This is the book that follows Archangel Protocol by Lyda Morehouse. This book could easily be a stand alone book; although it refers to characters and events that happened in Archangel Protocol the main characters in this book are different. I actually liked this book quite a bit better than Archangel Protocol.
The story is told from the viewpoints of three characters: Morningstar the Adversary, Page the Intelligence, and Ema the Inquisitor. Each chapter takes turns rotating through each of the characters. As the book progresses the characters are eventually drawn together.
With rumors of a possible second Messiah being born, as told in Archangel Protocol, the Apocalypse creeps closer and closer. Morningstar is under increasing pressure to find his Antichrist; who he will need the support of the win the coming war. Page is feeling remorseful for turning in his Maker the Mouse and when Morningstar suggests to Page that Page may be the Antichrist Page is confused. Ema is assigned a dubious assignment from the Pope. She is supposed to determine if the two AIs that now function independently of their makers (Page and the Dragon) actually have souls.
I liked this book much better than the last one. The switching between viewpoints was done very well; each chapter was written in a very distinct way that represented the character speaking very well. The suspense in the books builds as the three characters get closer and closer to each other. There was more action in this book than the last one, which was nice. The plot moved along pretty well. There were some parts with Page that got a little boring, but these were brief. The world was detailed and intriguing; I think we got a better feel for it in this book than the last. I loved Morningstar as a character and I though Page’s dilemmas as an independent AI were interesting.
The storyline is complex, but seemed to follow through better than the last book. Things are tied up well at the end of the book, but there is still room for the over arcing story to continue in the next book. Once again, this is not a comfortable read. It details what happens when a world is run by religion and this is disturbing to me. My biggest complaint would be that the religious parallels could be more subtle; really the religious context of this book to today’s religious beliefs is repeatedly brought up and forced on the reader.
All in all a very interesting and creative read. I am glad that I read this book, even though I didn’t like the first one all that much. This book is more a sci-fi/cyber punk and it fits that genre well; it doesn’t seem as confused about what it is as the first book was. I look forward to reading the next book, the Messiah Node.