The machines believed their extermination of the human race would be over as quickly as it began. They were wrong. As the war against extinction intensifies, people are beginning to gain the upper hand.
Commander Rhona Long understands survival better than most. Killed in combat, she was brought back to life using her DNA, and she’s forged a new, even more powerful identity. Now the leader of the resistance, she’s determined to ensure the machines are shut down for good.
But victory is elusive. The machines have a new technology designed to overcome humanity’s most advanced weaponry. Despite Rhona’s peacekeeping efforts, former nations are feuding over resources as old power struggles resurface. Worse, someone inside the resistance is sabotaging the human cause—someone who, from all appearances, seems to be Rhona . . . or her exact replica.
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Unknown location, several weeks ago
An hour after the water has cooled, the odor of torched skin continues to drift up from my ankles, captive in a small janitor’s bucket. With my arms bound by rope to the back of the chair, I can’t reach down to massage feeling back into my feet. Instead, I wiggle my toes, making sure they still function. Each toe seems to glow blue beneath the strange overhead lights—disks sometimes projecting the image of a swimming pool, and sometimes a female swimmer—while from the other room, world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis introduces himself for the millionth time.
When I first woke here, I tried calling to him for help, but quickly realized it was useless. I’m pretty sure he’s some kind of old recording—little more than a ghost, trapped here like me. Every now and then I hear him talking about releasing from the coil or stepping in, but I’ve since stopped yelling myself hoarse to get his attention.
He’s not the Lewis I wish was here, anyway.
I drag my eyes away from the door—so close, and yet impossibly far—back to the metal janitor’s bucket devouring my feet. Bronze fangs and jumper cables attach the bucket to a squat Powermax battery lurking nearby, currently switched off. Thank God. It’s true: what the machines lack in creativity, they more than make up for in practicality.
I consider shifting enough to relieve the knot in my back and the tension in my ankles, but even the slightest movement sends pain streaking across the tops of my fingers—some of which have been robbed entirely of their nails.
Six out of ten, would not recommend. The joke should make me smile.
Cold sweat drips into my eyes, and the poor lighting of the room makes it hard to track the machines as they enter and exit. After the hard bang of a door closing, I spot one machine nearing the battery again.
Wait. That’s not right.
No. No, no, no. That’s not fair.
They haven’t even asked me a question yet!
The thought is cut off as electricity screams through my body, and I nearly devour my tongue as my teeth clamp down. It feels like I have lightning rods installed beneath my skin—and for all I know, maybe I do. I jerk against the chair restraints, like a manic ape in a cage, until the world simply cuts out. Blissful darkness at last.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The second book in the battle between humans and machines starts slowly, but quickly becomes a knuckle-biting thriller. Rhona is accused of being a traitor as a series of attacks seems to be based on her directions and actions. As in the first book, no one can be trusted, and it is impossible to determine who the real enemy is. The action is continuous, and keeps the suspense at fever pitch. The ending sets the stage for a new series of battles, both war and political as the saga of man versus intelligent machine continues. Rhona's leadership and love life have both become highly complicated, and the next book in the series will cover the difficult problem of maintaining a war and sorting things out.