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Reviewed by Geoff Habiger for Readers' Favorite
The third and final book in the Shan Takhu Legacy series, Redemption of Sisyphus, picks up immediately after the events in the first two books. Eric Michael Craig sets a fast pace as the looming war between Derek Tomlinson, the human face of the artificial awareness program known as Odysseus, and FleetCom, the cartel leading the resistance, finally crashes down with a vengeance. Edison Wentworth is coming to terms about his exile on Mars with Tana Drake and Saffia when an unexpected visitor miraculously walks out of the Martian desert. Meanwhile, ex-chancellor Katryna Roja and Governor Jeph Cochrane must overcome their own stubbornness and distrust of each other to try to understand the alien artifact Tacra Un. The multiple threads and story arcs from the first two books all come together in a final, explosive ending.
While Eric strays a lot more from his hard science fiction roots in this final novel, the story and characters are so well developed that you don’t care. The new “magical” technology that Eric brings to the story fits in perfectly and adds a nice twist, one that I have been anticipating since the first book. While the new technology allows for a couple of deus ex machina moments, I can overlook them because Eric has done a good job of setting up the potential for these events. At the same time, the characters continue to be compelling. Between Katryna Roja and Jeph Cochrane butting heads as they explore Tacra Un, to the prison of his mind that Derek Tomlinson finds himself in, the characters continue to be compelling. As with Eric’s previous Atlas in the Winds books, nobody is “evil” or “bad”. They are people, trying to do what they think is right and best for themselves and the people around them. Even the AA program Odysseus’ actions are governed by its own perceptions and interpretations of its protocols to do what it thinks is right to save humanity from itself, even if it may cost lives to do it.
Redemption of Sisyphus is a glorious ending for a fantastic trilogy. Eric brings all of the story arcs together in a masterful conclusion and possibly sets the stage for further adventures in this universe he has created. The entire series is a powerful mix of the best elements from Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, The Expanse, and 2001 A Space Odyssey. My hat's off to Eric and I look forward to his next adventures.