This is yet another great concept, but is filled with glaring plot-holes.
The story begins with a prologue set in the times of the Crusades, where a lone surviving knight of one of history's bloodiest sieges was held between King Richard and Saladin, wakes up all alone on a battlefield. Essentially, its a Chariots of the Gods moment, just not done with as much excitement as it could have been.
Then the story jumps forward in time, where Domi and Mariah Falk are deep in the jungles of Brazil. Domi is way too relaxed walking among with 'bare feet' in an area that is rife with potentially dangerous animals, snakes, etc... That quickly, the tension is bled away from the get-go.
After Domi and Mariah uncover a hidden spaceship, an unknown craft shows up and snatches it out of the ground - with Domi trapped inside. (What a timely coincidence!)
Basically, this story is about a hidden race of beings who live in their glittering city located in a quantum rift, who have been stealing alien tech for countless centuries.
So, right away, I can't help but think: Where have they been this entire series when the Cerberus team have been uncovering - and using! - alien tech for nearly 70 books?
Then, in a seemingly half-cocked plan, Grant and Kane don't even argue this plan, which is hatched by Lakesh - to have Grant and Kane do a mock battle with their Mantas above the area of Domi's kidnapping. All that came off half-contrived, placing Grant in mortal danger without knowing for sure if this ploy would even work or not. But of course it does. (But they have been flying the Mantas for years, from Earth to the Moon, so why didn't this 'hidden race' notice them then?
The whole problem in this book is that everyone was so darn RELAXED. No tension. From what could have and should have been a dangerous outing in the wilds of Brazil, to Kane, Brigid, and Grant first entering this airborne city that they've never been to, searching for their kidnapped friend, but asking NO questions of their captors. And when they finally do, it feels way too late.
With all due respect to Rik Hoskin, this was another book that held much potential, but needed that explanation of these high-tech race of people having never noticed the Cerberus team in all this time.
There’s a moment towards the end of this book when Kane asks Grant – “Ready to save the world?” and his partner replies drily “Must be a Thursday.” And that in some way sums up this book, it is business as usual in the Outlanders world.
This is a straightforward story of the Cerberus A-team thwarting another mad villain with a plan to rule the Earth with his superior tech. But within its page is the feeling of another arc story brewing. There’s a brand new faction to introduce for a start – Authentiville - a Flash Gordon-esque flying city full of technological wonders and bronzed beautiful people striding about in capes. Usually when our heroes discover a place as utopian as this it turns out to be hiding a dark secret, and on one level it does. But it is a kind of exterior danger, one that is the responsibility of one bad guy, rather than an intrinsic flaw in the society as a whole. I suspect that we haven’t heard the last of this new world. The author clearly enjoys throwing lots of big SF ideas into the plot, including clones, genetically redesigned humans, giant mecha, flying, and thought controlled spaceships. It’s all very energetic.
It’s also good to see my favourite supporting character Mariah Falk getting a bit more action. In Cerberus’ organisation of over-achievers, she’s warm-hearted and refreshingly normal in her reactions when the bullets start flying. I smile whenever her “though not conventionally pretty” description comes up. Here she is initially partnered with Domi and their slightly awkward communication is nicely used to lead into Domi’s own sub-plot about her considering leaving Cerberus due to her still not being completely accepted by the majority of the scientists.
In short “Cosmic Rift” is another entertaining instalment of the series.
This story was a big disappointment because the characters are behaving as if they are new to the rodeo. Apart of middle school language arts is character mapping, this means watching the characters change throughout a storyline. Some of these writers do not pay attention to this concept because disconnection occurs from one writer to the next. This disconnect is obvious in Domi’s behavior, in prior books she would be on guard in new environments. In this story, she is acting like a novice prancing off as though she is strolling through a meadow in a pre-war society.
After everything, she has been through this change show very little thought and it seems like the character is just around to make up numbers. If this is the case, then end the relationship with Lakesh and bring in someone who makes sense in the scheme of things.