Regenesis by C.J. Cherryh

DAW Books, 585 pgs.

RegenesisRegenesis takes place not long after the events of Cyteen, the Hugo Award winning novel by C.J. Cherryh. Ari Emory (version 2.0) is working herself to the bone trying to learn as much as possible as quickly as possible, to the detriment of her health. She’s driven to both correct the mistakes of her predecessor and to create her own place in the world, apart from the works and accomplishments of the previous Ari. Part of that involves the creation of her own wing within the company, and a new home for both herself and the people she considers to be important to her. (Ari’s general response to threats appears to be “circle the wagons.” This occasionally causes some occasionally comic flailing on the part of characters like Justin and Yanni.)

Also, even though her “Uncle” Denys is out of the picture, there are still factions that are out to Get Ari, both within and without ReseueneLabs, and there’s no clear idea of who, or where the enemy might be. Adding to the mystery of who killed her predecessor is the discovery that someone has been tampering with security-trained azi personnel is a political situation that comes to Ari’s attention in the form of Justin’s father Jordan, who appears to be trying to get Justin in trouble with Reseune Security over a woman with dissident connections who has put in charge of a terraforming project on another planet. This leads Ari, Florian and Catlin to the discovery of political factions who have a beef against Reseune, and a conspiracy within the Defense Department.

In addition to the political thriller aspects of the story is the usual close attention paid to family and interpersonal relationships between Ari and the people in her life (both friends and un-friends) and the relationships of those friends themselves. This creates an interesting juxtaposition of “family both rocks and sucks” with the more concrete “adventure/thriller” aspects of the novel. Equal amounts of time and attention are paid both to the mystery and to the creation of Alpha Wing, Ari’s private haven/work area for herself and her friends because both the steps taken to solve the mystery and the step taken to create Alpha Wing are important keys to understanding Ari’s personality and how she’s different from, and exactly the same as the first Ari Emory.

I liked this book a little bit more than Cyteen. There was some closure for some incidents that had occurred in the previous book, and some more information about the Gehenna program that the previous Ari had been ordered to create (and which she sabotaged in order to give the azi sent there a chance to survive.) Of course there are still a lot of unanswered questions, but the main problems surrounding the previous Ari’s death are given something resembling a resolution.

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Filed under book, C.J. Cherryh, distant future, nature vs. nurture, non-earth, political intrigue, Review: Book, science fiction, sociological

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