Posted in Reviews

Review: Binary Cycle: Revelations

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Humanity’s new planet is in danger. Most people are going about their lives as normal, which is what Kenneth is trying to do as well. In a specific region for his job, he unwittingly makes friends with a scientist trying to figure out how to save the planet. After a brief meeting and a suspicious robbery, Kenneth decides to try and figure out what’s going on himself, with the help of two new friends he met in the market. Meanwhile, the dangerous fauna called Spindroth are starting to exhibit new signs of awareness, mental aptitude, and even appear to be working with a terrorist organization.

Binary Cycle: Revelations is the second book in WJ Davies’ Binary Cycle Saga. If you read my review of Binary Cycle: Disruption, you might be a bit confused about the plot synopsis above. That’s okay, because I’m pretty confused too. As I mentioned in my last post, book one doesn’t really resolve itself as an individual book—it’s expected that you’ll read the second (and ostensibly, the third). As such, I was expecting the second book to pick up on the story.

This book barely includes any of the characters we got to know in the first part of the saga. Instead, we follow a rather boring character named Kenneth who seems to be an outlet for the author to express his odd poetic musings about life. There are several instances where I think the author is trying too hard to provide elegant imagery; the most notable of which includes this quote:

“Sporadic chunks of inky sky were visible through the canopy of trees, like intricate black and white patterns intermittently placed over a semi-transparent, quivering tablecloth.”

Semi-transparent, quivering tablecloth.

Kenneth is always in the right place at the right time. He’s been brought to the region by his father’s company and ends up meeting Skyia through the vent in their shared hotel room wall (creepy). She divulges minimal information, but has Kenneth all flustered thinking about relationships and life. After they speak briefly, a robbery occurs. Obviously overcome with the momentous small talk exchange that he had with Skyia through a vent, he feels the need to search their hotel room and save a data pad, which he then reads to gain highly classified information. After giving it to their bodyguard, he decides to follow the team through a dangerous jungle with two 20ish locals he just met. He also develops a crush on one of them as well, who is named Hanna and called Han. Another Star Wars reference? What are the odds? Don’t tell me.

I’m a fast reader, even with stuff I don’t enjoy, but it was a real struggle to keep reading about Kenneth. Everything seemed so contrived at this point that it was a little painful. The author creates an interesting plot in some regards, with an cryptic message from an Earth that has been silent for over a century and a terrorist organization suddenly working with newly-sentient, highly dangerous animals. All of this, however, was overshadowed by the unfortunate, Hamlet-esque musings of Kenneth and his lack of being anything other than a handy plot device (only less slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and more quivering tablecloth).

After reading this second installment, I’ve pretty much forgotten most of what occurred in the first book, since there was barely any mention of those characters and plotlines. I feel no desire to read the third book in this series. These should have been released as a single book, or either each should have been a bit longer and had a more satisfying conclusion. The promising start provided by the first book was injured by the Lifetime TV series feel of the second, and I’m not sure there’s enough life left in the story for it to limp home in the third.
I would call this a DON’T READ. It’s not unreadable, but it does not meet my expectations and I feel it was a waste of reading time.


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