Thursday, December 27, 2012

Book #93 - Bitter Harvest

51ekCfnjO9L._AA160_As soon as I was done with book 1, I grabbed book 2, Bitter Harvest, to see what was coming in the series. All the Harvesters were dead in book 1, so are more coming from outer space? A word of warning, if you start this book, it ends with a cliff hanger, and I am not stuck waiting for book #3.

Book 2 starts a few months after book 1. Jack and Naomi are working for the government, but a new administration has come into power after the previous one dropped a nuclear bomb on California. They have made no progress finding “The Bag”, the one missing 100lb bag of seed from book 1 that was never accounted for. The new administration thinks it doesn’t exist, all the Harvester bodies were burned, and it doesn’t seem there is a reason to keep funding Jack and Naomi. They’re identities are restored, and they’re fired.

The book tries to bring in lots of back story, explaining things along the way, which is probably necessary, but annoying. Some of the situations are a little too outlandish and almost seemed forced by the author. The writing isn’t as good as book 1, but it’s still a wild story. Naomi goes to work for another bio-tech company, that happens to have some of the seeds from The Bag. Naomi is torn, and eventually calls Renee at the FBI when there seem to be outbreaks in India, China, and Russia that might be related to the Harvesters. After all, it’s been enough time in the new administration for corn to be planted and harvested.

It has been, and Jack heads to India, where a former colleague called him after being in an accident. With the help of Vijay’s brother who is in the special forces (a forced situation), they find harvesters in a village and manage to escape. While India grapples with the problem, Jack goes to Russia where Mikhailov (from the first book) has been sent to deal with an outbreak there. He survives, and is reunited with Jack.

The book mainly follows Jack’s unbelievable, action adventure in Russia, getting in and out of impossible situations while jumping back to Naomi in the US, where there’s an outbreak in LA. Finally people start to believe this is a problem, as this new breed of harvesters takes over the city.

The science and story are hard to follow in places. If we have these new harvesters reproducing every hour, it doesn’t seem like the scale of what’s seen in the book makes sense. It seems almost too slow, especially when there are so many to fight.

Characters die, and it’s a scary proposition, but this seems more sci-fi fantasy than the scary realistic problems that might come in book 1 (outside of the mimicry).

As I mentioned, it ends on a cliffhanger, surprising me when I turned the page and it was over. I really want to read book 3 now.

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