It’s always tricky to follow up a truly brilliant first book in a series with a second that keeps the momentum going, and this has been the case in Biotope. This second book picks up where the horrific crescendo of violence that ended the first volume dropped us off, but it instantly settles down into a softer, calmer tone. For a few pages, at least.
There are still violent uprisings and the kinds of character-based surprises that you might expect if you’ve read the first book, but with a smaller cast of characters, the action is necessarily condensed. Also, being entirely set in the forest landscape around the original Biotope, the background colours don’t have the impressive transitions we saw in the first book.
This final part can’t possibly end on the same crescendo that the first left us on, though it makes a good stab of saving some surprises for the end. The first book still captured our imagination more than this second one, but taking the two books together as a whole, it remains a fantastic piece of genre-bending science fiction that’s well worth a look.