Overview (No Spoilers):
As the second installment of Peper’s Analog series, Borderless was the perfect follow up to Bandwidth, by continuing in the tradition of a breakneck pace that keeps the readers constantly on their toes with unexpected twists and turns. Many of the key players from Bandwidth return, alongside a whole host of new characters who add their own personal quirks to the fray. I’d fully expected Borderless to continue from Dag’s POV, as was established in book one, especially as our lovable lobbyist had just recently undergone a moral transformation and was still evolving as a character. I was surprised and delighted to say the very least that Peper chose my favorite character from the preceding novel to continue the wild, fast paced intrigue. When I realized the story would revolved around Diana, the enigma that stole both Dag and the reader’s hearts in the first novel, I may have actually done a little happy dance. It was so fun, and refreshing to see such a clever, self-reliant female character expanded upon and allowed to flourish, while simultaneously growing in depth as she loosened her death grip clutch on her past. Sure Diana has her faults and weaknesses, but those serve to add a level of humanity about her as with so many of Peper’s literary characters. Peper continues to explore the path at which individuals with a less than sound moral compass might abuse technology, much to the detriment of the masses. While this future might seem impossibly far off, just think about the advances technology has made in the past ten to twenty years. Despite the extent that technology already touches our everyday lives, we are still arguably in its infancy with regard to what the future has in store. In my opinion, technology can be grouped together with genetics (as discussed in The Gene) as incredibly complex subjects of which it is imperative to start discussions regarding guidelines and such earlier while we are still at arguably the initial stages, before we are stuck trying to corral the stampeding herd. I’m in no way advocating curbing or hindering growth, but instead starting such conversations in an attempt to foresee where the path we are currently on might take us decades in the future. Regardless of any thought pondering quandaries Borderless might provoke, the action packed, edge of your seat pace that Peper sets throughout this suspenseful read will leave you hooked! I’m excited to find out what direction and harrowing events book three will have in store for the reader.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- I’m so very curious who Peper will choose for book three’s POV? There are several intriguing characters who would prove fascinating to expand upon such as Javier, Rachel, or Hsu, although I’m not sure where the story would go if they were the focus. I’m sure Commonweatlth’s journey would be the focus in that case. Other possibilities would be of course Emily, or perhaps a return to Diana or Dag. Another potential wildcard who has turned out to be much more than initially thought is Nell. What is her backstory? What other secrets/talents does she have hidden up her sleeve?
- Will Diana continue to train Haruki?
- I kept wondering when Emily would make an appearance in this novel. Perhaps she will come back to haunt Dag in book three? Does Javier still talk to her?
- What happened to the rest of the people from the Island in Bandwidth?
- Will there be any lasting effects from Dag’s torture?
- Will Rachel ever find about Javier and the backdoor he created into her system?
- We found out that Dag’s old boss has terminal cancer, with a total lack of empathy from Diana. Will she tell Dag?
- What did Helen do with all Diana’s plants? Did Diana recover any of them? Will Helen also return to the series? What deal did Diana make with Helen? What is her backstory?
- I was surprised to find that I was amused with Lowell’s return to the storyline to resurrect his role as the villain. Despite his warped tunnel vision focused on revenge, as a reader, I couldn’t help but be entertained by his constant banter. How will he resurface in the next novel?
- I really enjoy that Peper links many of his novels into the same literary world, from Cumulus to referencing Lynn Chevalier (Neon Fever Dream). Will we find out how Lynn recorded in Analog?
When reading it is common that I encounter words that I’m not privy to the exact definition, however it is easy to infer the meaning of the aforementioned word based on the context of the sentence and story. As such, relatively new to the Critiquing Chemist, you’ll find an additional section that includes vocabulary words that I encountered upon reading the book being reviewed and either had to look up the definition or it is a word in which I would like to add to my repertoire. This endeavor is easier when in the Kindle format, and potentially impossible with audiobooks, however I’m going to attempt to continue this section for all future book reviews. I’ll be using the definitions from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
Acerbity: quality of being sharply or bitingly critical
Dulcet: sweet to the taste
Quotidian: occurring every day
Hegemony: preponderant influence or authority over others
Hermetic: recluse, solitary
Diaspora:the movement, migration, or scattering of a people away from an established or ancestral homeland
Fascia: a flat usually horizontal member of a building having the form of a flat band or broad fillet