Thursday, 22 March 2012

'Omega Point' - Guy Haley

Omega Point is the sequel to Reality 36, one of my favourite books from last year, and it's been on my to read pile long before it was available. Richards and Klein are back, but can they live up to the expectations I have after reading the first book? At the very least we should have a conclusion to the events from Reality 36. Thank you Angry Robot Books for providing me with a review copy of Omega Point

Omega Point starts where Reality 36 left us hanging with our arses over a cliff. Richards once again finds himself inside a simulated world. He followed k52, but of the other AI there is no sign. Instead, Richards is caught in the middle of a war, where the evil forces of Penumbra are fighting against whoever tries to oppose them. Penumbra's goal is a simple one, to destroy all of creation. This seems to fit suspiciously well with what k52 would want to do, but Richards is not quite sure why. To make matters worse, this world has trapped Richards in a simulation of a human. Having a 'real' human body is not great, but Richards is also denied any access to the Grid. Lacking the capabilities he takes for granted he has to do with those of an ordinary man, which is not much, and frankly, rather disgusting. 

Out in the 'Real', Klein is given a mission briefing by powerful men and AIs. k52 must be stopped, Klein has a limited period of time in which to find a hacker, call sign Waldo, to break into the realm where k52 and Richards are. If unable to get word from Richards, the Realm servers will be taken out by a tactical nuclear strike. Kleins won't be alone, Agent Chures and Veronique Valdaire will assist him. Waldo disappeared many years ago, but Kleins has reason to believe an old acquaintance of his might know where he might be. Unfortunately this hacker has also disappeared, but Kleins knows where to go to find a lonely geeky boy. His mom. 

Just like in Reality 36 Richards is responsible for dealing with the simulated Realms, and Klein will be cracking head in the Real. While Veronique Valdaire is still part of the team, she feels a lot more like a supporting character this time. It’s a shame but nothing I would hold against the book. Klein is still my favorite, with his memories of his dead wife. For a normal human memories degrade with time, for a cyborg memories are reliving everything that happened in perfect recall. Still complaining about his age and all the fancy new technology his opponents have, love it.

Omega Point is a great sequel, ticking all the right boxes. Guy Haley delivers the same mix of adrenalin pumping action and humor as he did in Reality 36. One moment you are almost holding your breath from suspense, the next, chortling to yourself, hoping the other commuters won't notice. If you read Reality 36, Omega Point is a an easy buy. If you did not buy Reality 36, I urge you to do so.

Omega Point weighs in at 416 pages, and is published by Angry Robot Books. It’s scheduled for release in April/May 2012.

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