Book Review: Nophek Gloss by Essa Hansen

Series: The Graven (1)

Pub Day: November 17, 2020

Length: 433 pages

Affiliate Link: available here at


In this dark, dangerous, roller coaster of a debut, a young man sets out on a single-minded quest for revenge across a breathtaking multiverse filled with aliens, mind-bending tech, and ships beyond his wildest imagining. Essa Hanson’s is a bold new voice for the next generation of science fiction readers.

Caiden’s planet is destroyed. His family gone. And, his only hope for survival is a crew of misfit aliens and a mysterious ship that seems to have a soul and a universe of its own. Together they will show him that the universe is much bigger, much more advanced, and much more mysterious than Caiden had ever imagined. But the universe hides dangers as well, and soon Caiden has his own plans. He vows to do anything it takes to get revenge on the slavers who murdered his people and took away his home. To destroy their regime, he must infiltrate and dismantle them from the inside, or die trying.


Nophek Gloss, after having listened to it twice already at this point, is one of my favorite science fiction stories. Granted, I don’t have a tonnn of experience with sci-fi so maybe it’s more apt for me to say that Nophek Gloss is just one of my favorite books in general. That probably means a lot more with the amount of books I tend to read in a year. I love Essa Hansen’s world-building, her characters, and her plots. The book starts out with a bang and it kept me hooked the entire way through until the end, eager to read more. It doesn’t just have an informative beginning, no, it has a beginning chapter full of action that leaves you breathless and a bit shocked to be honest. I personally love that kind of start to a new series though. It gets the blood pumping and gets you hyped to continue reading.

And continuing with this book is so worth it. You can tell that Hansen has put a lot of thought into her world-building and the science behind it. While I can’t claim to understand all of that science myself, I do still find the explanations well done and even when there is a bit of an info-dump, it doesn’t really feel like it. My favorite part though are the characters. I love how complex they are, both the good ones and the bad ones. This series has one of my favorite villains in it because he is just so complex, which makes him fun to learn about. The characters in general have many layers that are peeled back throughout the series. But even with that focus on the characters, the action is not left behind. I found there to be a good balance between the two. The main plot of the book is wrapped up in a satisfying way but still leaves you eager to continue on with the series.


About the Author:

Essa Hansen grew up in beautifully wild areas of California, from the coastal foothills to the Sierra Nevada mountains around Yosemite, before migrating north to the Canadian Rocky Mountains. She has ranched bison and sheep, trained horses, practiced Japanese swordsmanship, and is a licensed falconer. She lives with her cat in the San Francisco Bay Area.

As a sound designer for SF and fantasy films, her credits can be found on IMDB.

Find her on Twitter @Essa Hansen.

(I usually don’t make comments on someone’s author bio but I mean, you see what I see, right?? She’s just such a BA person! And really nice also when you talk to her!)

Thank you for the free copy from Orbit in exchange for an honest review!

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