Oh. My. Goodness.
I was so very obsessed with the first book in the Sky series (review here!) and this second one did not abate that emotion! Sequels sometime make me nervous, so I was beyond excited that Detritus Machine checked all the same boxes as Foundation... and THEN some!
Detritus Machine takes place ten years before the events of Foundation, meaning we get to see allll the character development of Nick and Anna before the cloak and dagger routine starts up... well at least on his end, Anna's pretty badass from the start! My favorite Anna quote? "We're your fellow humans (...) don't fuck with us." (Chapter 28) oh, and "I killed nine people today. Get off my ass" (Chapter 18). She's so sassy and I love it!
Not only that (although, I LOVE me some in-depth character development), but this book is chock full of some really amazing plot lines and twists, plus some hints at mutation (hellooo X-Men!), subterfuge, and inter-world fighting! There are a couple of story lines from points of view surrounding the story- the journalists, the scientists, the military, the special police, and the different people in Anna's family. They all weave together and form this really cool narrative that essentially makes up the book Nick lamented the loss of in Foundation!
Nick is part of a team of journalists covering the new building materials introduced on Muldoin (which is cool and magical and I MUST know more!), but he gets up in the rest of it! He and Anna start running about, leaving a wake of destruction (Anna) and confusion (poor Nick) behind them. But he only gets a pen, no gun. He snarks at the pink-haired ninja when she calls him cute- "I'd rather be adorable with a gun" (Chapter 25). He has his moments of brilliance.
The story line with the scientists follows Charles, a high school teacher who manages to merge human consciousness and machine operating in an almost Tony Stark manner... except he gets arrested for pedophilia and his work gets confiscated by a mysterious character. Oh, and being integrated with it? It's something that "could not be explained, only endured. How des one quantify the experience of becoming a damaged God?" (Chapter 23). Whoops?
Anna is part of the military- a concept Nick can't seem to grasp because the military doesn't operate on the higher grounds, like the one he's from. Military is trained to deal with uprising on the lower, more packed grounds, where uprisings and unrest run rampant. The special police or SP operates on every ground, including Muldoon where the whole thing starts! But Anna's also wrapped up in her family's involvement... which is dysfunctional to say the least!
There's also the relationship between Anna and Nick! I love it because it's simultaneously background and ridiculously important. Bill has somehow crafted a love at first sight that I can believe in... because everything is not magically okay the second they meet. Their attraction does not overshadow the massive number of people dying. It also cannot be... um, consummated (despite seduction attempts for information's sake)... because Nick has a super serious girlfriend on his home ground. They're complicated and messed up and all the more real for it!
Let me just give you a gem of an interaction real quick, k?
Nick: "I've known you for twenty-four hours, and you're like ten different people all wrapped up in one"
Anna: "Interesting, and this schizophrenia attracts you?"
Nick: "apparently so" (Chapter 18)
She can verbally AND physically kick his bootay, while also exposing him to reality and the idea that there is more than one way to be intelligent, more than one way to experience the world to its fullest.
This might seem like a lot, but this book has so. Much. More! I don't want to give too much away so that you can have the greatest reading experience because, well, I would have other electronic distractions surrounding me but feel completely absorbed by this story instead! If you follow me on instagram, you know the extent of it- X-Men First Class was on... and acting as white noise! Basically, Bill Amerman did it again! I have another new favorite... and YOU are lucky enough to be able to enter and win a copy!
While I'd recommend you read the books in the order the author intended, it s possible to read this prequel first should you win! AH! I'm so excited! Whoever wins had better be prepared to babble excitedly about the Sky Series with me!
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