Counterpart, by Hayley Stone


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.

I knew I wanted to read Counterpart as soon as I finished Machinations. It popped up on NetGalley, and onto my read shelf it went. Usually, I won’t read a story until about 30 – 45 days before its release, but I just had to know how author Hayley Stone was going to continue it.

The Good: And continue it she did. Book one, as with many introductions to a series there had to be a lot of back story so the reader could get down on the sweet, sweet words the author is throwing down. Book two, doesn’t need as much exposition and launches right into the action. The story moves along at a respectable pace, and the ending is mostly satisfying.

The Bad: When will Rhona learn? She makes the same mistakes over and over. The characterization in this book is better on the villain side than book one, but I was disappointed at who the ultimate villain was.

The Ugly: Nothing jumped out at me as monumental or appalling. There was a great conflict that was hinted at and set up for but didn’t materialize. There’s still a chance for this conflict to appear in book three, but I was disappointed that such a juicy plot point was either delayed or ignored. Since I don’t want to spoil anything, I’ll just say that the author missed an excellent opportunity at a piece of commentary about the nature of being human. And a glimpse on human relationships.

The Final Word: Strangely enough, I liked Machinations better than I liked Counterpart, even though I felt that Counterpart was a better story from a technical standpoint. To further embrace the strange, I had rated Machinations 3.5 stars, but I’m giving Counterpart a solid four stars. They’re both decent sci-fi, and you could do much worse for the price point. I’m glad Random House/Hydra has set these novels at a fair price and I encourage sci-fi fans to pick them up. I’m dreading the long wait to get my hands on book three.

Hayley Stone

Hayley Stone has lived her entire life in sunny California, where the weather is usually perfect and nothing as exciting as a robot apocalypse ever happens. When not reading or writing, she freelances as an editor and graphic designer, falls in love with videogame characters, and analyzes buildings for velociraptor entry points. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in German from California State University, Sacramento.


About Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner lives in northern Arizona with his wife, three children and a pair of spoiled dogs. Mark holds a degrees in Computer Systems and Applications and Applied Human Behavior. View all posts by Mark Gardner

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