**May contain spoilers from previous books in the series*
I was so, so eager to read this book, I loved A Long, Long Sleep and couldn’t wait to see what was happening with Rose, little did I know this book is actually based in Otto’s POV. I was so confused about this because we get no indication that this is book is in anyone else’s perspective but Rose while reading the blurb. I feel like I was thrown an unwanted curveball.
I am unfortunate to say that I think No Life But This suffers from a bit of the sophomore curse. This book was far less amazing and captivating as the first UniCorp book. I flew through the first 150 or so pages but then (at least in my eyes) this book hits a very confusing slump which last the next hundred pages only to come back on the home stretch with an AMAZING ending. I think without that ending I would have had to give this book less than 3 stars.
Because the ending is by far the best part of this book I’m going to finish this review off with all the positives about it and start with the negatives:
- As explained in A Long, Long Sleep, Otto is a genetically engineered being, he is half human half alien and because of this mixing of species Otto and his siblings have either already died or are going to die, which is what is happening to Otto in No Life But This. Part of the dying process is that you start to go mad. This is what bothered me. The middle 100 pages which took me like 3 days to get through is mostly about Otto going and functioning as someone who has completely lost their mind. Otto can receive and send telepathic messages so his going mad process also involves a lot of different voices and personalities in his head and it was EXTREMELY confusing. I couldn’t keep up with who controlling Otto (Otto or someone else in his head) and it was no fun to try and work out who was doing what. Another thing about Otto losing his mind which truly bothered me was that Otto’s strict moral code about never influencing someone into doing something they don’t want to do went right out the window. He did some extremely questionable things which had me on the boarder of calling him a horrible, manipulative, controlling, jealous person.
I didn’t mean to go on a long ramble about that but those middle 100 pages really ruined the story for me.
- Also another thing I didn’t like was that Bren is barely in this book. I was excited to read about him again and then he’s barely in it! Same with the rest of Rose’s friends who we read about in A Long, Long Sleep.
Now onto the positives, because who likes to be a downer all day long!!
- Rose and Otto’s romance!! I barely read books from males POVs and it even rarer that it is a romantic book! Otto has such strong feeling for Rose from the start of the book, you see him struggle with being jealous and having insecurities around her. When Otto isn’t losing his mind his and Rose’s relationship is very sweet and tentative, when he is losing his mind I am quite uncomfortable with it (you’ll have to read the book to understand). I loved reading from a male’s perspective about being in love but viewing Rose from someone else other than herself was a bit strange. You learn while reading this book that to the people who aren’t 100% important to Rose that she can be quite callous and demeaning to. It was pretty eye opening.
- Just like in A Long, Long, Sleep the world building of Europa (the planet this book is mostly set on) is fantastic! I could picture the frozen to perfect city and the giant bodies of water. Sheehan is very talented with writing in a way that builds vivid images in your head.
- The ending is pure amazing! The ending saved this book – It is so inventive and ingenious. I honestly did not see it coming at all throughout the book so when it did but it made so much weird but wonderful sense. The ending sets up for another book, and after that ending I am so keen to read it but considering there’s a 3 year gap between the first books publication and the second books, I don’t think I should start holding my breath. I also think it’s going to be in maybe Bren or Sarah’s POV since it looks like the POVs are changing each book.
Overall, when I think back on this book I will probably remember two things above the rest, that amazing ending and that really bad middle. Unfortunately doesn’t matter how great that ending was it can’t outweigh the massive chuck that I had to force myself to read. I am eager to see what happens next in this crazy world.