****/ 4.5 stars

I wasn’t sure what to expect of Irradiance, having read David Brun’s first book, The Dream Guild. Let me start off by saying that this is a much different book than his first. First, this is geared much more toward an adult audience with a richer and more vibrant world that the story was built within. And for that, I’m glad. I really liked the dystopian world where certain discoveries are made that make the government’s blind-eye world view questioned to such a point where they decide to address the questioning. Decisively.

Second, the structure of Sindra’s society was logical – and although it is one that I found myself at odds with its ideals for a number of reasons, it held a certain level of calm and order to it… until the layers were peeled back. I liked how the space travel was portrayed, and I will have to admit that their recycling program turned out a bit more thorough than I had imagined. But that’s a good thing, because in a way it reflects on the unsustainability of their society both on the human level as well as the societal level itself.

The social constraints aside, I liked how the telepathy impacted people’s interactions as well as the crystals and the role they played in their society, as well as the limitations of the crystals themselves.

When reading the book, I quickly became invested in the protagonist and the main characters. While I could see the direction that the story itself was headed in, there were a number of twists that took me by surprise. In the end, I definitely found myself rooting for the Book Club, and all who belonged to it.

I do have two minor qualms about the story. The first – the story felt a bit too short. The second for me was the pseudo-cliff-hanger ending. I won’t give any details, but it feels like there were two warring emotions at the end, the anxious joy of success and the suck your breath in and wait for it cliff-hanger. For me, I wish there was more of the former and a bit less of the latter – but this is purely a personal preference.

I liked the pacing of the plot and how the story itself unfolded. The richness of the dystopic world that was built is something that I wasn’t necessarily expecting, but am glad that I found. I will certainly be reading the next book when it comes out, and I highly recommend this book for a fun read that just happens to have some faintly serious undertones nestled within.

Above all else – remember… The mind is the true voice of a Citizen. Now do your civic duty, Citizen, and read this book.