This latest Outlanders started out great. Sorrow Space had a fantastic concept of utilizing what Ellis and Odom started years ago with lost universes, or 'casements' of alternate universes that was very exciting to explore - if done right.
Sorrow Space had a lot going for it. The first half of the book was exciting. Rik Hoskin does some of his best writing here. When Kane, Grant and Brigid are returning from a mission, a glitch in the system lands them in another earth. One that has been utterly destroyed by a hybrid baron that has not gone through 'the change' due to his being on this Dead Earth place, not on the Real Earth. I loved the ghoulish Dark Magistrates! These were basically zombies turned henchmen, who carry these Soul Eaters instead of Sin Eater blasters. The gunsmoke emanating from these blasters were always in the form of howling dead souls. Coo image!
The problem with Sorrow Space is that after this fantastic set-up, it kinda falls flat. After what seemed like the hundredth chase scene, with mainly only 4 Dark Magistrates being utilized here, and ALL of them being apparently horrible shots, always missing Kane and Company a million times, the book started losing its luster. Having come upon a strange and deadly world, with monstrous mags chasing you and trying to kill you - why would Kane and Grant hold back on killing them? OK, they wanted to capture one to question him. But if you already know they don't speak like normal humans, and they are always blasting at you - them kill them!
Too many risks were taken here for believability sake. It became redundant. There were lots of Dark Magistrates. Why not wait until there is an opportune time to take one prisoner, except trying it when there are many of them who have you cornered? Ellis would have had Kane and company blast these first ones to smithereens, then pen in a better plan in capturing one, WITHOUT taking these numerous stupid risks.
But this author penned a pretty solid horror type scenario. The Dead Earth of this casement was very much like Alan Philipson's Shadow World in DL. There are much worse places than our Earth's post-holocaust one. But Sorrow Space didn't reach the greatness of Shadow World, or Ellis and Odom's casement trilogy. It had great potential, and did have some solid material in it. But, overall, after reading the ending, it left me wanting.
For overall concept I would give this a 10. But in the last half execution, with the endless chase scenes with terrible shots and misses, along with some concepts I felt were not fully explored, I would give this a 5. Very good, but could have been awesomely great.