Note: While this book reads just fine as a stand alone, it does contain some major plot spoilers for Book 1 (Doctor Mars).
Set approximately one year after Book 1, Liberty Rise is still a Mindcop and she’s still partnered with the smoking Muir. Things are brewing at the mining colony Javelin on Mars’s moon Phobos. Slow Fly has worked hard over the past year to take over the colony. Now, he’s putting on the finishing touches, getting his master computer up and running, and nearly ready to declare his superiority over Mars and the other moon Deimos. Liberty and Muir will have something to say about that!
This book was just as fast moving as Book 1 but was nearly twice as long. I really loved Book 1. The author did a great job in that book creating the setting, the Mindcops, the characters, and the plot, all swiftly and concisely. Here, we already have the setting and many of the characters, so I felt things could slow down a bit and have a bit more detail. The plot wasn’t as neat and tidy as Book 1. There was only a smidge of character development.
With that said, this is still brain candy. It moves along swiftly, so I was never bored. Liberty Rise continues to be interesting. We learn a bit more about her upbringing as a mutant as we get to meet her mom. Then we also have Mr. Bose, Liberty’s and Muir’s boss. He’s an interesting character, being mostly calm and yet decisive. He does a great job of holding the team together when the crap starts flying. Meanwhile, Slow Fly, our evil one, continues to be interesting, though not as thoughtful and sinister as in Book 1. He’s out there, not hiding in the shadows. Folks on Phobos know who he is and that he is trouble.
So we have this mystery with Liberty’s old boyfriend Cal Murray. There’s been no word of him this past year. But now she has questions for Slow Fly about him, forceful questions. Then Slow Fly is trying to build some world domination scheme involving his super computer Regulator and a nuclear arsenal. In this regard, he reminded me a bit of Brain from that cartoon Pinky and the Brain. I don’t think he understands what it takes to build nuclear pits and then to install them in space worthy warheads, even in the 22nd century. Lastly, we have some miner rebels that want to overthrow Slow Fly and banish him. He finds this annoying and the executions will continue until he is no longer annoyed.
There’s a bit more humor, albeit dark humor, in this book than in Book 1. Also, the story continues to be diverse, having several female characters and various ethnicities. I love seeing this in SF. Over all, it’s still a worthy series. I enjoyed my time reading this book and I plan to continue on with the series.