Dragon and Myth return in the exciting sequel to Dragon's Mind. How do you stop a war you started? And should you, if humanity's safety and well-being depend on winning at all costs? These are the thoughts that plague Myth as she paces the fortress where she is being kept a prisoner 'for her own protection.' Meanwhile, Dragon is in hiding, hunted by the albino assassin and the city's very systems that he once ran. As his backup reserves are depleted and the clock ticks down to the launch of a global virus, Myth must escape to save Dragon and together stop the war that they launched. But time is running out and the albino is watching.
***So I was pretty excited to be picking up Ehsani's sequel to Dragon's Mind. It's predecessor was definitely engaging and I definitely expected nothing less from the second. Myth, one of the main protagonists is as witty as ever, and I thoroughly enjoyed following her on her quest to halt a cyber war against humanity. Additionally, my curiosity of the infamous Albino was somewhat satisfied, and I was happy to see even more of her in this novel.
There were several things in this sequel though that I was surprisingly disappointed with. For one, I missed out on the witty banter that went on between the charming yet sharp Dragon and the just as edgy Myth. Though admittedly, Dragon is required to not be around Myth for a good portion of the story, I felt the absence of their awesome chemistry that Ehsani illustrated in the first book. And though the separation of Myth and Dragon was conducive to the plot, Myth and Dragon just barely constructed relationships with any of the other characters in the novel. Even the relationship between Blade and Myth, where Blade is portrayed as protective of Myth, doesn't seem to surface enough. Dragon too doesn't exactly connect with anyone, not even the other super computers that he encounters in the novel. I felt that given the space that they had from one another in this novel, Myth and Dragon would have filled the gaps where their banter would have gone (which at times had been overpowering in the first book) with new friendships and lessons learned. It didn't feel like either of them attempted that. Additionally I felt that the author reused way too much material from the last novel, such as Darren cracking his knuckles on every single page (we got it, it's an icky habit he does, we knew this) and Myth retelling her personality. I mean, if someone were to open the second book after having not read the first, then yes, Myth repeating that she doesn't like crying or she hates being a sniveling wimp would be something for them to know. For someone who already knows Myth though, he or she would just be EXTREMELY annoyed having to hear her say it again, and it just makes her character look even weaker.
What made me most upset though was how themes on humanity and what it means to be human were presented in the sequel. In the first novel, I was incredibly intrigued by Dragon's musings on his existence and on Myth's struggle to accept and acknowledge that her best friend is indeed a living. intelligent entity. In this however, those ideas were so blatantly written, I felt that the voices of the characters were lost, namely Dragon's. There are some moments where I wondered if it was in fact the smooth-talking MindOps that I met in the book who i wanted to fall in love with Myth. Instead, I felt like i was reading a critical analysis in the first person. It wasn't until towards the end that I heard the voice that had amused me so much in the first book.
The book does have some exciting sequences and there are a few things you get to learn about the seemingly crazed assassin the Albino, but even her character seems a bit rushed in this sequel. Though some facts are revealed about her, she really just seemed to be used as a button man rather than someone who was trying to lead a full scale cyber war. Though some awesome wit remains, I feel like I missed out on seeing Dragon evolve and achieve self-realization first-hand. Hopefully maybe we can see this in a possible third book.
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