The first book of the Jani Killiam series by Kristine Smith. And it's a new author and series for me.
The whole time I was reading this I had the feeling that there's this incredibly rich backstory going on, but it's just hinted at and never completely revealed. Bits and pieces keep coming to light throughout the book. I'm assuming that more will be learned in later books, I'm certainly hoping so because there's just enough there to thoroughly intrigue me!
I want to know who these people are and how they're all connected, how they ended up where they are now. And what exactly was done to Jani? It's obviously more than just the "augie", but it's never completely explained.
The book is sci-fi, but it's more on the political intrigue side than my typical fare. There's spooks (former spooks?) aliens that like to play games, illegal medical experiments... all kinds of good stuff.
By the end I understood what was going on, mostly, in the present. But there's this undercurrent of past events that are very much not resolved. And the past is clearly very intertwined with what's going on throughout the book so I really want to know what happened!
The alien language fascinates me. It sounds like it's a combination of a spoken and gestural language, each part having different information. It's much more transparent than "human" languages, without the subtext and multiple meanings.