The heroes of The Lost Code (2012) race to stay ahead of EdenCorp and reach the powerful, climate-altering Paintbrush of the Gods first.
The trio is dangerously low on food, water and protection from the sun’s radiation. They take a chance on a supply run at an old Wal-Mart in a dead city, where they encounter members of the Heliad-Seven cult, which has taken control of EdenSouth from EdenCorp. The cultists invite the three to their city, Desenna, to join a girl whose Atlantean DNA indicates she may be the Medium. If so, she will complete the set of three guardians, together with Mariner Leech and Aeronaut Owen. With this sequel, Emerson jumps into action and plot right away, as the heroes struggle to escape and survive, especially Lilly, who badly needs a doctor. When EdenCorp’s Paul finally catches them at an Atlantean temple holding a crucial tool, they barely escape to Desenna. Heliad-Seven leader and former EdenSouth director Dr. Victoria Keller has remarkably logical explanations for the religion she invented, and she asks that they participate in the living myth alongside Seven, the Atlantean descendant viewed as a goddess. Seven expands the growing rift between Owen and Lilly, creating a love triangle. The twists at Desenna are expertly executed, surprising while illuminating, and some pack emotional sucker punches.
Readers will beg for the follow-up to this tense, well-plotted sequel. (Science fiction. 12-17)