Lauren Garcia's "Catalyst Moon: Breach"
It feels as if I'm in the middle of a hundred different book series, which is both entertaining and overwhelming. There are so many that I had to come up with a spreadsheet so I could keep up with what book I was on in what series. But enough about that! Today I'm talking about the latest in a realtively new series I got into: Book 2 of the Catalst Moon series.
So, Catalyst Moon: Breach is the follow up to Catalyst Moon: Incursion, a story about a mage, Kali, and Stonewall AKA Stone, the sentinel tasked with escorting her across the country. Trouble ensues, relationships are formed and tested, and their journey comes to an end. And now, the sequel continues that story.
Breach picks up not too long after Incursion ended, with Kali receiving treatment for her bum knee and Stone off in the world doing his duty, fighting the dangerous thralls that popped up in the prequel. Breach is a step-up in every way in regards to its predecessor, be it the character arcs, the romance between our leads or side characters even, or the world-building. We learn a bit more about the gods of this world, including legends that may be more than mere children’s stories. I’ve always been a fan of mythology, and since Garcia continues with her light-handed presentation of religion and politics, and how the two are intertwined without being overbearing, I enjoyed the mythological/religious aspects of the book.
The sentinels are steadfast in their beliefs, and their obligation to perform their duties, almost to a fault. That reminds me of the way veterans or those who serve in real life are patriotic, sometimes extremely so. That said, one thing I wasn’t really a fan of was the blatant sense of hatred between the mages and basically everyone else. I remember finding it interesting to see in Incursion, but I don’t know, I thought things would have changed a bit in the sequel. Though, I guess that’s asking too much considering not much time has passed. Still, to see mages being feared, imprisoned, even killed just because of what they are…well it leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I suppose it just resembles real life too much when you think about how things would be if mages were real. But the argument could be made that certain races are feared and thus treated differently in real life, so there’s that.
The plot of Breach was easy to follow as Incursion’s was but offered a sense of tension that I found lacking in Incursion. The threat of death is constant in this one, and when the layers of the characters are peeled back so wonderfully as they are here, then you can’t help but fear for many of them throughout the story, sometimes rightfully so. In a world where magic is as dangerous as it is helpful, there’s no telling who will come out alive.
Catalyst Moon: Breach offers higher stakes, deeper relationships, tenser interactions and shocking revelations. I’m anxious to see what comes next for these characters, even if I disagree with a lot of their decisions…