This is a long, complex novel with hard SF ideas at the foundation of its premise and characters you grow to love at its heart. It’s going to be tough to summarise in a review.

It begins when scientist Hadiz Tambuwal, based in Lagos, develops a form of amateur inter-dimensional travel. By travelling to the ‘multiverse’, she triggers the attention of the Pandominion, a political and trading alliance consisting of roughly a million worlds – a million different versions of our Earth. Its army is not best pleased with her. Chaos ensues. The end!

Okay, okay, that was a very shortened version of the story. Hadiz is only the first POV character we meet – soon there are others, and we take turns with each of their stories until they all start to converge at the same point, just as the Pandominion is gearing up for a war with a machine hegemony they don’t understand.

As well as the hard science stuff, the reader is encouraged to think about such heady concepts as what does it mean to be sentient, to be a ‘self’? How might that change over the coming years?

It took me a little while to get into the book, as Carey did the hard work in setting up his universe, but I was intrigued by the characters and swept away by the mid-point.

It does end on somewhat of a ‘cliff’ – so I’ll be back for the next instalment. But it’s definitely not a standalone. I enjoyed this read.