For this song it is just her and her guitar sitting on a wall underneath some fairy lights. “Astral Plane” is a 3/4 time song (with a kind of plucked strumming) . The melody is simple and comforting, call it “a softly swaying, country-tinged soul song.” But I feel like it’s her voice that stands out.
Her voice is unique, and based on it I have no idea where she is from. It sounds accented but also almost cartoony. But there’s nothing funny about this song–it’s a pretty song about dancing on the astral lane. I found that I didn’t really like her voice at first, but it slowly grew on me. And I find myself somewhat addicted to this song now. Must hear more.
[READ: January 28, 2017] Cleopatra in Space Book Three
I ended the previous review by saying I couldn’t believe I had to wait forever to read the next book. And here it is almost a year later and book three is out.
As with the previous books in this series there is a lot of action–a lot of fighting sequences. But Maihack once again does a great job in keeping the action easy to follow even while lasers and knives are zapping all over the place.
As the story opens, we see Cleo’s ship surrounded by Octavian and a massive Xerx fleet. Cleo’s team is obviously afraid but we hear Octavian tell his crew that he wants everyone on Cleo’s ship alive. Unfortunately for Cleo, Zaid, a rather impulsive youth has joined them and fires on one of the ship’s lasers. This causes all kinds of chaos and a chase sequence.
Our heroes take escape pods and land near Hykosis City, which proves to be a pretty tough place. Brian, Cleo and Akila are together. The girls decide to head into the city while Brain tries to fix the homing pod.
Maihack must have had a lot of fun drawing the city–futuristic and old Western at the same time. In fact the girls go into a tavern–the fact that they are given juice boxes is hilarious.
And then we see a boy–we know him–he’s the boy who stole the sword in the previous book. He is about to get beaten to a pulp by a big green guy with a beard and a cowboy hat. But Cleo zaps his cowboy off his head. He turns to her and shouts:
“No one shoots Fod Franze’s Hat!!” and she replies “Well, I just did so…not true?”
This causes much trouble and now the bar is after both of them (Akila has been hiding most of this time).
The whole bar fight is pretty funny with a comical ending. And as the chapter concludes, the three kids head off and we lean that Octavian is aware that they escaped in a shuttle.
Chapter two opens on Zaid and Khensui (the cat). Khensui knows that they can get help from Harkheb, an antiquarian cat who is also Khensui’s former teacher.
We flash over to Cleo and her friends. That’s when we see that both of them think Ocatavian is after them. And the two work as a team to fight off the Xerx thugs.
Akila thinks that the thief is really cute and there’ s a cute scene where she shoots one of the robots and he comments, “Nice shooting, Red” and she blushes.
Once the action ends, the thief reveals that he saw Cleo glowing pink–she doesn’t understand. And then he realizes exactly who she is–Cleopatra?–the prophesied queen of the Nile. That’s why the Xerx are here.
He realizes that they must go to see Harkheb.
So we cut back to Harkheb who has greeted Khensui and Zaid happily. This leads to a brief flashback about Zaid’s parents–how he never knew them and how they were heroes in the city. Harkheb gives Zaid a useful item and then they quickly leave.
Only to reveal that Octavian was there the whole time and now determines Harkheb is of no more use. And we all know what that means.
When Cleo and them arrive, they find Harkheb barely alive. And now the kids are mad.
Chapter three shows a clever ploy to distract the Xerx guards (it’s quite funny).
Finally there’s a showdown between Cleo and Octavian. She confronts him about the fake sword–the ruse. And he reveals that it was all there to draw her out. And then he reveals the full extent of the prophecy–that yes, she is destined to defeat Octavian, but that she is also destined to die–no one had told her that part.
And then there is a shocking revelation about who Octavian really is. (However, it had been so long since I’d read the stories that the shock was completely lost on me and I now have to go back and see what the revelation means).
In another huge surprise, Zaid is blasted by a deadly weapon–which is surprising given his huge back story revelation earlier. Or, since he just goes fwish, perhaps he was not blasted after all.
And then, yes, things get confusing. She touches a tablet and things happen
Cleo wakes back up a P.Y.R.A.M.I.D., having been in a coma for three weeks.
In that time a number of things have happened, and while it is all pretty serious, there’s moment of levity when she runs out and realizes she is in a hospital gown with no pants on–to blushing all around.
They offer to send Cleo back to her original time, but she realizes that she has much to do and she wants to stay and fight.
There’s so many unanswered questions! I’m really looking forward to Book 4.