I read and reviewed the previous book of the series on the blog last year:
I liked the previous one, as my review (the cover links back) would show. This is the kind of second in a series that cannot be appreciated if you have not read the first. It is imperative that you read and understand the ongoing chaos on Earth and beyond as depicted in the first to relish the (mis) adventures in this instalment.
When we last left the humans, they had successfully launched an uprising, but they now had to keep it afloat. As most things about this book are, the word afloat is both literal and figurative. Each paragraph is usually littered with such references that a person with even a basic understanding of mechanics, electrical bits and pieces or even the gadgets most use daily would have great fun ‘decoding’. The story is filled with a lot of action and planning, both by machines and humans (even mild help from a technically abstract cat(s)). There are spies, double-crossers and a whole lot of heroes. I am not going into more details of the situation itself because that would mean a complete revelation of the first book, and if you have not read it, you should!
It is wacky to an extreme but at the same time has an intelligence within it making it a delightful read. It took me a couple of sittings, unlike a few other genres, but on the whole, I appreciated it and had fun trying to make sure I spot all the hidden double-meaning references. We have spunky breadmakers (with a secret sourdough starter from her mother), a gun or two (and all the darker implications that go with it), cyborgs, memes as tourist destinations, a couple set on helping each other survive a war and a man who finds his inner diva to name just a few of the most random assortment of characters who make a compelling and coherent narrative.
Some lines I remembered to highlight while reading that might throw more light on the tone of the book:
“Without the right machine learning, they struggled to distinguish their needs from those of others”- apart from being insightful it actually means machines – learning
“..Spiteful, wasteful and determined to use its ingenuity to the wrong ends.”- Which I think speaks louder than could be expected from just these few words.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience, and my primary degree in Engineering probably helped too.