They thought the biggest problem they faced was each other.
After Bleu, Rana, and their new friends narrowly prevent war between the star beings and humans, they hope the upcoming negotiation will secure the peace. Newly emerged from their subterranean haven, the Northern Haven humans are clearly not suited to Earth’s ice age, and require assistance from the enlightened star beings to survive long term on the Surface. But Commander Savas doesn’t trust the suspiciously kind star beings and their unexplainable abilities. When both sides reluctantly negotiate a joint mission to find the other Havens, Bleu must somehow cooperate with the manipulative commander to keep his friends safe.
As their team confronts unexpected dangers, Bleu and his teammates begin to suspect the star beings don’t know as much about the Surface as they claimed, while Rana is torn between remaining true to her nonviolent ways or becoming more human to survive. When an unnatural predator attacks, even the nearly all-knowing Kalakanya can’t explain it. Now the team must pull together or their new discovery will pull them apart, limb by limb.
There are a number of characters featured throughout the story, some human, some Star Beings. Their stories intertwine wonderfully to create an array of diverse perspectives on the mission. You see Bleu’s insecurities and struggles to do what he believes is right, Atsushi’s love of learning, Rana’s desire to Crown and her wariness when it comes to certain humans, Kahali’s struggle with anger, and Savas’ manipulating and secretive demeanor.
On a personal note, I found Savas to be a great antagonist to the story—he is aggravating and infuriating, but also believes he’s doing the right thing for his people. I rather like the complexity of his character, even though he was so frustrating at times.
With so many different personalities (and trust issues) at work, Bleu had his work cut out for him in maintaining a cohesive team. It wasn’t until nearly the end that they began to truly work together. There was a lot of character growth that occurred—even for Savas—and it was fun to see.
During the journey, the team is faced with a number of dangers, some from the natural world and some from the team members themselves. There was plenty of action and mystery to keep the story interesting from start to finish.
I’d love to say a bit more, but some of my thoughts contain spoilers, so we’ll leave it at this for now. There is a third book in the works, The Ruined, which I’ll definitely be watching for.
The Chasm was an excellent sequel to The Calling. I recommend both books for fans of adventure-driven science fiction with an array of very interesting characters.