Crux by Ramez Naam

*May be some mild spoilers here, so if you haven’t read the first book in the series, Nexus, head over to read that review now. Otherwise, be forewarned!*

Crux by Ramez Naam (Angry Robot Books, August 27th, 2013-Reviewed by Peter)-And the prince married the princess and they lived happily ever after. Or the hero enters cryogenic suspension after killing the alien and destroying the ship.

What happened after Cinderella married the prince? Her evil step mother and step sisters were still around to plan; others who felt they could have secured a profitable alliance remain; Cinderella has no knowledge of how to operate in that realm. But all these issues are wrapped up in “happily ever after”. Ripley defeated the Alien and comes home after destroying billions of dollars of business equipment. We got a small test of those after effects in the start of Aliens but I imagine her return was rather “interesting” as that old proverb says.

These questions have always fascinated me, how do the events of a book pay out after the final page is turned. And usually you never find out or at best get some small details mentioned in later installments. There are examples of the effects of the first book/series being shown as they unfold and such is the case of Crux, the follow up to Nexus by Ramez Naam.

When, Nexus finished , Kade had released Nexus (the titular named drug) onto the world and the forces that be can no longer do anything to completely stop it. At this point we would reach the “happily ever after” moment and we would have to believe everything worked out for the best. Ramez Naam doesn’t take the easy way out. Instead Crux picks up pretty much immediately where Nexus left off.

Yes, Nexus has been released to the world and that genie can never be rebottled but that doesn’t mean that the forces in power will not sit idly by and we get to see the steps they take to bottle Nexus up. Or maybe those self-same forces will try to use Nexus for their own ends.

And what about Kade’s friends who were involved in the mess from the beginning? We get to follow their paths and how they handle(or don’t) the world they had a hand in creating. We follow the exploits of our hero who evaded capture to end Nexus still evading a government who wants nothing more than to grab him so they can have access to those elusive backdoors that they know exist but can’t open.

And this only speaks of a few characters from the first book. Everyone is here in the second installment working in the after effects of the release of Nexus. The reader gets to see the world transformed as new paradigms exert themselves and the old ways struggle for their very existence.

Ramez Naam spins an exciting tale following about 12 different plot lines over incredibly complex terrain but the reader is never left trying to remember who that character was and what they had to do with things. I found myself tearing through the pages as chapters flew by from different characters’ perspectives until the final pieces fall into place. If you enjoyed Nexus you will absolutely love Crux. I eagerly await the next book in the series.

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