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.