Virology is the follow-up to ‘Escapology’ by Ren Warom and I have to say if you haven’t read the first book yet you need to do yourself a service and pick it up! While I enjoyed her first outing into the world of Cyberpunk, which she created, this one is even better! Sequels from new authors are always hit or miss, and this one is a full-on success. Outside of the world building from the first novel as a reason to read it first, this one drops you right into the action where the first novel ended.
I’m actually envious of anyone who is starting the series now since you didn’t have to wait nearly a year like I did to see how the story would play out.
When things left off, reality, as we were introduced to it, was turned on its head and our heroes had their power levels off the charts. How could Ren possibly up the stakes for a believable threat after how things left off? Just up the stakes all across the board!
As to the book itself, we’re once again following Shock Pao, Amiga, and the Hornets gang. They’ve taken out Fulcrum Corporation, Shock has almost God-like powers in the virtual world of the Slip. Things should be looking good except Fulcrum (or rather what is left of the corporation) has a new leader, Auntie Doing (who is probably my favorite twisted villain in the book), who has eyes on taking them out. Evelyn Tsai is trying to clear up loose ends, and Zenata, who was the main villain from Warom’s last book, is down but not out. There are more people gunning for Shock and his crew than ever before and this time it’s personal.
The character development is still top-notch. The settings as a mixture between the virtual and the mega-city of Foon Gung is even more realistic, and even the action has grown and evolved. It’s almost amazing how much more fast-paced and more developed this is than ‘Escapology.’
Basically, if you loved the first book, this one will not let you down but top the Cyberpunk experience. A thrill ride into a future society which we’ve learned so much about and yet still feel that we’ve only scratched the surface. There is plenty of story in this world still to tell, and I’d be curious for Warom to not just explore more tales of the leads in this work, but of the entire world that she has created!
By: Ren Warom
June 13th, 2017