The sequel to the Sci-Fi romance Lost in Amber (my review) had came out a while ago but I only got to it now. The sequel builds not only on the SF part of the plot but also on the lighthearted writing with many quips and funny moments even when things get dire.
The book starts pretty much where the first one left off, give or take a few hours.
Zoey, the main human character, gets right back to where the first book left her off, to search for the Optans she worked with in hopes of finishing what the first book started – freeing the remaining altered humans and dealing with those behind those experiments – and those doing said experiments.
And, of course, it takes only a bit of time to see it’s not that simple. The fact Zoey’s friends (who had their memories altered) are brought back into the plot is the least of their concern.
The arrival of the Allaince’s Chancellor seems as there could be a swift resolution to the story – just a bit of diplomacy and the culprits will be captured and death with.
From there on, things go down quickly and it’s hard to do any further comment on the plot without spoilers. But it has several of working elements: characters that are not just good or bad among both friend and foe, a scheme that reaches further than just a few altered humans and a few rebels, and a good ol’ double-agent stunt.
The book’s conclusion then reminded me of how the UN would probably hold a trial of a war criminal.
So, to summarize: the good parts are in the pacing, the many jokes from both sides (such as humans meeting Optans’ technology), the plot twists, and the greater story (I love corrupt politician plot elements and ethical dilemmas).
The bad parts is that I’d hope to see more of Beck – the original author of the alterations – who is almost invisible through the story: once it gets rolling, the focus is exclusively on the main group. Yet, I think some insight into his head, especially when the plot unfolds, would be interesting.
The second issue is that some scenes were a bit chaotic. Not sure if I could call it outright head-hopping or just compare it to a camera making way too many and too fast circles around a room but… yep, there were a few moments I had to read a paragraph twice.
It seems the story is at its end as there’s no hint of a future book at the end but there’s also no outright ‘the end’ – which makes me wonder if the author is leaving a door open for returning to this series. For those who like S-F romance, this two-book series could be a good, quick read.