadet, but he has to learn quickly if he’s to command the swarm that Kujen gives him and stay alive long enough to find his place in the world.

There’s a lot to enjoy in this third book in the trilogy. We see the return of Kel Brezan, now the titular president of a fractured part of the Hexarchate, and Kel Cheris, who holds the rest of Jedao’s memories, and we get some chapters from their point of view, but most of the book is narrated alongside the regrown Jedao as he discovers a world very different to the one he remembers, and as he discovers anew why he rebelled in the first place.

In my head, the moths (the spaceships that the Hexarchate use) were always artificial – just spaceships, and it was a quirk of the Hexarchate to call them all ‘moths’. This book states that they’re not only biological, but that they’re sentient. Lee drops a bombshell of an enslaved sentient race and then just leaves it there. Sure, the Revenant is important to the plot but that’s still a hell of a thing to just drop on us. And Jedao keeps it to himself. After all that drama about freeing the people of the Hexarchate, he’s just going to ignore an entire sentient race being bred and harnessed as a convenient means of transport!?

This book has a larger role for the servitors than previous books as well. We see a tiny bit more of their society, but like <*see previous spoiler*> it’s frustratingly not dealt with. Mind you, I suppose you could write an entire book, heck, an entire trilogy about both of those things and the changes that the revelations about them would have on Hexarchate society.

So a good book in its own right, and a fine conclusion to the series.

Book details

ISBN: 9781781086070
Publisher: Solaris
Year of publication: 2018

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