Engima (Harmony book 2) by C. F. Bentley (Daw) [Book Review]

Enigma takes place on the space station Labyrinthe VII, better known as The First Contact Cafe.

The two lovers from Harmony is separated by duty, history and a bit of clashing cultures. High Priestess Sissy is almost deaf and with her contact with Harmony lost after that latest assassination attempt. And she is desperately trying to find a way to restore her contact with the divine. That is why she had to leave Harmony.

Jake is back in the grip of the mysterious and deranged spy mistress who wants to run the station and the people around her. And they both want to be together but how much fun would it be if that worked out from the beginning.

Mix in a screwed alien that is underestimated and shunned by his family bent on claiming the station, a crashed alien spaceship and a girl on the run from captivity by the Marillon Empire.

The stakes are raised still higher as High Priest Gregor secretly travels to the space station, determined to bring Sissy back to Harmony, where he believes he can keep her under his control. With both High Priest and High Priestess gone from the home world, natural disasters suddenly begin to wreak havoc on Harmony Prime.

I would not say that the sequel is as good as the first book. It suffers from a slow start but the characters are as compelling and likable as before.

I would say it is wide open for more books in the series but I have absolutely no indication that there is one planned. Quite the opposite in fact, most sources talk about them as a finished whole.

Keeping in mind that it doesn’t quite reach the height of the first book, Enigma is doing okay. It is a fast read but not as standalone as Harmony. It is fun to read space opera with interesting aliens and thrilling mysteries even if it has some problems with pacing. Read Harmony first and if you enjoyed that you should enjoy enigma too.


Title: Enigma
Series: Harmony book 2
Author: C. F. Bentley (alias for Irene Radford)
Paperback: 468 pages
Publisher: Daw (2008)

Order from: Amazon US | UK | B&N | sfbok

The world of Harmony, along with its close-knit colony planets, has been isolated from the rest of the universe for many generations. Now, Harmony’s High Priestess Sissy and Confederated Star System Agent Jake have traveled to space station Labyrinthe VII, otherwise known as The First Contact Café, where they hope to establish diplomatic relations between the Harmonic Empire and the wider universe. But when an alien ship crashes into the Harmony Diplomatic Wing of Labyrinthe VII, the precarious balance Sissy and Jake have established begins to dissolve.

My review of Harmony.