The second entry of this excellent sci-fi series introduces new characters — including the very cool Canine and Ursine Metasapients on the cover — while continuing to explore the large and small mysteries surrounding main characters Silverstein, Taylor, and Ezra One.
As with the first book (see my review), author Arthur Walker (@ArthurHWalker) leaves the reader with far more questions than answers in Uroboros Saga (Book 2), but I certainly didn’t mind. The story moves at a quick pace with plenty of action and the characters, especially the manufactured lifeforms like military drone Ezra and police officer Abbey (the Canine Metasapient from the cover), are engaging.
The following contains spoilers for those who haven’t read Book One
Book 2 opens with a chapter of escalating tension that illustrates the practical results of the Shutdown that Silverstein, Taylor, and Ezra were unable to prevent. A cascading financial crisis resulted in the widespread “defunding” of businesses, individuals and governments, in one stroke reducing much of the world to struggling to survive in a new Dark Age.
The amnesic Silverstein seems to be Vance Uroboros, the wealthy financier at least partially responsible for creating the Shutdown. Or maybe Silverstein is just one of the clones Uroboros created of himself. That would explain why the family of mercenaries sent to capture them claims to have been hired by the man himself.
But what did Uroboros, and any allies he may have had such as the scientists Dr. Madmar and Dr. Helmet, hope to achieve with the Shutdown? A fresh start for the planet free from the oppressive Central Global Government? Exposing the CGG’s crimes? Crimes that include, apparently, faking the threat of an alien invasion to justify creating highly specialized (and often quite lethal) lifeforms like Ezra. And how does Taylor, herself a highly specialized lifeform, fit in? Or the psychic Matthias for that matter?
Silverstein and the others with him spend most of Book 2 reacting to events rather than probing for answers, but as with the first book there are flashback chapters that show the roots of the story go back decades. Personally, I don’t mind a slow reveal in this case because the journey so far has been so enjoyable. At some point I’m sure to learn all the answers, but one thing I know now is I’ll be entertained along the way.