Finding the cure to a plague that killed 99 percent of humanity was only the beginning for Kira.
Baby Arwen was the first infant to survive thanks to teenage medical technician Kira’s discovery that the cure for the plague called RM was in the pheromones exuded by Partials, the genetically modified superwarriors. The last remnants of humanity—all 36,000 of them—live on Long Island and are locked in a cold war with one faction of the supersoldiers; obtaining the pheromones is no easy task. Acting on a message to “Find the Trust” left her by her guardian, Kira, who’s determined to find a more portable cure as well as a fix for the Partials’ “expiration date” (they die abruptly and in prime condition at 20), sets off to discover the true nature of the Trust, which apparently controls the Partials. Joined by her Partial buddy Samm and superassassin Heron, Kira strikes off across the desolate wastelands of the Midwest. They fight genetically modified beasts and their own misgivings while at home, Kira’s friends wage battles against the encroaching Partials. Fans of Partials (2012) will enjoy the twisty thrills, though the existential hand-wringing is both too frequent and too lengthy. Another hurried ending (if that can be applied to a book of over 560 pages) leaves all in jeopardy.
Doesn’t stand alone, but a fine and frightening post-apocalyptic thriller. (Science fiction. 14 & up)