Sunday, January 26, 2020

The Base of Reflctions (Tomorrow's Ancestors #2), by A. E. Warren

Locutions Press, ISBN 9781999919931, July 2019

Elise, a Sapien from Thymine base, and her companions have successfully made their way to the secret base, Uracil. Those companions are Luca, also Sapien and the Companion to the Neanderthal woman, Seventeen; Kit, the Neanderthal also known as Twenty-One, whose Companion Elise was; Georgina, a Medius nurse who has become Elise's friend and also Companion to Seventeen's surviving baby girl, whom they have named Bay; and Samuel, direct supervisor of the Neanderthal project at Thymine, whom they believe is also a Medius.

At Uracil, they discover that Samuel was keeping more secrets than the existence of Uracil. His father was one of the founders of Uracil--and his father was a Potior. His mother was a Medius. He looks more like his mother; his sister, Faye, looks more like their Potior father.

Elise volunteers to become a spy for Uracil, gathering information from the four official bases, in exchange for her parents and brother to be able to join Uracil when they can be smuggled out. The first goal is getting the young Neanderthal woman, Twenty-Two, and a Neanderthal boy, Twenty-Seven, out of Cytosine. Samuel, Kit, and Luca will do that, while Elise carries out her first assignment, getting pictures of one particular lab inside Cytosine. What none of them know is that there is a malign force at work in Uracil, and there's a trap waiting at Cytosine.

Meanwhile, at Cytosine, the two Neanderthal, Twenty-Two and Twenty-Seven, Twenty-Two's Companion, Dara, and a young Sapien man named Ezra, are planning their own escape from Cytosine. Their planned destination is Thymine, in the belief that it's only four days' travel away, and that the former head of the Cytosine Museum of Evolution, Fintorian, who is fondly remembered by Twenty-Two and Dara, is now there.

This is, of course, all about to go horribly wrong.

The two groups combine and separate, and Twenty-Two and Twenty-Seven are rescued by Samuel, Luca, and Kit, while, Elise, Dara, and Ezra are locked up in "containment" in Cytosine. Elise can't remember anything from the last three months, and only gradually makes friends with Ezra and Dara. Theoretically, Elise and Ezra are serving two-year labor sentences to pay for their surgeries--appendectomy in Elise's case, and gall bladder for Ezra.

While they try to figure out how they're going to escape this time, back in Uracil, their friends are trying to figure out what's really happening in Uracil.

I'm not doing the book justice. These are smart, individual, determined people with their own strengths and talents. Uracil is a place where something is badly wrong, but founded on good principles and perhaps salvageable. Sapiens, Neanderthals, Medius, and perhaps Potiors will all have to work together.

An excellent read. Highly recommended!

I received a free electronic galley from the publisher and am reviewing it voluntarily.

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