Friday, 9 October 2015

BANE by Amelia C. Gormley

BANE by Amelia C. Gormley
Pages: 279
Date: October 8, 2015
Details: no. 2 Strain
            Copy received from Riptide 
            Through NetGalley

The blurb:

The weapon that nearly destroyed humanity may be their only salvation.

Rhys Cooper’s unique immunity to all three strains of the virus that nearly annihilated humanity has brought him the unwanted attention of Clean Zone scientists. They’ve summoned him for testing—ostensibly in the hopes of finding a vaccine—but Rhys’s partner, Darius Murrell, has good reason not to trust any government. He and his comrades in Delta Company were unwitting test subjects for Project Juggernaut, the military experiment that gave them superhuman abilities and unleashed the pandemic. Doubting the government’s intentions, Delta Company refuses to let Rhys go alone.

Fear of infection has kept Zach Houtman and his lover Nico Fernández apart for a decade. They meet rarely, just long enough to coordinate their spying on the head of the government’s virus research division. Secretary Littlewood is a vicious predator, and they suspect he’s trying to acquire the strain of the virus that would make him superhuman. To stop him, they need the perfect bait: Rhys.

For Rhys, helping them might cost him his relationship with Darius—or his life. For Zach and Nico, even if their plan succeeds, they still face the ultimate question: can infected and uninfected people ever live together safely? 

My thoughts:

I’m not entirely sure what to say about this book. I mean it was good…very good. More than that, Bane gives a satisfying conclusion to the story that started in Strain. But that is also my problem, this is the conclusion of a story I’ve lost myself in. From the moment I met Rhys and Darius in Strain I have been spellbound by their story and it is sad to have to say goodbye to them, Zach and Nico and all the other Juggernauts now.

Don’t get me wrong, I can’t fault the way the story ended. I’m delighted that Amelia C. Gormley managed to find a way to give the book a positive and hopeful ending without asking me to accept implausible or too good to be true scenarios. When I finished reading the epilogue I could see a possible future for the characters I’d grown to love and the world they live in. It was also clear that the struggle to rebuild a world had really only begun. The chances of getting it right had improved greatly, but there was no guarantee humanity would get it right this time around either. If the story had to end, this was an ending I could happily live with. I’m just not happy the end had to come.

A lot happens in this book. All the threads from Strain and Juggernaut are pulled together in Bane in a credible fashion. The characters were as captivating as they had been in the previous books, and I find they’re still playing on my mind even though some time has passed since I finished the book.

Unlike with the previous books I don’t really want to get into the storyline, for two reasons. First of all I don’t think I can do it justice. I’m both as afraid of saying too much as I am of not saying enough, so I’ll let the blurb do the outlining for me. Because, and that’s my second reason, I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing this book without prior knowledge, without knowing what to expect and without having any idea how a positive ending might even be possible. I would not want to deprive other readers of what was, for me, an exhilarating reading experience.

I’ll keep this review short and sweet so, and will end it with the same words I ended my review for Juggernaut with, because they are as true today as they were then, and apply to the full trilogy.

I’m very impressed with everything Amelia C. Gormley has achieved in these books. Her writing is masterful, her characters multi-dimensional and her devastating story-line draws you in and holds you captive long after you’ve finished reading the last chapter.

Ps. There’s a part of me that will never stop hoping to meet these characters again at some point in their future.


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