A science-infused political sci-fi thriller.
The irrepressible Jimi continues to throw caution to the wind to help her chimera (humans who have enhanced their DNA with animal genes) friends in their fight for equality. A few months after the conclusion of Spliced (2017), Jimi finally reunites with love interest Rex, but when their friend Doctor Guzman is wrongfully arrested for a chimera’s death, the 17-year-old and her friends seek to clear his name and uncover the secrets behind the facility that last treated the deceased chimera. The heroine continues to rescue her modified friends with her ingenuity and bravery, which begins to grate due to predictability and reliance on tired tropes. All roads lead to tech billionaire Howard Wells, but he barely makes an appearance even though his reach is omnipresent. The romance fails to come to life and often falls in dated gender territory. Awkward dialogue and belabored exposition mar the otherwise effective exploration of relevant and timely issues, such as personhood, genetic experimentation, slave labor, and more. The long-lasting impact of prejudice and the evils that are perpetrated in its name are poignantly woven in with some success, but uneven pacing and characterization detract, and the worldbuilding falters to the point of distraction. A big reveal in the last chapter hints at more to come, but fans might not return for future entries.
A disappointing sequel that fails to capture the cohesiveness of the first book. (Science fiction. 14-18)