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Review: Broken Valley – Owen Lach

Broken Valley - Owen Lach

Genre: Sci-Fi, Young Adult

Reviewer: Lucy

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About The Book

Adan Testa is on the run.

Somehow he can use the centuries-old tech left behind by Neska’s original colonists. And that makes him the target of powerful forces willing to do whatever it takes to learn Adan’s secret for themselves. With relentless Union operatives hot on his heels, Adan and his friends begin a perilous journey along the 500-year-old trail to find the only thing that can give Adan the answers he seeks.

Don’t miss this thrilling new addition to the smash hit Queer YA Sci-Fi series The Neskan Chronicles from best-selling author Owen Lach!

The Review

I may have made grabby hands when this one came up for review. I’m not typically one who reaches for YA books, but this is an intelligently written, engaging series that will keep young adults, and those not-so-young, as well, turning every page to see what happens next. 

This is the second in the Neskan Chronicles by Owen Lach and it is definitely not a stand-alone. Too much of the comprehension for this story relies on what you’ve already learned in Founder’s Mercy. We met Adan and his friends in the first book and learned that Adan is able to use the gene-coded technology left behind by the founders of the Neskan colony, which no one else currently living can do. But that ability has put Adan and his crew on the run across the landscape of Neska.

In Broken Valley, we follow Adan and his crew as they meet new folks and follow the trail of long-dead colonists as they look for answers as to why Adan has this rare ability. Old nemesis show up as do new menaces. We learn more about Adan’s background and get some insight into his family and what they might have known. 

The writing and story-telling is stellar, giving us really great characters, burgeoning romances, developing friendships, and intrigue and action. There is violence that ranges from fist-fights to gun and weapons use. The descriptions are generalized so there’s no gratuitously gross or gory visuals. And one of the things Adan is dealing with is his part in the violence. He struggles with the decisions he has to make about protecting himself and his friends and what effects that has on his mental health. There is some romance but sexual experience is alluded to and not described on-page. The author created realistic young adults in normal, healthy relationships but kept the written story PG-13.

Broken Valley is an excellent continuation of Owen Lach’s Neskan Chronicles. The story was thoroughly engaging and will leave you looking forward to the next installment of the series. 

The Reviewer

I’m an avid reader who loves pretty much all genres except math textbooks. As a kid, my parents exposed me to everything from fairies, hobbits, and dragons to the biographies of interesting people around the world, interspersed with poetry, plays, and music. Into adulthood, I spent a lot of years with my nose buried in various textbooks. Now, I read whatever grabs my fancy.   

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