Author: Mary Fan (Amazon author page)
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing, 2014
Note: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Note #2: This is a review of Book 2 in the Jane Colt Trilogy. If you’d like, you can also read my review of Book 1 in the Jane Colt Trilogy.
Synthetic Illusions opens in the consciousness of the human-like AI Adam Palmer, who is also the heroine Jane Colt’s boyfriend. (Adam is one of the main characters in the first book of the Jane Colt Trilogy, Artificial Absolutes.) In his dream, he commits a violent act and confronts Pandora, the chief architect AI (think Skynet) who created him and other AIs. The problem is, Adam and Jane destroyed Pandora months ago. She’s dead. But she did leave behind other AIs who, like Adam, remain hidden among the population of the galaxy.
The problem is, when Adam wakes from his dream, he realizes that his dream is reflected in real events. The news tells him that another AI, like a sleeper agent, committed a terrorist act. Worse, the remnants of Pandora is using Adam to control other AIs.
Meanwhile, Jane Colt has stood by Adam and her love for him—which he returns—and insists that their relationship can survive the challenges they face. But the challenges are about to get a whole lot harder. Because the recent violence committed by AIs have brought the AIs out into the open, and ISARK (the equivalent of the CIA) knows about Adam. To make matters worse, Jane’s older brother Devin, an ISARK agent, has been tasked with bringing Adam in.
But things are much more complicated than they seem. And, as usual, Jane will do anything to protect the people she loves. When she realizes her own brother has betrayed her to ISARK, she uses what she learned when they were on the run from Pandora to stay ahead of ISARK and Devin. The adventure begins.
Mary Fan has built a gorgeous, elaborate universe. The ships are complex and beautiful—just wait till you see what a Silverside can do. The central star systems, the fringe star systems, the star systems controlled by mercenaries—so many fascinating places to visit, and we get to see them all.