Echo of Worlds by MR Carey

03/07/2024
Echo of Worlds by MR Carey

After the extended table setting that was Infinity Gate, the first book in his Pandemonium Duology, MR Carey returns with the conclusion in Echo of Worlds. Infinity Gate established a multiverse that is made up of different instances of the planet Earth, the biological worlds are ruled over by a bureaucracy known as the Pandemonium which has found itself at war with a machine hive-mind hegemony which it calls the Ansurrection. This book focussed on three disparate characters brought together by a rogue and very individual Artificial Intelligence that thinks it has the solution to stopping the total annihilation that will come from this war.

Carey effectively keys in readers who may be a bit hazy on the details of that first book and then sets up what is essentially a heist narrative. The three main characters from the first book – Essien, who has become a solider, scientist Hadiz who died but has had their consciousness preserved, and humanoid rabbit Paz – are joined by Essien’s antagonist Moon, a cat-like soldier, and Dulcie, a robot former spy for the Ansurrection. They are deployed on a series of increasingly dangerous missions in which are intended to stop the oncoming war. But as with any good heist narrative nothing ever goes to plan.

The trick that Carey successfully pulls in this book, and the series as a whole, is to deal with massive concepts (infinite versions of Earth, planet-busting weapons, artificial intelligence hegemonies) and bring them down to the personal. He makes readers really care about the individuals that they are following and not only their overarching mission but their personal growth. And he builds the story so that the stakes are constantly raised and the solutions that they come to are never the ones they started out with but emerge from those individual personalities. He also, as expected, solves the mystery of the narrator (the reason why despite all the cliffhangers readers can be fairly sure that at least some things will work out), in a way that is surprising and refreshing.

MR Carey has been working across the gamut of speculative fiction. He has now delivered great reads with zombies (The Girl with All the Gifts), a post apocalyptic tale (Book of Koli), ghosts (Fellside) and now, with the Pandemonium duology, he firmly has the multiverse (with a side of robopocalypse) under his belt. It is exciting to consider where he might go next.

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Echo of Worlds by MR Carey

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Echo of Worlds by MR Carey

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