Scavenger: A.I. by Timothy C Ward

Scavenger AISource: ARC from author
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating:  4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

Hundreds of years ago a nanotech virus nearly wiped out humanity. The kernel of that technology has been locked in a buried military and guarded from warlords and tyrants by a class of sentries. Divemaster Rushing Stenson and his wife Star thought their journey underground would lead to the discovery of the ancient city of Danvar. Instead, they resurrected a power perfect for the tyrant that put them there. He plans to use this self replicating technology to rebuild America and give life eternal to those loyal to his empire.

In Scavenger: A.I., Rush, Star and their crew of survivors see an opportunity to use this power to defend their new territory and rewrite the course of their lives and country in a way that would make their children proud. However, as they discover the oddities of this power, it may be too late to reverse the evolution they’ve seen within. And some aren’t interested even if they could. Even if what they’re becoming is too much like the tyrants they’re fighting.

As the nanotech and infusion of the power source they’ve uncovered changes Rush and Star, they are tempted with the chance of bringing their deceased newborn back to life. Will this child be the one they knew, and if not, how far into dangerous territory will they go to force what shouldn’t be?

I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Picking up where Scavenger: Evolution left off, Rush and Star face a new threat in the form of W, formerly Warren, who has embedded himself in the nanotech world. As W tries to bend their wills to his, and revive the dead in a macabre bid for power, Rush and Star – as well as other players – seek to understand their abilities and those of their companions. To be honest, I’m completely unsure how many variants of nanotech were introduced during the course of this story, except to say ‘quite a number’. Each with their own quirks and abilities, too.

This is a story of divided loyalties, dreams, pursuit of power, and hope. Again I enjoyed the diving sequences, and the demonstration of abilities those with nanos have – as well as those simply with enhanced Poseidon suits. There is more action (and reaction) than there really is character building, but at the same time Ward does take his characters on a journey that requires them to make decisions and face realities they’d rather not have to deal with. And it definitely asks how one would react when you don’t know if those around you are friend or foe. At times the story is confusing, but this is more a product of the character’s own confusion (usually relating to the M-MANs than anything else) than it is Ward’s writing. One is kept on one’s toes, asking as many questions as the characters are, and the resolution is as much a surprise for the reader as for the character.

A complex story told well, and I hope there is more to come.



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