... a well-constructed tale of how life, after decades of war with a different species, affects individuals and society ... Everywhere you expect the story to lapse into a sci-fi cliché, J.S. Dewes makes a better choice, pushing the story down a richer path to a revelation of the characters’ past lives, or a deeper understanding of the history of the generations-long conflict. Brief flashbacks placed throughout give a better view of current circumstances, and the choices made by each person of the trio and the others who are woven into the story. The book keeps you reading and wanting more.
... manages to entertain with some interesting ideas that pull from fan-favorite tropes of space operas. With an offering of pulpy thrills and wit throughout, this introduction to J.S. Dewes’ sci-fi trilogy finds its readers as the tension builds ... Dewes’ voice is playful and easy to follow. It’s nice to read a debut novel that’s down to earth in its approach to prose; though pulpy and quick at times, it’s never overly romantic or chaotic. In some ways, the voice reflects the book’s main characters. Like Cavalon, it grows and evolves as the story becomes deeper in nature ... The humor is spot-on throughout, and the timing of these jokes is equally hilarious. Characters express themselves through eccentric dialogue ... The mysteries dominate quite a bit of the story, but the answers they deliver either manage to meet readers’ expectations or keep them invested in future installments.
Dewes’s debut is an exciting, fast-paced ride around the edges of the universe, where those rejected by much of humanity are the only ones who can save it. Fans of K. B. Wagers’s Farian Wars series and John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War will welcome this military science fiction thriller.
... gripping ... Sharply pointed descriptions pepper Dewes’s prose as Cavalon faces the soldiers’ hostility over his family’s background in eugenics, and an investigation into a suspected sensor error reveals that the Divide is collapsing ... Dewes fluidly interweaves complex worldbuilding with a fast-moving plot and satisfying character development in Cavalon and Rake. This should win many fans.