In Mason’s sequel to Primordium Book One: Reformation (2015), a scientist travels back and forth through time, caught in a conflict between cosmic entities to control a genetic strain that seeded mankind.
Except for some time-travel seesawing to the 71st century, this story is set in 2005, 20 years after an important incident in northern Kenya. During that event, an organic spaceship called the Shepherd clashed with an amnesiac, damaged version of itself over the possession of Gilomir, a powerful alien genome sequence. It was stored in ancient primates as an act of desperation, and as a result, it provided the evolutionary spark and intelligence that created the human race. Now the Shepherd has returned to Earth (or, more precisely, another Shepherd, due to time travel) because “players”—ruthless, self-recycling agents of the Zug, the dark side of Gilomir—are at large there. One has taken the form of a beautiful woman and the other, a hulking Neanderthal; both are trying to control the genome and ensure that the human race devolves back into primal apes. Protagonist Truman Justis, meanwhile, is the half-Kenyan son of one of the previous book’s casualties. His remarkable resume as a fighter, geneticist, and Zen disciple makes him the likeliest hero to save humanity, if he’ll embrace his destiny. Along the way, the small cast of characters appears as different versions of themselves in alternate and/or parallel world-lines. This book has a more action-driven aesthetic than the earlier installment’s science-as-poetry lyricism, although the Gilomir, as a concept, is starting to resemble the Force of Star Wars fame. Overall, it’s a time-hopping game of capture-the-Gilomir, with the same violent events often re-running from a different point of view. As one character says, “time loops are confusing,” but science-fiction readers who enjoy having their minds stretched like a pack of Silly Bands may enjoy the many deliberate pummelings of déjà vu.
A complicated sci-fi sequel featuring many puzzling time loops.