Book Reviews


After her theft from MiliLabs, Summer has taken on the psychic powers of the seserance. Separated from connection with anyone in Migax, she must find a way to get rid of the threat the seserance still poses before she is captured. To do so she must travel to Ixar, home to the megacorps that are gaining control of Migax, in search of a renowned hacker and an expert on advanced technology. Back at Askel, Wilders are angry at Migax’s treatment of squells and are demanding a resolution. As Leafsong seeks out The Hope of Migax on her own and experiments with her manipulator powers, she finds herself testing the limits of her freedoms and discovering dark secrets about Migax’s resistance, secrets which cause her to question Eeksa’s true motives. Caught in a game of deception, violence, and sedition, Leafsong and Summer are pit against not only MiliLabs but their own temptations, as they find their moral codes increasingly tested in the struggle to decide the fate of themselves, the wilders, and all of Migax.

If you’ve read my review for Gateway, the first volume in Juliette L. Dunn’s The Mygax Cycle, you’ll know how much I enjoyed that coming of age adventure and all the themes it covered. If you haven’t read it, be sure to click here and give the review a read: it’s the first part of a series that Dunn’s latest novel, Seserance, continues. All too often, continuations of series are incredibly similar to the books that started them. While fans of the original will often be pleased, the subsequent entries don’t add much new to the world. As comforting as that can be, it makes reviewing those latter entries difficult—what more is there to say? With Seserance, there’s quite a bit to say: it is a different beast to its predecessor, picking up and running with the story, but in a direction other than was expected.

While readers can usually safely expect such sequels to build the world and increase the scope, it is not often they do so on a scale like Seserance compared to Gateway. Where the former novel was inward looking, focusing most of the attention on the school its protagonists attended, Askel, Seserance broadens the story, looking out at the broader world of Migax. The stakes in Seserance are far bigger than those in Gateway, and the story moves at a much faster pace, resulting in a story with a larger focus on larger than life sci-fi action. With the pace and adventure comes a freewheeling sense of fun, brought to life by a great sense of humour. While Gateway isn’t short on fun moments and a sense of humour, these elements are far more key ingredients in the series’ sophomore outing.

With its increased pace and higher stakes, more happens in Seserance, yet it is a hundred pages shorter than its predecessor at 286 pages (or, for Kindle readers, 288 pages—again, exactly 100 fewer pages). With bigger stakes and more happening in the book, but it being less than three quarters the length of its predecessor, it is natural that something will have to fall by the wayside. The biggest sacrifice Dunn has made with Seserance is in relation to the book’s themes, which aren’t as prevalent. While it still touches upon genocide, discrimination and equality, corporate power and corruption, the themes aren’t at the forefront of the story. I found myself missing the focus on these themes, but the trade-off is a book that managed to maintain a breakneck pace while ensuring it kept its sense of fun. It was great to see this novel again utilise queer characters, extending to the introduction of a transgender character. Once again, Dunn treats this with sensitivity, with these being aspects of the characters, instead of their defining traits.

Seserance’s plot is as fantastic as its predecessor, and it moves quickly and smoothly throughout the book. I’ll avoid going into detail about it, as doing so will risk spoiling not only this book, but also Gateway. The plot builds beautifully, and once again, Dunn has closed it with a fantastic ending—one that even surpasses the last outing. If that ending was a shock, then Seserance’s ending is a sucker punch. Again, it’s unexpected, and it brings some emotional weight to it. There’s a lot of great work that builds towards the ending, with plenty of twists and turns. Not only is the plot’s scope different to its predecessor, Dunn uses a different device for telling the story, this time telling two different threads: one about Summer, the other about Leafsong.

While one of the joys of Gateway is the interactions between Summer and Leafsong, by virtue of Seserance splitting them up and sending them along different narrative paths, it lacks these. The novel doesn’t suffer for this, as the book is packed full of wonderful characters. And while these friends aren’t interacting with each other, they do interact with this cast, which results in a lot of heart, fun moments, and great humour. Once again, the dialogue works well, with the characters all feeling unique and natural.

As different as Seserance is to its predecessor, it is unmistakably a part of The Migax Cycle, and unmistakably written by Dunn. As different as its tone, story and plot devices are, it shares the same style of prose, and is equally accessible to its young adult demographic. The prose is easy to follow, and flows a little more easily than it does in Gateway. I would have still appreciated a little more colour to it, and there were a few typos and formatting issues that pulled me out of the story, but the prose easily conveys what it needs to.

Seserance is bigger in every way to Gateway, and that extends to its science fiction concepts. Dunn takes the elements she created in the first book and expands upon these in interesting ways. Like that first book, though, Migax feels very much like Earth, particularly in its use of the same technology we use here. This pulled me out of the world, as the technology felt very much like the modern day with some sci-fi additions, rather than those additions being part of a world living with more advanced technology.

Like Gateway before it, Seserance’s cover doesn’t mention it’s part of The Migax Cycle (although the Amazon listing notes this). Where that book stands alone, Seserance is very much a sequel. While it touches upon the events that led to the story, readers who haven’t read the first book will likely feel like they’ve missed out. While the story feels complete, it does end on a cliffhanger, beckoning them to read further.

As much as I would have appreciated a little more colour to the prose and a more consistent sci-fi world, Seserance is a thoroughly entertaining read. While the themes aren’t as prevalent as its predecessor, the trade-off is a book that has a broader scope and a greater sense of fun. It mightn’t be as resonant, but anybody who enjoyed Gateway will enjoy seeing where Summer and Leafsong’s story takes them next.

Favourite Passage

He said something in response, likely a swear, and kicked open the car door. Then he definitely swore; a long, loud diatribe that he screamed into the night. He kicked the car tire and fell to the ground, yelping. If he was this drunk, then the rescue would be harder than Summer had thought.

Seserance, Chapter Ten

Seserance was provided by the author for the purpose of an honest review.

Seserance is available in physical and audiobook formats, exclusive to Amazon and Audible, and eBook, widely.

Note: I do not post scores for reviews on this website, but do post them on my Amazon and Goodreads reviews:

You can follow Juliette L. Dunn online, via:

Interested in purchasing Seserance?

Please find a link below; please note I do not collect any proceeds from the sale.

Seserance (The Migax Cycle Book 2)

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