Hi there! Today I’m so excited to share my review for THE DUALITY BRIDGE, a YA sci-fi book about artificial intelligence and the quest for immortality from a fave author Susan Kaye Quinn. This is the second book in a series, and you should read THE LEGACY HUMAN first. Don’t forget to scroll down and enter the $25 GC giveaway.
About the book:
What does it mean to be human? Elijah Brighton is the face of the Human Resistance Movement. He’s the Olympic-level painter who refused an offer of immortality from the ascenders—the human/machine hybrids who run the world—in solidarity with the legacy humans who will never get a chance to live forever.
Too bad it’s all a complicated web of lies. Worse, Eli’s not even entirely human. Few know about the ascenders’ genetic experiments that left him… different. Fewer know about the unearthly fugue state that creates his transcendent art—as well as a bridge that lets him speak to the dead. But the Resistance is the one place he can hide from the ascender who knows everything the fugue can do. Because if Marcus finds him, he’ll either use Eli for his own nefarious purposes… or destroy him once and for all.
The Duality Bridge is the second book in the Singularity series and the sequel to The Legacy Human. This thrilling new young adult science fiction series explores the intersection of mind, body, and soul in a post-Singularity world.
How about a tiny taste?
Delphina is watching me from outside the holo matrix… along with Kamali, whose wide brown eyes hold silent judgment for the things she thinks I’ve done. Forbidden things, like being a love toy for my ex-patron and current-rebel-ascender, Lenora. Who happens to be standing right next to her. While Kamali’s graceful dancer body is hidden under the black military garb of the resistance, Lenora’s perfect bodyform is barely covered in scintillating ascender-tech fabric. The thing is, I’ve never so much as kissed Lenora. Except in my dreams, which really shouldn’t count against me. Any seventeen-year-old guy would have those kinds of thoughts. But the truth is Kamali’s not wrong to judge me.
My feelings for Lenora have always been… complicated.
This series of books takes place in a future Earth where humanity is the minority of the population and the Ascenders are humans who long ago put their knowledge and consciousness into a computer matrix called Orion. They exist in artificial bodyforms are are essentially immortal–replacing parts but not awareness over the years. Eli is a legacy human, part of a cultivated population comprised of the progeny of people who chose not to ascend over a hundred years ago. He has earned a modest living as an artist due to the payments of his Ascender patron Lenora, but his true goal was to win Ascendance at the Olympics that just ended. His goal was two-fold: he would be ascender and could pursue Lenora, for whom he always pined, and his mother, who is sick with lymphoma and unable to be cured with the limited medicines humans are allowed to take, would also ascend and she would be cured in the process.
In the previous book, THE LEGACY HUMAN, Eli’s plans did not succeed. And, he has learned that his humanity–which he ofttimes cursed–is not complete. Lenora had a hand in Eli’s conception, with a number of other Ascenders who were hoping to determine if Ascenders in fact had souls. Eli has fits, fugues, where he loses his active consciousness and sees scenes that may be future or past. He paints within these fugue-states creating art that is transcendent, but he now realizes that his visions in the fugue are far more than art–they are communion with Orion, outside of Ascendency.
Eli is a poster child for the Human Resistance, factions of humans who want Ascendency to be a right, not a privilege to “win” but, at the moment, Eli isn’t a believer in their cause. He isn’t human, but his sick mother is–and the rebels are willing to cure his mother for his cooperation. Unfortunately, their camp is compromised and Eli is singled out as a security risk. Eli and his friend Kamali (a human girl he’d like to actually date) fight to save the captured members of their camp, while also keeping Eli’s secret. It’s getting harder and harder to keep his genetic origins secret, however, especially as they are captured by human True Believers–God worshippers in the darkest sense–and other Ascenders, including Marcus, who believe Eli’s origin to be a mistake that needs to be rectified.
The plot takes amazing twists, between the harsh reality of human life in New Portland and the surreal nature of Eli’s fugues which are becoming more frequent and more detailed. Eli’s able to discern the true nature of all creatures he meets in the fugue, and his fears over some are more warranted than others. He’s also forced to make alliances that do not best suit him, in order to save the people he loves–sacrificing himself is not a viable option for his protectors and friends, however.
I really enjoyed the detailed world-building and the depth of the plot, which (naturally) features a character bent on world domination. Shame this character has such close ties to Eli. The characters within the story are fantastically crafted, with real motives and drives that cause alliances that are not always permanent. The secondary characters, Kamali, Cyrus, Lenora, Marcus and others, have true roles to play in Eli’s journey. The resolution of this novel is sufficient to remove any cliffhangers, but readers know there is more of the story to come. Can’t wait!
What would you give to live forever? Seventeen-year-old Elijah Brighton wants to become an ascender—a post-Singularity human/machine hybrid—after all, they’re smarter, more enlightened, more compassionate, and above all, achingly beautiful. But Eli is a legacy human, preserved and cherished for his unaltered genetic code, just like the rainforest he paints. When a fugue state possesses him and creates great art, Eli miraculously lands a sponsor for the creative Olympics. If he could just master the fugue, he could take the gold and win the right to ascend, bringing everything he’s yearned for within reach… including his beautiful ascender patron. But once Eli arrives at the Games, he finds the ascenders are playing games of their own. Everything he knows about the ascenders and the legacies they keep starts to unravel… until he’s running for his life and wondering who he truly is.
The Legacy Human is the first in Susan Kaye Quinn’s new young adult science fiction series that explores the intersection of mind, body, and soul in a post-Singularity world… and how technology will challenge us to remember what it means to be human.
You can find my review for the THE LEGACY HUMAN here and pick up the book on Amazon.
Praise for The Legacy Human:
“This book is Hunger Games (without the violence or controversy) meets Divergent.”
“This story is so intense I felt I couldn’t get a proper breath.”
“Science fiction with philosophical depth!”
$25 Blog Tour Giveaway
Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win a $25 Amazon eGift Card or Paypal Cash.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
(Ends 9/6/15. Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com eGift Card or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.)
Good luck and keep reading my friends!
Author Susan Kay Quinn
Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the Singularity Series, the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy, and the Debt Collector serial, as well as other speculative fiction novels and short stories. Her work has appeared in the Synchronic anthology, the Telepath Chronicles, the AI Chronicles, and has been optioned for Virtual Reality by Immersive Entertainment. Former rocket scientist, now she invents mind powers, dabbles in steampunk, and dreams of the Singularity. Mostly she sits around in her PJs in awe that she gets to write full time.