Better and more fully realized, this sequel emerges perpendicular to New Reality: Truth by taking a minor character from a different plane of reality from that of the first book, and using her to explore a dystopian society which has lost its sense of humanity.
The few wealthy are obscenely so, the ubiquitous poor are stymied at every turn. The world building has borrowed liberally from the worst social abuses of the 20th century: the pre-Holocaust ghettoization of the Jews-gays-&-gypsies, American racial segregation, and the Indian caste system with their notion of the Untouchables, to name a few. Here, the down-and-out caste live in a vast ghetto known as The Estate. The Estate Rats cannot address citizens, nor ride train cars, nor work non-subservient jobs. They are constantly harassed both verbally and physically and inundated with anti-“Estate Rat” propaganda. Self-hatred and fear is high. Most roads lead to The Estate: including unmarried pregnancy, homosexuality, alcoholism, and merely sympathizing with Estate Rats.
Marie, the protagonist, has lived a privileged life. And, she has a good job watching over the fantasies of estate rat criminals lost to the haze of New Reality, the drug convicted criminals are put on in jail to keep them complacent. Nevermind that the criminals are convicted in unjust media trials . . . But Marie has a few secrets. Her roommate, Frankie, is the rare man that escaped life on The Estate. They hide his past. However, she’s now pregnant and they cannot afford to get married. That is a one-way ticket to The Estate for the two of them unless she gets a back alley abortion that she doesn’t want or they turn to more drastic measures.
I received my copy of this novel directly from the author after previously reviewing his thoroughly enjoyable zombie apocalypse novel series [The Alpha Plague, The Alpha Plague 2, and The Alpha Plague 3] which deservedly made my Best Reads of 2015 list. I’ve also reviewed his sadistic opener to his series Crash.
[Check out my other reviews here.]