Following The 13th Continuum (2016), Myra and Aero (and friends) journey in search of the First Continuum.
Myra’s and Aero’s groups each landed farther from the First Continuum than they would have hoped, meaning they separately must traverse the barren planet with minimal resources. Myra’s group deals with dwindling supplies; Aero’s faces probes from the villainous Vinick, who wants their continuum’s Beacon back from Aero (and wants Aero dead). Chapters away from the two main protagonists show, along with glimpses of Vinick, a plotline of social upheaval on the 13th Continuum and introduce another point-of-view character, Seeker, from yet another continuum, the Seventh. This other one has fared even worse, suffering a radiation leak that led to a devolved, mutated population of cannibals. Myra and Aero’s dream meetings are impeded by a mysterious, looming darkness, then interrupted by Beacon damage. Though the writing frequently tells instead of showing (often in the form of thesaurus-scented adjectives: one woman has both “coquettish” smiles and “bawdy” laughter, and another’s skirts are described as “maudlin”), the pacing and action are noticeably stepped up in this second outing. The characters eventually join up, establishing a predictable love-triangle storyline, which never rings true. The ending sets up a new villain with unclear motivations.
Will please fans of the first. (Science fiction. 12-17)