A parallel-dimension–jumping cyborg soldier must make questionable alliances to save her country from an existential threat in this sequel to The Almost Girl (2013).
Coming shortly after the duology’s new publisher rereleases the first book, this completes Riven’s story. Riven has been searching the parallel (normal) Otherworld for nearly a year, trying to find her villainous, mad-scientist father to bring him to justice, when the Guardians, who prevent dimension-crossing, catch up to her with an important message. Her king (and love interest), Caden, has crossed over and needs to speak with her. After a series of bad decisions, Riven learns that Faction leader Era Taylor has been abducted (and rescued), her home city, Neospes, is under organized attacks from the organic-android hybrid Reptiles, and a hidden city on her world is offering help but at a price—a political marriage for Caden. Oh, and they need her father’s help. What follows is a dangerous mission to secure the alliance and discover the source of the Reptile troubles, though readers will learn that the villain responsible is obvious long before being revealed. Some double-crosses are effective and cyborg interfacing cool, but inconsistent characterization and baffling decisions weaken the plot—as do cartoonish villain monologues. The story strengthens as it goes on, though, and offers a solid conclusion.
Popcorn fiction at best. (Science fiction. 12-18)