Victor Dixen’s phenomenal Phobos trilogy comes to an explosive and astonishing end in the finale, Collision!
Book: Collision by Victor Dixen (translated by Daniel Hahn)
Read before: I read the first 100 pages or so in French!
Ownership: Review copy sent free of charge by the publisher. All opinions my own.
Warning: this is a review for the third and final book in a trilogy, so while I’ll try my best to keep it spoiler-free, any discussion at all will necessarily spoil the first two books a bit. If you need to catch up, come back later! (Or at least look at my reviews for Ascension and Distortion!)
So, everything I had hoped for while reading the earlier books was explored really well, which goes to show that Victor Dixen is a master of subtle character hints! We get to see the controlling nature of Alexei come to the forefront, and Kris, his now-wife, gets a much more to do than just agree with him and be controlled by him. As I suspected in Distortion, Andrew and Harmony have a much larger role – it is definitely a challenge to have two plots with completely separate characters who never meet, but here their goals align with the Mars characters more fully, and Harmony in particular really grows as a character and has a huge impact on the plot!
Léonor continues to be a wonderful, believable anchor for the reader, and it’s amazing to watch her try to cope in the immediate aftermath of Marcus’s actions in the previous book. She rekindles her relationship with Mozart (remember back when things were simple, and a love triangle was the worst she had to deal with?!), and hers is not the only marriage breaking down. It’s almost as if asking 12 volatile teens in a super-stressful situation to make a group decision on how to pair up isn’t the best way to create everlasting love! It’s utterly fascinating to watch as the group dynamics break down, shift, and reform – even without the other factors, this would be really compelling.
The reality-TV/control of the masses plotline really ramps up too, with Serena, the woman behind everything, going into full moustache-twirling villainhood and manipulating her way into the Presidency. The US becomes a dystopian mess under her rule, complete with rebel factions, and though the Mars crew can only watch in horror, it serves to perfectly underscore the urgency of their plotlines. It’s really well-crafted, and works beautifully to have the huge scale issues (sending people to Mars, gaining control of a country) reflected down into individual pinpoints as the characters suffer. There are more twists and turns than ever before, and once you get about 200 pages from the end, make sure you won’t be interrupted, because you’ll race through, utterly captivated! Things get, well, explosive. Will Léonor and the group survive, maybe even make it home?
I think ‘compelling’, really, is the word to sum up this book and the whole series. They’re enormously good fun – really pacey, totally original, and compulsively readable. They’re perfect for reading when you don’t have much focus, because you get completely dragged into the high drama and excitement! Collision is just so much fun, and a fantastic close to the trilogy. Five out of five cats!