Friday, April 24, 2020

Regenesis (Cyteen #4), by C.J. Cherryh

DAW, January 2010 (original publication 2009)

This is the direct sequel to Cyteen, picking up with Ari II, a.k.a. Ariane Emory, Personal Replicate, the clone of Ari I, one one the greatest scientists the human race has produced. It's a few months after the deaths of Giraud and Denys Nye. Yanni Schwartz is head of Reseune. Ari and her azi companions and security team, Catlin and Florian, are eighteen. So are most of Ari's friends.

This doesn't change the fact that the political conflicts that led to the deaths of Giraud and Denys, nearly caused Ari's death, and could have been disastrous for Reseune, are still active.

Ari needs to keep growing up faster than Ari I did, and learn to take control of Reseune and a significant role in Cyteen's Council. Her enemies, and Reseune's, include the Ministry of Defense, but she might have potential allies there, too. One of her friends, one of the few who isn't eighteen but twenty years older, is Justin Warrick, who mainly wants to keep his head down and do his work on developing stable azi psychsets, and who is the personal replicate and "son" of Jordan Warrick, former lover, rival, enemy, and possible murderer of the first Ari, and now bitterly resentful of all things Reseune, but especially Ari II.

Everything around her is at least that complicated, and often it's far less clear who is ally and who is enemy.

And who exactly really killed Ari I is still a mystery, and the killer, or the person who ordered the murder, may still be out there.

This is a doorstop of a novel, and Cherryh's worlds and Cherryh's people are always intricate and complicated. It used to be a standing joke with a few of my friends that no one ever had fun in a Cherryh novel; not that the reader didn't, but that the characters didn't. In this book, there's been some change, a bit of a softening. We experience Ari II making deliberate choices not to be as isolated and emotionally closed in as Ari I. She chooses to have real friends, she chooses to enjoy things. It could be said she started doing some of those things in Cyteen, but then she was a child, and actively being molded into Ari; I wouldn't dare say from that that a softer, more rounded Ari II was what Cherryh intended then. It clearly is now.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and resented having to take a long break from it because of other things going on in my life. Highly recommended.

I bought this book.

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