It’s a grave new world when the revolution a reluctant hero inspired could mean the death of everyone he tried to save, including himself.
In this sequel to Proxy (2013), radical groups form in the wake of the Jubilee. The Reconciliation staunchly endorses tech-free purity, while Machinists demand a renaissance of the networks. Reluctant 16-year-old hero Syd is paraded as a political puppet, labeled a savior by supporters and marked a target by the opposition. His importance as a mascot for the Reconciliation necessitates a bodyguard, 17-year-old Liam. Liam is strong (he has a killer metal hand), silent (too shy for vocal eloquence) and will do anything to remain near Syd for reasons other than professional integrity. Amid political upheaval, an illness begins to spread, rendering victims’ blue blood black and diminishing their mental faculties. Syd has been a hesitant political figure but knows he is the only hope for ending the illness. Proxy should be read first to fully comprehend this sequel’s complex conflict and characters. Though Book 1 established Syd’s homosexuality, he experienced only unrequited crushes. Here, Liam’s affection for Syd and Syd’s reluctance to perpetuate emotional attachment (“everyone I ever cared about has died”) is more foreground than back story. Don’t assume for a second that romance takes away from the volatile action and high-stakes tension.
Corrupt powers, budding romance, an epidemic and grisly action synthesize to sate sci-fi fans. (Science fiction. 12 & up)