Chaos Vector by Megan O’Keefe – Punchy & Character-Driven in the Best Ways

Rating: 4 out of 5.

“You get taught a different kind of war in the Grotta,” he said eventually. “You’re so far down on the ladder all you can see is your own nose, the only thing worth fighting for is your own life. Or maybe those you love, if you’re lucky enough. I think maybe Jules learned that kind of fight, too. It’s not… It’s not a safe mindset, when there’s more than yourself and your loved ones to be fighting for.” He took a shaky breath. “That’s why I gotta go. Because you learned the bigger lessons, and I haven’t, and someday you’ll make a call on this ship, and I won’t listen to it. Not because I’m your dad and I think I know better—I ain’t that stupid—but because I’ll see you, in danger, and the reality of war won’t matter because I only ever learned to fight for what I love, not what I believe.”

My review of Velocity Weapon can be found here, if you’re entirely new to The Protectorate trilogy. 

Thank you to Orbit for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Chaos Vector was an excellent follow up to Velocity Weapon! O’Keefe has dramatically improved as a writer; the pacing was much, much better in this sequel. The twists are just as punchy as you could hope, though I’m not sure ANYTHING can top the one in Velocity Weapon. I was on the edge of my seat the whole way through. Plotlines connect, merge, and shift when you least expect.

My biggest complaint about the first book was that I had trouble caring about any of the characters other than Sanda. Her storyline was by far the most interesting to me, and I found myself skimming through Biron’s chapters in an effort to get back to my beloved Sanda, Bero, and Grippy. In Chaos Vector, this has been fully resolved. O’Keefe fleshed out the rest of the cast in ways I didn’t expect, but was delighted to see. The characters from the initial heist sections, who were least interesting to me before, became some of my favorites. Biron’s story shifted from second tier to being engaging and driven.

That said, the expanded focus on characters doesn’t mean that Chaos Vector was lacking in action. Far from it! At times, it almost felt like I was watching a high-stakes space action film; in fact, I’d be lining up at the theater to watch it.* The reveals were beautifully timed at highly emotional moments, leading me to be very upset with O’Keefe for the wringer she was putting my feelings through. Yes, this was a good thing and is what made the book excellent, but also wow, how dare she.

*after vaccinations are finished, of course.

I am waiting with bated breath for the conclusion of The Protectorate Trilogy. Naturally, O’Keefe gave us some truly twisty reveals right at the end of Chaos Vector just to be a little extra cruel. I simply can’t wait to find out what she does with them!

Goodreads | Bookshop.org

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About the Author

Megan E. O’Keefe is the author of the Scorched Continent trilogy and The Protectorate series. Her short fiction appears in Shimmer, Podcastle, and Barnes & Noble. Megan’s debut fantasy novel, Steal the Sky, won the Gemmell Morningstar Award and her space opera debut, Velocity Weapon, is nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award.

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5 thoughts on “Chaos Vector by Megan O’Keefe – Punchy & Character-Driven in the Best Ways

  1. I agree nothing topped that ONE plot twist in Velocity Weapon. This was still a really good read though. Would also line up to see it in a theater. Also glad she fleshed out the other characters. This didn’t read like a common book 2 that just gets you from book 1 to 3. Chaos Vector really held up well on its own as a book in the series.

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