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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Caduca is a work of fiction in the science fiction subgenre. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience and was penned by author Elaine Graham-Leigh. In a far-flung future where humankind has been innovative enough to achieve interstellar travel but not wise enough to break the cycle of destruction and discrimination, a fragile peace deal hands in the balance between the official politics of the Chi!me and the guerrilla group ViaVera. Two figures on opposing sides of the conflict have professional and emotional investments that will make or break them, but a cataclysmic series of events is set to show them both the darker side of themselves. The planet of Benan Ty is destined for violence, either way, it seems.
If you’re looking for a political sci-fi thriller with plenty of tension and personal, emotive drama, then author Elaine Graham-Leigh has crafted the ideal read for you to dive into. The first prominent feature of the novel that really struck me was the quality, depth, and internal logic of the worldbuilding, which sees us well-placed on the war-torn Benan Ty, in a system that feels exotic and alien but operates in a hauntingly familiar fashion that exaggerates the division and conflict of our own world today. From here, the author creates two highly relatable central protagonists, Quila and Terise, who exemplify genuine causes on either side of the battle.
With no specified ‘hero’ or ‘villain’ in sight, the story becomes one of suspenseful exploration: an emotional and political chess match where every move keeps you on the edge of your seat as you await its knock-on effects. Some shocking twists result from this beautifully crafted plot of secrets, suppression, and the fight for survival. Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend The Caduca to fans of highly immersive science fiction that is both well penned and masterfully characterized to get the very best out of its intriguing and morally-charged setting.