Mike Arsuaga’s Children of Subspecies is the third in his Subspecies series, a series that combines the addictive multi-generational delights of Barbara Taylor Bradford’s Woman of Substance with the well-drawn future history of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy. The storyline is fascinating—vampire and lycan, now moving into the open, battle against feral remnants still killing humans in the wild. Meanwhile politics, war, and troubles ecological and economical plague the world as the War on Terror progresses, seemingly without end. The question of subspecies genotype drives the story forwards, leading to intriguing exploration of parenthood’s trials and temptations. Characters remain vividly real, consistently different from the humans dwelling among them, yet pleasingly natural in their outlook. Sex, religion and politics are none of them taboo in these novels, but all feed naturally into conversation and plot. The storyline certainly moves forward in some interesting ways in this novel. I’m glad I didn’t miss it. The future history is scarily plausible. The vampire concerns about aging, morality and love are powerfully real. And the emerging threat of white supremacist’s new generation provides an enthralling reason to make sure I read book four as well.
Disclosure: I received a free ecopy of this novel from the author in exchange for my honest review.
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Sheila Deeth (SheilaDeeth)
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
With the corporation rapidly ascending to world prominence under Samantha’s leadership, life looks good for her and the family. The majority of the Subspecies live in peace with humans, helping to rehabilitate the few remaining Ferals. The family boasts five healthy intelligent children, but from under the surface of this bright picture emerges the chilling reality they are developing like humans and will not emerge to be lycans or vampires. Most disturbing of all they’ll have normal human life spans, a third of their parents’. Growing to adulthood, each child faces the issue in his or her own way. Sam’s protégé Cynthia, world famous as a fashion model actress and philanthropist, appears on any list of the most beautiful women who ever lived. She would trade it all to have children. Her wish is granted in a sadly left-handed way while humanity experiences the greatest crisis in its history. Will the Whites, the corporation, and the Subspecies prevail over economic collapse and worldwide plague? Will the Subspecies die out as their hybrid children show none of their parents’ traits? Sam’s previously unshakable faith in the destiny of subspecies meets its greatest test.