With the all-powerful Global Energy Trust hot on the trail, this sequel to The Arctic Code (2015) finds Eleanor and her ragtag band of allies mounting assaults on more of the alien devices that are rapidly forcing Earth into an ice age by sucking up its “telluric energy.”
Eluding armed G.E.T. agents as they go, the fugitives leave Alaska’s deep freeze behind to fly south toward Lake Titicaca—pausing, in an ironic touch, to gape at Mexico City’s massive sprawl of refugees from icy North America. The eldritch Concentrator is buried at a nexus of ley lines deep within submerged Incan ruins, and reaching it so that Eleanor can mentally kill the artificial intelligence that operates it isn’t going to be easy. Nor, for that matter, will escaping afterward, as betrayal leaves some group members in G.E.T. hands. Next stop: Luxor, another Concentrator, and another narrow escape. The author shoehorns in so much continuing conflict between Eleanor and her overprotective mother (both white), and also between another scientist and his two biracial sons (black/white), that the story often seems more about parent-child issues than saving the planet. Still, as Eleanor leads the way toward the Himalayas and a possibly climactic attack on the last and most powerful Concentrator, she’ll plainly be facing a new cascade of deadly dangers and soul-wrenching choices.
A baroque premise fuels a reasonably adventuresome middle volume. (Science fiction/fantasy hybrid. 11-13)