Title: Deep Sky

Author: Patrick Lee

Genre: Speculative Fiction, Thriller

Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: January 2012
Paperback: 384 pages

The anomaly called the Breach is the government’s most carefully guarded secret.

But there is another secret even less known . . . and far more terrifying.

As the U.S. President addresses the nation from the Oval Office, a missile screams toward the White House. In a lightning flash, the Chief Executive is dead, his mansion in ruins, and two cryptic words are the only clue to the assassins’ motives: “See Scalar.”

Now Travis Chase of the covert agency Tangent—caretakers of the Breach and all its grim wonders—along with partner and lover Paige Campbell and technology expert Bethany Stewart, have only twenty-four hours to unearth a decades-old mystery once spoken of in terrified whispers by the long since silenced. But their breakneck race cross-country—and back through time and malleable memory—is calling the total destructive might of a shadow government down upon them. For Travis Chase has a dark destiny he cannot be allowed to fulfill . . .

Stand alone or series: Book 3 of the Travis Chase trilogy

How did I get this book: Review Copy from the Publisher

Why did I read this book: I loved The Breach and its sequel Ghost Country, and could not resist diving into Deep Sky to finish off the trilogy. Although now I feel bereft and lost without another Travis Chase and Paige Campbell book in my life…

**THIS REVIEW CONTAINS UNAVOIDABLE SPOILERS FOR BOOKS 1 & 2 IN THE TRAVIS CHASE SERIES. If you haven’t read the first two books and don’t want to be spoiled, I advise you look away. You have been warned.**

Review:

In the few years Travis Chase has been free from prison, he’s learned of an anomaly called “The Breach” and the alien technologies – or entities – it inexplicably produces. He’s joined Tangent, the top secret government agency responsible for protecting, analyzing, and understanding The Breach, and has become one of its the top members, next to his girlfriend Paige Campbell. Together, Paige and Travis have stopped a renegade Tangent agent equipped with an entity called The Whisper, and have thwarted a maniacal plan born of the best intentions to stop end of the world. But their work is far from over. When President Garner is assassinated during a television broadcast by an impossible missile, the only clue left by the murderer is a two word phrase – “See Scalar”.

The clue leads to a dark secret in Tangent’s past, that unlocks the key to The Breach and the entities being sent through. Scalar will reveal the truth of everything, including the terrifying future that The Whisper revealed in The Breach – a future Travis Chase’s role in the deaths of 20 million people, and a future Paige Campbell’s order to kill Travis before he can.

The third and final book in the Travis Chase trilogy, Deep Sky ties all the tantalizing threads from the first two books together in a surprising but ultimately effective and haunting conclusion. While the first two books might have been classified as thrillers with a strong science fiction bend, this final book is a full-fledged, undeniable SF novel that embraces an entity that essentially is applied phlebotinum, more crazy time travel, and paradoxes galore. I mean this in the best possible way, because Deep Sky finishes the trilogy with a grand flourish that, in my opinion, makes perfect sense (in a bittersweet kind of way).

The overarching mystery that spans the trilogy is that of Travis Chase’s fate – in The Breach we learn that he is the creator of The Whisper, an artificial intelligence created with Breach technology, sent back in time through the Breach with the sole purpose of placing Travis Chase in front of the Breach in order to intercept a message from a future version of Paige Campbell. Something happens in a distant future – perhaps in an alternate timeline – that tears Paige and Travis apart, resulting in the deaths of millions at Travis’s hands, and causes Paige to give the order to kill him. Everything that has happened in the first two books leads up to this revelation, which is, through twists and turns, unlocked by the Scalar investigation. The investigation unlocks a number of betrayals and secrets, and of course I can’t reveal anything because the reason these books are so fantastic is because of the twistiness and unexpectedness of the plot. Suffice to say, Patrick Lee is in top form, weaving action effortlessly with fringe science in a taughtly written, expertly paced plot. Also, importantly, from a speculative fiction perspective Mr. Lee does a phenomenal job of allowing audiences to suspend disbelief.

As with the first two books in the series, a new entity is introduced in Deep Sky and takes center stage – in The Breach it’s The Whisper, in Ghost Country it’s the dual cylinders. In this third novel, it’s The Tap – an entity that allows its wielder to access any memory and relive it, and more. The Tap is pretty badass, and probably my favorite entity of the series (and that’s all I’ll say about it because to say more would be spoiling). Ultimately, I can see how the headlong leap into SF territory, with it’s many alternate plotlines (courtesy of The Tap) might be a little off-putting for some fans, especially those that preferred the thriller aspect of these novels, but in my own opinion, I think Mr. Lee executes the crossover beautifully.

As far as our characters are concerned, we get our closest, most soul-searching look at Travis Chase in this final novel. There’s an inevitability to the ending of Deep Sky and the series, but I love that readers have come to understand Travis and Paige and the choices they ultimately make. This isn’t a series too heavy on the character development, but Lee’s characters are human despite their overall level of badassness, genius, and hyper-competency – there are real emotions and moral dilemmas that define Travis and Paige, and though these are seen in fleeting glimpses in books 1 and 2, Deep Sky rounds them out nicely.

I finished Deep Sky in a single sitting, like the ravenous, greedy reader I am – and while the ending was fulfilling and made of awesome, I’m left with that painful, wistful feeling. You know the one. It’s the feeling that follows the conclusion of any truly great series. I’m sad to leave Travis and Paige, but I’m excited to see what Patrick Lee writes next. And who knows? Maybe there will be more of the Breach and its entities in the future.

Notable Quotes/Parts: You can read the first 68 pages of Deep Sky HERE.

Rating: 8 – Excellent, rounding out the trilogy and solidifying it as one of my favorite trilogies in recent memory, and a place on my notable reads of the year list (yeah, I know it’s early but the series is THAT awesome).

Reading Next: Fracture by Megan Miranda

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Ebook available for kindle US, Kindle UK, nook, google, apple, kobo & sony

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2 Responses to Book Review: Deep Sky by Patrick Lee

  1. [...] 7. The Rook by Daniel O’Malley, 8 (UF) 8. Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey, 8 (YA, Fantasy) 9. Deep Sky by Patrick Lee, 8 (Speculative Fiction, [...]

  2. AlanB says:

    Absolutely the best series I have read in a long time! I too had that sad feeling when I finished Deep Sky; it was over. It was that good. And I am so interested in what Lee writes next. Can’t wait to see if he can produce work that good consistently.

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