RogerBW's Blog

Atlas Alone, Emma Newman 08 April 2022

2019 science fiction, a direct sequel to After Atlas. Dee made it onto the evacuation ship at the last moment, and is one of the few people who knows what happened to Earth as they left. But a mysterious someone seems to want to help her with her quest for justice.

Like After Atlas this is a very dispiriting book; but it's also a very good one, particular on the subject of revenge and individual action towards it. How does this particular goal work, how do you get into a psychological state in which you can do it, and what will you be good for afterwards?

It's not a book about which I can say much, though, because the gradual discovery is a huge part of the enjoyment to be had from it. I doubt I'll re-read this soon, if at all; I'll certainly wait until some of the details have faded. I will say that we meet again characters we've met before, from a usefully distinct perspective; they make more sense now that I've seen them through more eyes.

There was one particular moment at which, as someone who knows a bit about computer security, I had to restrain myself from screaming. But then, the whole system of chipping and Artificial Personal Assistants is already a privacy and data security nightmare. That's rather the point.

This book may have the most downbeat ending of any of the series, and it has some competition. But it felt right. This is the way things work.

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Previous in series: Before Mars | Series: Planetfall | Next in series: Before, After, Alone

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