In the Epilogue of Odyssey, the unfortunate capture and destruction of Exploration is mentioned. In truth, I really had no clear idea how that was going to play out! It took some time for the ideas to coalesce and give me the direction needed.
From the start, I intended this book to be a bit more gritty and visceral than the first two in the series. I also wanted the bad guys to be particularly BAD to reinforce the idea that if humanity ever were to traverse the galaxy in the future, they would not necessarily be welcomed with open arms, tentacles, claws, whatever!
One of my greatest challenges was to juggle all the different people groups and sub-plots involved, making sure I didn’t drop any story threads along the way. I had to rely on lots of paper notes alongside my keyboard to keep names and events straight in my mind. It was very complicated, and there were times I wished I had picked an easier way to tell the story.
My favorite character was not a human, but Birmew – the hapless Silestri who was nearly killed and then abandoned, simply for trying to protect his human charges. I was determined to repay him for his kindness as the story unfolded, and I think things turned out well for him in the end.
The conclusion of the book was something of a somber mix, but this was by design. With all the damage done during their captivity, some of the prisoners were unable to walk away unscathed. I believe this will be just as true in the future as it is today, no matter what kinds of medical treatments or therapies come along.
The future, as written in this series, is overwhelmingly positive, yet I made it clear not everything will be sweetness and spice. The book ends on a uplifting note, leaving our now-safe descendants ready to face an interesting future.
Some readers have hinted (or demanded) I write more books in the series. While I deeply appreciate their enthusiasm, I have no concrete plans for sequels at the present time. The overall story seems complete to me as is, but if I get some great ideas in the future, you will be the first to know!