C. A. Higgins’s acclaimed novel Lightless fused suspenseful storytelling, high-caliber scientific speculation, and richly developed characters into a stunning science fiction epic. Now the dazzling Supernova heightens the thrills and deepens the haunting exploration of technology and humanity—and the consequences that await when the two intersect.
Once Ananke was an experimental military spacecraft. But a rogue computer virus transformed it—her—into something much more: a fully sentient artificial intelligence, with all the power of a god—and all the unstable emotions of a teenager.
Althea, the ship’s engineer and the last living human aboard, nearly gave her life to save Ananke from dangerous saboteurs, forging a bond as powerful as that between mother and daughter. Now she devotes herself completely to Ananke’s care. But teaching a thinking, feeling machine—perhaps the most dangerous force in the galaxy—to be human proves a monumental challenge. When Ananke decides to seek out Matthew Gale, the terrorist she regards as her father, Althea learns that some bonds are stronger than mortal minds can understand—or control.
Drawn back toward Earth by the quest, Althea and Ananke will find themselves in the thick of a violent revolution led by Matthew’s sister, the charismatic leader Constance, who will stop at nothing to bring down a tyrannical surveillance state. As the currents of past decisions and present desires come into stark collision, a new and fiery future is about to be born.
Supernova picks up right where Lightless left off. I’m glad I went right into it after reading Lightless because there are lots of details to remember. (My review for Lightless.)
Some spoilers below:
This time the story expands outside the Ananke. The characters jump to different planets in the solar system. We also get to see a glimpse of the past as they set up and plan the fall of Earth. So it’s a bit of a prequel to Lightless too.
It was interesting to see the events Ivan described in Lightless through Constance’s eyes, and to see more of him and Mattie on screen together. Ivan didn’t lie, about much.
I like how it showed the dark side and reality of war and betrayal within the rebellion. Most were taking it too far and becoming warmongers instead of having a clear idea of how to rebuild the system they destroyed. How will they be free? What kind of government will replace it?
Althea and Ananke are more in a side plot role but I really enjoyed their story. I liked the similarities and symbolism of Ananke with Frankenstein’s monster. Particularly when Ananke wants a companion like herself. She also has the God complex. I’m interested in the trickle effect Ananke’s actions will have on solar system.
Something I noticed about this science fiction novel is that it’s ALL told by female POVs. That is a plus. They’re all flawed characters trying but failing to do the right thing.
I couldn’t help but notice some similarities with the Red Rising saga.
Connie is like Eo. Both chooses revolution over love. Which makes Ivan like Darrow.
There’s some inclusion of mythology. One of the revolutionaries called himself Son of Nike.
Then of course there’s the interplanetary warfare in our solar system and it’s breaking apart The difference here is that there is an A.I. – Nero’s worst fear.
Again the long chapters. Only 6 chapters in a 290 page book. I just had to read a whole chapter in a day. It was like an OCD thing.
The A names again. There were two new characters Arawn and Altais. It gets confusing to read when too many characters have a name with the same letter.
4 out of 5 Burning Stars.