Author: Peter R Stone
Publisher/Year: CreateSpace Publishing 5/12/14
Length: 272 pages
Series: Forager #2
For eighteen-year-old Ethan Jones, Nanako, and the surviving members of his foraging team, the trip back to Newhome is a nightmarish journey fraught with danger.
When they do get back to Newhome, Nanako’s dreams of a normal life are shattered when Ethan’s jilted ex-fiancé makes it her personal goal to turn Nanako’s life into a living hell. And as if that isn’t enough, she and Ethan fall afoul of a senior officer of the town’s draconian Custodian police force.
To complicate matters, more memory fragments from Ethan’s missing year surface, bewildering him with their horrific implications – what exactly did he get up to with the Hamamachi Rangers two years ago? Did they – did he – really commit such heinous crimes?
Furthermore, a Hamamachi Ranger who used to have the hots for Ethan stumps him when she asks if Nanako has told him the dreadful things that happened to her after she was dumped back in Hamamachi two years ago. What are these disturbing secrets from her past that Nanako is hiding from him?
Against this backdrop of personal anguish, the Hamamachi Rangers and ferocious Skel, dead set upon revenge, unleash their diabolical plan against Newhome. But how far will they go in their quest for vengeance? Can the Custodians stop them, or should Ethan risk his life again by stepping up to help save the town, going against Nanako and her insistence that he stay away from combat because she can’t bear the thought of losing him
There’s something to be said about what needs to happen in a bridge book or book 2 in a series. your’e building off the high that was in the first book and need to have enough to carry you through to the finale. In this case though i have to say that the first half of this 2nd installment was a bit of a drag and it took me some time to get through it. I feel like i had to pause a few times while reading and pick up something else just to re-center myself. In any event – i think that the action and hints at what happened 2 years ago and what can happen with the right direction set us up to be in a great place for the next book.
So we are picking up in this story where we find that life is continuing to be rough for them in Newhouse. Ethan and Nanako continue to try to make their relationship work, while figuring out what it was that they had all those years before the accident. At the same time, the ‘military’ is trying to find a way to put the attacks at bay and to get some added security in the town – while also plotting against Himmamachi. That’s never going to go over well.
Throughout this 2nd story – we get to see the friendships between the foragers evolve and not in a good way. Ethan’s skills become a bit more evident, and it’s a question now as to who he can trust with this new information and what that will cost him. He’s also arrested several times for espionage and various other count as do his wife and friends. Their lives are turned upside down – literally and i think that it’s going to show us whether or not they had something real.
The underlying bit of this story though isn’t necessarily their relationship anymore, but understanding what happened to Ethan 2 years ago and who was behind it. I still have my thoughts on the matter and i think that they are going to be proven correct – especially at what was hinted at towards the end of the story. Now why he was recruited – that’s going to be something that we’ll have to get to, and what that means now that Ethan and crew aren’t in Newhouse anymore also makes us wonder. All in a good way.
So there are so many questions to be answered – least of all who was behind the genetic mutations and why. I think that i’m still really curious since we’ve never gotten to the bottom of that – and i think that there’s going to be something bigger happening with all that. The other thing is that i’m curious as to what Nanako’s real role is – i don’t doubt that their relationship is one that’s based on love, but i find all the timing to be convenient and i think that there’s more to it. Anyhow – that’s just me being a skeptic. So i’m off to read Expatriate – the final installment and see what comes of everything. Will the towns survive? will the boys survive? and will Ethan and Nanako live happily ever after?