Binary – (R)evolution #2 – Stephanie Saulter
When confiscated genestock is stolen out of secure government quarantine, DI Sharon Varsi finds herself on the biggest case of her career… chasing down a clever thief, a mysterious hacker, and the threat of new, black market gemtech.
Zavcka Klist, ruthless industrial enforcer, has reinvented herself. Now the head of Bel’Natur, she wants gem celebrity Aryel Morningstar’s blessing for the company’s revival of infotech – the science that spawned the Syndrome, nearly destroyed mankind, and led to the creation of the gems. With illness in her own family that only a gemtech can cure, Aryel’s in no position to refuse.
As the infotech programme inches towards a breakthrough, Sharon’s investigations lead ever closer to the dark heart of Bel’Natur, the secrets of Aryel Morningstar’s past… and what Zavcka Klist is really after.
If you loved Gemsigns, you’ll be blown away by Binary. What an absolutely amazing book this is!
The story starts 5 years after the events in Gemsigns and the Gems have slowly been accepted into society by now. Not that everything’s peachy, there is still a lot of caution and opposition from fundamentalists, but the Gem society is on its way to full acceptance. Mikal has been elected in the City council and there is even a big festival where Gems can show their technology and their way of living, ‘The Festival of the Future’. It’s promising to be quite the event.
In the meantime the Gemtech companies have almost all gone under, but Bel’Natur and Zavcka Klist are still going strong. The company has drastically changed direction, firing most of its staff and rehiring people sympathetic to Gems to start a new era in Infotech. Zavcka has a lot of plans and wants to use Herran’s binary thinking to produce a new kind of product. Aryel is reluctant to let him go to Bel’Natur, but the choice is up to him. Meanwhile detective Sharon Varsi receives prove that genestock, genetic material from the gemtech age, has been stolen from the Archive. Is it true and why was it stolen?
There are a few new characters introduced in this book and some others that were already mentioned in the first book now get a lot more ‘screen time’. First of all there’s Aryel’s adoptive family: Rhys and Gwen, Gem twins who were found in the woods after a mysterious lab went up in fire, and their dad, one of the Remnants, who found them. Of all of them especially Rhys gets a big storyline and I loved reading about him. He’s very smart, but plagued by a mysterious illness. In coming to the city, he hopes he can find out what’s wrong with him, but along the way he also finds love. If you want to read about a heartwarming, lovely romance, than you’ll love this part. It’s LGBT and a romance so well written it made me ‘ship’ them a bit, if I can use the popular term.
People getting more time in the spotlight are Sharon Varsi and Herran, both very interesting characters who get great storylines. Herran really makes a lot of progress socially and it was wonderful seeing him slowly blossom a bit more, getting a bit closer to people and opening up more.
There are a few big storylines in this book that all come together smoothly in the end. We have the stolen genestock and the investigation to find out who was involved and why the genestock was stolen. Then there’s also Rhys’ disease and what may be causing it. Rhys can’t find his genecode anywhere, so there’s another big mystery there. He knows that having his genecode would give a lot of insight in this strange disease. A big part of the story is obviously also dedicated to the new Bel’Natur and Herran’s part in that. In between all these there are also intermezzo’s that are written from 2 point of view characters. I have to admit that I was a bit confused at first and that I didn’t see the second POV clearly at first. But slowly I understood. It’s interesting, because these parts are not explicit, you have to piece together the bits of information you get to understand the past of two of the main characters. It may be confusing at first but when everything comes together and you can see the whole picture I was more than satisfied with all the explanations. I know this part of the review may sound a bit cryptic but I’m desperate not to spoil anything for future readers. This is something you’ll have to piece together on your own and enjoy the story as it makes its connection with all the other storylines.
I would love to write even more about this book, I think I could discuss and talk about it all day. It’s full of interesting themes and characters and has an very entertaining story that will leave you in the dark ’till the end. Honestly, I would recommend this series to anyone who likes an intelligent, exciting, extremely well written science fiction story.