Haymarket. (Splinterlands, Bk. 2). Nov. 2018. 248p. ISBN 9781608465040. $33; pap. ISBN 9781608469482. $15.95. SF
As the world succumbs to the ravages of climate change and provisions become scarce, octogenarian Rachel Leopold maintains a garden and grows heirloom apples in the utopian community of Arcadia, taking up arms against its attackers. A former glaciologist, Rachel also secretly researches methods to reverse the polar ice melt, which could save Earth's dwindling population and prevent the release of methane pockets under the permafrost. As she nears success, Arcadia comes under fire from the multinational group CRISPR. To save Arcadia and possibly the world, Rachel must decode clues left by her late ex-husband, Julian, while around her the walls of Arcadia are breached by bots and her trust in her compatriots is tested.
VERDICT This fast read picks up after the death of Julian, the protagonist of Splinterlands, and can be enjoyed as a stand-alone sequel to the first book in the series. Its sense of urgency inspires readers to keep going and a pale glimmer of hope at the end is welcome after the quick, harrowing ride.
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