This novel is the third volume in the Transcendence Trilogy. As such, the remainder of this data file poses a risk of corrupting the users surprise file for previous volumes.
Nico Tandelli and Mike O’Driscoll have been imprisoned by mysterious forces. Stephanie Vaughn is trapped in an unresponsive body. And the conservative faction of Global Governance are all but overthrown. But as Indigo reaches for the prize she has lied, stolen, and manipulated her way toward, it is snatched from her. As each struggles to break free, the secret battle for humanity’s future becomes open war.
As befits the conclusion of a trilogy, both the scale and consequences of the plot are larger. However, Hearne deftly avoids catastrophe for the sake of it; at its heart this novel remains the character-driven thriller of previous volumes rather than becoming apocalyptic techno-porn.
The previous volumes having shown that national governments were not the answer to humanity’s ills and that Global Governance is corrupt, this volume asks the necessary question: what might replace them? Even if the world isn’t too far gone to change, is there a fair and incorruptible method of ruling it?
Hearne, true to the cyberpunk ethos, casts the most likely outcome as a different secret government of plutocrats and sociopaths. However, he doesn’t allow the strong plausibility of this outcome to make the narrative bleak; there are moments of hope, and opportunities to make little compromises to resist greater evils.
It is this compromising of principles (or goals in some cases) that most strongly marks the recurring characters. Having previously fought to survive, they must now choose between the probable benefit of the few and the chance of benefitting the many; with no guarantees either will work.
And with each major character having a slightly different vision of victory, but lacking the resources to achieve it on their own, each person takes the fight to the enemy with half-an-eye on the ally of convenience at their back.
Overall, I enjoyed this novel greatly. I recommend it to readers seeking a cyberpunk thriller with depth.
I received a free copy from the author with no obligation to review.