Breach by Eliot Peper

Rate: 4.5/5

Medium: Book

Overview (No Spoilers):

As the concluding installment of the Analog trilogy, Breach continues the tempo set by the preceding novels with fast pace, edge of your seat action that keeps the reader from being cognizant of flipping pages. Taking place several years removed from where Borderless had left off, Breach picks up with a new point of view from a character who had been absent from the second book. Each book in the Analog trilogy has had a different character holding the reins, and as much as I loved Dag and Diana in the first two novels, I was giddy upon turning to page one and realizing Emily would be at the helm for book three. While Bandwidth revealed many of Emily’s secrets, her inner workings were still enigmatic, which her continued exile in Borderless only served to heighten her intrinsic appeal. Viewing the many familiar characters and their growth throughout the series through Emily’s tortured, yet brilliant eyes was refreshing, ultimately adding a feeling of culmination to the prose. Leading up to the final chapters, I found myself uncomfortable because I couldn’t see how the ending would play-out in a way that held true to the remainder of the novels.  That being said, I shouldn’t have doubted Peper, as he surprised me with not one but two unexpected plot twists within short order, wrapping up his trilogy in a way that I couldn’t help but feel was an ideal ending.  This was my fifth novel by Peper, i.e., Neon Fever Dream, Cumulus, Bandwidth, Borderless, and he continues to hone his craft with each subsequent book. I can’t wait to see what he will  next have in store for his readers, although I’ll wager a guess that in some obscure way it will tie into the literary world he is already created with his previous works. Overall, Breach brought our favorite characters full circle as Commonwealth along with their own lives are again in danger from a familiar, infamous source, making this read nigh impossible to put down.

On a happy note! Meet Izzo, aka Izzy! She approves of Breach too. Izzy showed up at my parents’ farm a month or so ago in very rough shape. She now has a clean bill of health and loves playing fetch. Do we have a cat or dog you might ask?

Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):

  • I loved seeing Dag so contented in life, along with he and Diana having twins.  He has come so far since Bandwidth.
  • When it was first mentioned that Emily thought the Commonwealth Board knew about Javier’s backdoor, I just knew she’d reveal Javier, Dag, and Diana’s secret but as I continued reading I’d forgotten about my prediction. As such, when Emily was giving her impassioned speech to the Commonwealth Board, I was lulled into her speech, fully convinced everyone would side with Javier. So when she instead blew the cover on the massive coverup, I was just as shocked as everyone else and had to put the book down for a whole week to recover. That being said, the next sequence of events contained my only complaint about the read. Don’t get me wrong, I loved when Emily made her plea to Rachel to turn the Commonwealth democratic, however the repercussions of the mislaid trust and betrayal of Javier and Diana with the board, especially Rachel, are never fully addressed or flushed out.
  • First, I’m not in anyway arguing policy here. Another aspect throughout this read that left me uncomfortable was Javier’s pressure to tackle global inequality. Specifically, the pressure was to pass this measure before Rachel’s death. Where I was left feeling uneasy, was the rushed feel of getting backed into a corner by Javier regarding concepts that seemed too deep and complex to force decisions. Along with my previous comment, post the altering boardroom revelations and the switch to democracy discussions, the fate of the global inequality measure was never addressed again or resolved.

Vocabulary Builder:

When reading it is common that I encounter words that I’m not privy to the exact definition, however it is easy to infer the meaning of the aforementioned word based on the context of the sentence and story. As such, relatively new to the Critiquing Chemist, you’ll find an additional section that includes vocabulary words that I encountered upon reading the book being reviewed and either had to look up the definition or it is a word in which I would like to add to my repertoire. This endeavor is easier when in the Kindle format, and potentially impossible with audiobooks, however I’m going to attempt to continue this section for all future book reviews. I’ll be using the definitions from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Liminal: of, relating to, or situated at a sensory threshold

Detritus: a product of disintegration, destruction, or wearing away

Spiel: to talk volubly or extravagantly

Fugue: a disturbed state of consciousness in which the one affected seems to perform acts in full awareness but upon recovery cannot recollect the acts performed

Suss: figure out

Plutocrat: a controlling class of the wealthy

Noir: crime fiction featuring hard-boiled cynical characters and bleak sleazy settings

Redoubt: a small usually temporary enclosed defensive work

Aperitif: an alcoholic drink taken before a meal as an appetizer

Megalomaniacal: a delusional mental illness that is marked by feelings of personal omnipotence and grandeur

Saccharine: overly or sickishly sweet

Ineffable: incapable of being expressed in words

Campanile: a usually freestanding bell tower

Vertiginous: inclined to frequent and often pointless change

Dox: to publicly identify or publish private information about (someone) especially as a form of punishment or revenge



  1. I haven’t seen many reviews of these books around so I’d been hesitant to try them, but it sounds like they might be worth picking up! I also love the vocabulary building section.

    Have you read Gnomon by Nick Harkaway? That guy has an enormous vocabulary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you’d enjoy this series Sarah! Peper is self published but The NY Times and other big name sites have been giving this series rave reviews too. Let me know what you think if you pick them up. 😀

      And thanks. I enjoy doing the vocab builder but it’s so hard with audiobooks which have become my main medium. I’ll have to check out Gnomon. I haven’t heard it it before. I think Pierce Brown’s Red Rising series is my record holder.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I actually have read Red Rising- Gnomon is significantly more difficult (at least for me- this might not be true for other readers).

        That being said, I don’t know if I’d recommend Gnomon for audio, though if it’s done well it could be pretty interesting! Some of the words I remember: gnomon, connectome, catabasis, and apocatastasis (which I have likely spelled wrong). It’s also a super mind bendy book. I did really enjoy it in the end- haven’t experienced anything else quite like it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I wouldn’t say the Red Rising material was dense or difficult by any means. It just had a diverse range of vocabulary. It sounds like Gnomon is more of the difficult, thought provoking range. I’m definitely going to look into it. Thank you for the recommendation!

        Liked by 1 person

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