Transient Echoes is book two in the Variant Saga and picks up a few years after the second Jolt. It’s a story of 2 halves moving towards a common end, we have Mei and John working with a team at the Ortego site and Terry barely surviving in the other world. His years alone have pushed him to the brink of madness, taunted by voice of his younger sister, Janice and also haunted by Alex and the ghosts of what happened at the end of The Amber Project. When he is forced to run for his life he stumbles into an area of the world unknown to him, signs of life once held and intelligent life at that. Seemingly abandoned in haste, Terry’s curiosity gets the better of him, it’s a curiosity which both gives and takes to complete extremes yet opens Terry up to the true abilities that the Variant has granted him.
In turn Mei and her team are working hard to excavate the Ortego site, their objective to recover the Framling Coils as a new source of energy, cleverly masking Mei’s hidden agenda to try and discover the truth behind what happened to Terry. Time is against her and the ruins still hold dark secrets that threaten to undo everything they have been working towards. Playing politics with those back at Central whilst holding onto her true mission objective becomes a dangerous balancing act that she struggles to maintain without help.
The two stories come together gloriously for the cliffhanger and with a real humdinger of an epilogue you will want to jump straight into book 3!
Transient Echoes maintains the high standard set by The Amber Project. The 2 branches of the story are delivered perfectly, leaving you on the edge for each part when they move from one to the other, the action sequences are again some of the best I have read, really catapulting you into the fray with its fast pace and hold your breath moments. I’m still reeling from the epilogue and all the implications that has for the future books, I truly wasn’t expecting that! My only sadness about it is that I would have liked to have known more about Mara’s story back at Central, how she was coping with the loss of Terry, but perhaps that would have pulled the story in too many directions. It doesn’t detract at all from the impact of the story though, i’m just kicking myself now that it’s taken me so long to get round to reading book 2 as it’s definitely a 5* read!