In his third and final book in the Subterrene War series, McCarthy returns us to a dark vision of future Earth where genetic manipulation and political brinkmanship have ravaged the globe. Stan Resnick is a believable character, with many aspects of his journey paralleling current stories of troops returning from extended conflicts. McCarthy allows Stan to smoothly evolve, avoiding the risk of him becoming a caricature. However, McCarthy’s dense prose often gives way to run-on sentences, which slow the narrative. This book can be read out of sequence, but fans of the series will appreciate the references to prior books.
The Subterrene War is over — at least that’s what the politicians are saying. To Stan (aka Bug), the missions hunting rogue Germline troops — genetically engineered soldiers — have gotten much more interesting. When he encounters a group well past their programmed “decommission” date but with no signs of decay, he uncovers dangerous secrets that lead him to Margaret, an early-generation Germline fighter who is now a religious prophet for genetics and humans alike. (ORBIT, Aug., 352 pp., $7.99)