I received my copy of this book as a loan, for review purposes.
Raven's Children is the second novel in the Sequoyah series by Sabrina Chase, and works best when read after “The Long Way Home,” which I reviewed on April 6. However, the character and plot developments are more than adequate to be satisfying to someone who just picks up this as a singleton. It will, however, create a need in that mythical person to get the entire series.
I'm a bit uncertain about how spoilers work when reviewing a series. If a plot point in the second book is a spoiler for the first book, do I ignore it? Hmmm. I don't think so, because then the review for every book in a series after the first would consist of 'more things happen.' Make for an easy review, I suppose...but hardly satisfying.
SO: Who the heck is Raven? And why do we care about Raven's Children? It's like this: Raven is a ship. And the ship is captained by Moire. And the children? More than one answer to that.
The first answer has to do with Alan, the son Moire didn't remember having. It turns out that the Toren company has been using genetic material from Moire and other lost NASA crew to make clones, for their evil, wicked, mean and nasty purposes. The 'protector of the helpless' switch in Moire, locked firmly into the ON setting, means she has to do something about it.
Which brings us to the second answer. The ragbag of crew that Moire was plagued with has decided that things are much better with her around, and so they draft her into being their leader. Which means they go along with her to Do Something About It. And rescue children, who actually have the bodies of adults.
Fleet Intelligence Officer Byron Ennis is also plagued. In his case, it's not with ragbag crew, though. His plague is a crummy duty assignment, for allowing Moire to escape; he's also plagued with gooey emotions when he thinks about Moire, and he has absolutely NO history that will give him a clue on how to handle THAT (even if she wasn't a fugitive from justice). Add to that his continued sense of inferiority due to his origins, and you've got one tightly wound young man.
Here's one of the great things about Sabrina's writing: she has a LOT of plot elements going, so she can afford to have one or two resolve without having the franchise end. And that means, dear reader, that she can afford to let Ennis and Moire gaze into each others eyes instead of avoiding it, and actually (gulp) SMOOCH! YES! THEY SMOOCH!
Hah! Take THAT, Nora Roberts! (Ummm....she's a Romance writer, right? I just looked it up on Google...)
I think I missed the science on how this happened (it has something to do with the hyperspace drive), but Moire and crew find themselves the junkyard of the universe. They get tossed there on the last sputtering gasps of their old ship, but they are able to cobble together repairs from parts from the drifting hulks. They are also able to generate a cash flow by salvage from the parts they bring back to what passes for civilization on the fringe. And then on ONE trip they find...nah, not gonna tell you that.
The evil Toren is not content to sit idly by and let their plans be disrupted by Moire. In fact, there are just too many people who know something, and so a series of unsavory elements sets out to kill all possible witnesses. They are singularly unsuccessful. So, they call in the REALLY bad guy, and he.....noh, not gonna tell you that, either.
Sabrina can flat tell a good story. It will hook you, and I can well believe one of the other reviewers who says she didn't notice when the sun went down while she was reading. So: if you are reading on a Kindle, have a good battery charge, else have a good light source. You'll find you will need it before you are through.