A Review of: Catalyst Gate (The Protectorate Book 3), by Megan E. O’Keefe

Superficially, this series is about a time far in the future, when humans have left a dying Earth planet, learned to make space travel ships, and then space – time travel thru ‘gates’ to other star systems a reality. Humans, populating many many star systems, and planets, and stations. There is unrest, not all the humans, want to be consumed under the “Prime Inventive’ rulers. So, we have war between the Prime, and the ones who want to be freed. Then, throw in some ancient alien tech to make things interesting. And some Alien consciousnesses, who are not happy at how you humans are consuming the universe.

At depth, it is a story about family. The kind of blood, and the kind we choose. And going to all lengths necessary to protect them, and keep them safe. Save them when needed.

It’s about good and evil. On a local scale, a personal level, and a spectacular Universal level.

The book… Is an adventure of non-stop seat of your chair action. We journey thru space, in the completing arc of the Protectorate Series. Sanda’s mission to Remove Rainer from existence, and keep the Universe as she knows, it safe, from other-worldy ancient aliens with far more intelligence and technology than humanity has achieved. Bero’s arc, the Artificial Intelligence, who is now sentient, and does not want to be a weapon of mass destruction. Birans’ path up in the Protectorate, and uncovering centuries protected secrets. Along with how to reconcile them, and make things right, all while not dying at the hands of the ones who desperately want the opposite. Tomas, who complicates everything, but is integral to the story, and uncovering details that are important.

This is the kind of book you don’t read while tired. It demands your full attention, so you don’t miss any of the million important details in the many plot lines. It also requires commitment, as it’s a big, three book series, which is best served consecutively, and without stop. You won’t be sorry you did though.

The story is unique, and intriguing. Filled with layers and layers of detail. So many characters and plot lines you might be dizzy trying to keep it all straight. But they do all come together, and intertwine, with so much thought, and detail, pulling the entirety of it all together.

The series does a fantastic job, tying so many intricate plots together. It is a nearly flawless job putting the story arcs of all the many characters from three big books together, and into a nice clean end. There are a couple stumbles in this book where there’s a action/conclusion that misses steps, or isn’t a logically made jump. But overall, the story is expertly managed, and completed. A truly fantastic feat for such a complex story with so so so many details to tie together, to end in a satisfying end. Not dropping the ball and missing arcs. The story does extend over three big books, and there’s never a dull moment. (And completing arcs for not just the book, but the series.)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

My Thoughts As a Variety Of Answers:

  1. Story Pacing?
    Starts of right where book 2 ended… which is a no brainer, since book too ANNOYINGLY ended in the middle of a paragraph with a ‘READ THE NEXT BOOK TO FIND OUT WANT HAPPENS!’ ending. Having said that, there is not even a single second of down time. Even if there is ‘nothing’ action like happening, every word is advancing a major idea, plot arc, or bringing out a new revelation for us to gasp at. There is no prediction what’s coming in this one, it hasn’t been done a million times by everyone. 10/10

    2. Story character arcs?
    Expertly done. Our author must have had done crazy character boards to map all the characters in this series, thru their own individual growth and change, and how they cross paths with each other, effecting change, drama, friction, growth…. In my mind: every single character is accounted for. There is arc, growth, change, revelation, and satisfying conclusion. 10/10

    3. Story arc?
    While being a book that is part of a series, and as noted – it’s really a continuation of book 2; it in and of itself still has a strong story arc – overall as a cohesive whole, as well as the individual story arcs that each part of the story drives. 10/10

    4. Story writing quality?
    Expertly done, with only a couple instances in this book (less then 5) that I noted for myself didn’t meet the exceptional quality of meticulousness used throughout the series. 9/10

    5. Story wokeness? (tolerable / gag me)
    Did not annoy me in any way, as the story is not bogged down with checking ‘wokeness’ boxes. 10/10

    6. Grates against my annoyances? (Use of the word ‘BEAT’)
    Five uses of the deplorable ‘beat’. Shame on you, O’Keefe. FAIL. 1/10

    7. Grates against my annoyances? (fictional words)
    Continued to be annoyed by weird names of people. Sanda, instead of Sandra, Biran, instead of Brian. Ilan, instead of Ian… This will never not really annoy me every single time I see the annoying word. 5/10

    8. Story romance level?
    Very low with only 2 tiny sub plots throughout the series get given any time. Sandra and Tomas; Biran and Vladsen. Neither contain any sappy graphical love/sex scenes. 10/10. Science fiction doesn’t need sex scenes, or romantic entanglement just because.

    9. Story readability?
    Complicated. It’s a highly detailed and complex story with many characters and many arcs. As long as you’re awake, and devoting your whole attention to this story, it is highly readable. 8/10

    10. Story Completeness (did it end on a cliff hanger, or a see my next book!) ?
    Not a single story arc was left untied, in my option. And done well; and satisfying. 10/10

    11. Did the story cover familiar ground, or go new places?
    So many new ideas, places, events, situations. This series to me is filled with unique ideas. And Sure science fiction is ‘easy’ because it’s all fantasy. Having said that: it’s all been done before. So many stories use much of the same ideas. I felt this series covers so much new ground. 10/10

    12. Was there anything I wanted to know that was left unanswered?
    There was… but nothing that left the story unfinished of dangling. Such as: don’t you want to know more about Who the Waiting are? And alternately, the sentinels? 8/10

    13. Things I really liked / or didn’t like?
    Nothing that I haven’t already mentioned in other points above. 8/10
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