I have once again fallen behind on my reviews. Shocker, I know. Trying to get caught up, at least with what I’ve read so far this year. I was really looking forward to this book and it did not disappoint. At all. Let’s get into it, shall we?
About the Book
Title: Truth of the Divine
Author: Lindsay Ellis
Series: Noumena #2
Genre: Science Fiction
Edition Read: Hardcover
Dates Read: February 8 – 20, 2022
Blurb: The human race is at a crossroads; we know that we are not alone, but details about the alien presence on Earth are still being withheld from the public. As the political climate grows more unstable, the world is forced to consider the ramifications of granting human rights to nonhuman persons. How do you define “person” in the first place?
Cora Sabino not only serves as the full-time communication intermediary between the alien entity Ampersand and his government chaperones but also shares a mysterious bond with him that is both painful and intimate in ways neither of them could have anticipated. Despite this, Ampersand is still keen on keeping secrets, even from Cora, which backfires on them both when investigative journalist Kaveh Mazandarani, a close colleague of Cora’s unscrupulous estranged father, witnesses far more of Ampersand’s machinations than anyone was meant to see.
Since Cora has no choice but to trust Kaveh, the two must work together to prove to a fearful world that intelligent, conscious beings should be considered persons, no matter how horrifying, powerful, or malicious they may seem. Making this case is hard enough when the public doesn’t know what it’s dealing with—and it will only become harder when a mysterious flash illuminates the sky, marking the arrival of an agent of chaos that will light an already-unstable world on fire.
With a voice completely her own, Lindsay Ellis deepens her realistic exploration of the reality of a planet faced with the presence of extraterrestrial intelligence, probing the essential questions of humanity and decency, and the boundaries of the human mind. While asking the question of what constitutes a “person,” Ellis also examines what makes a monster.
I had very high expectations for this book, both due to loving the first book and also being a fan of Lindsay’s YouTube channel. She had promised that this book was even better than the first one and she was absolutely right.
I still really enjoyed Cora’s story and seeing how it progressed (and sometimes didn’t progress) in this second book. One thing I enjoyed about the first one was how real it seemed and I can say that the second book delivers on that as much if not more. Not only are we dealing with larger that life issues, like conspiracies, government cover-ups, and the questions of who has the right to “personhood,” we also deal with smaller more intimate issues. Cora has major PTSD after the events of Axiom’s End. She doesn’t just hop up and go about business as usual – she is dealing with all kinds of trauma with very little support.
Her relationship with Ampersand, who she now has a symbiotic bond with, continues to ebb and flow as Ampersand has to try and navigate dealing with the U.S. government and military trying to wrap their heads around what to do with alien life on earth. It’s all very complicated and messy – just like it would be if this actually did happen.
We also have a new character, Kaveh, who complicates the situation even further. He has some ties to Cora’s father (who she is definitely NOT close to) but his heart also seems to mostly be in the right place where Cora is concerned. He is also able to somewhat befriend one of the Amygdalines but it is hard at times to know whether or not to trust him.
Overall, I thought this was an excellent continuation of the Noumena series that has me wanting more!
GoodReads rating: 5 stars
Categories: Books I've Read