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Ocean's Echo    by Everina Maxwell order for
Ocean's Echo
by Everina Maxwell
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2022 (2022)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Here's an exciting military SF thriller by Everina Maxwell - Ocean's Echo is set in the same universe as the author's debut novel Winter's Orbit. It has two very different leads - wealthy, messed up socialite Tennalhin Halkana and duty-bound, scrupulous Lieutenant Surit Yeni. The fact that the latter is the son of traitor general Marit Yeni (who destroyed a neuromodifcation lab) has constrained his career.

As the story opens, Tennal (who can read minds) is on the run to avoid conscription. He gatecrashes a penthouse party. He also contacts his beloved younger sister Zin, which is how he's tracked down and captured, on the orders of his aunt, the Legislator. She conscripts him and assigns architect Surit to sync with him, which would give Surit total control over him.

Surit is unwilling to force a sync on an unwilling reader, so they pretend to do it and fake the bond, desperately looking for a way out. Meanwhile, a strong attraction - and trust - develops between them. They make a deal with Governor-General Oma, a 'terrifying general with the nuclear-reactor smile' commanding Archer Link Station. Unfortunately Oma has her own agenda, empowered by alien remnants.

Tennal and Surit do end up with merged minds, but in no way as originally intended. They save each other and take down Oma. They stop a civil war but end up in even more trouble. I'm about to track down the author's other works. Don't miss this one!

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