Friday 6 March 2020


4.5 out of 5 stars

On Amazon UK
On Goodreads

How I discovered this book: it was submitted to Rosie's Book Review Team, of which I am a member.  I chose it after enjoying the first in the series, Chimera Catalyst.

In a Nutshell: Dark technological goings-on in a dystopian world, post climate change.  Set in California.

'Finder' is back, complete with dog/bird chimera The Parrott, and human/baboon Altima, as he uncovers a venture capitalist's plan to rule the world by AI, making humans compliant by means of a nutritional energy drink.  The idea that AI could eventually overtake humans is one I've read a fair bit about, also that its integration with humans (Numans, in this book) could be the next stage in our evolution.  I find this hellish in the extreme, and it makes me glad I was born when I was.

We don't know exactly when the book is set, but I imagine it is probably in about a hundred years' time; Finder mentions helicopters being used in the wars of 'the last century'.  The state of the planet (the Big Change) is revealed to be not only down to the slow deterioration of climate change, but another disaster.  I enjoyed the plot, but what I liked reading about most about is Finder himself, a most engaging character, and the world-building elements.  Although the story paints a grim picture of human life in the future, it is not without a certain light touch that I wouldn't exactly call humour; it's more pathos mixed with astute observations, and off-the-wall characters.

In this book we find out a bit more about Finder's life when he was younger, including his real name; I like the way his character is slowly building, and I'd love to read more about what has happened between now and the time in which the book is set - more background.

Having read the notes at the back, I know Ms Kuchinskas is well-informed about her subject matter, and this is evident; it is imaginative, clever and extremely well-written.  I'd definitely recommend it to fans of 'cli-fi', but you should read Chimera Catalyst first.  I liked this more than the first book, and hope there will be more!


  1. Thanks so much for the review, Terry, and I'm so glad you liked the book. You said, "In this book we find out a bit more about Finder's life when he was younger, including his real name; I like the way his character is slowly building." I worked on this a lot because you'd mentioned there should be more in your review of Chimera. XO

    1. You're welcome - and that's lovely, that you took notice of what I'd put in the last review. Yes, it really rounded the book out for me, and the way in which you'd added more about 'before'. Please, please tell us more about how the world went to pot, and about directly after the Big Change, and more about Finder too!!! There's me, telling you what to write.... sorry, ha ha!! Look forward to Book 3!! x

  2. Sound like a good read, Terry! BTW, I'm going to meet AJ Riddle next month (Winter World, Pandemic)! He lives here in NC.