Mirage is a mystery that involves the investigation of the massacre intended to halt talks of a treaty between Earth and Spacer worlds. Derec Avery, from the Robot City series, starts an investigation to determine why both the Resident Intelligence in charge of security and his new experimental robot bodyguard Bogard failed. Early on there seems to be a conspiracy. Derec and Ariel, which have parted ways since Robots and Aliens, are forced to work together to find out who is behind the attack. What follows is an investigation with twists at almost every turn.
Chimera opens up with a flashback to twenty-five years ago to the scene kidnapping of twenty babies from a hospice center. Back at present day, Coren Lanra, security chief for Rega Looms at DyNan Corporation, is working on tracking the actions of Rega’s daughter Nyom. Unfortunately, Nyom ends up dead along with all those she was attempting to help smuggle to the settler colony Nova Levis. The only possible clue lies in the brain of a robot that locked up while trying to save the passengers. Surprisingly, Ariel and Derec are encouraged to help Coren in his investigation by Ambassador Setaris Coren is forced to follow his own leads while Derec attempts to recover the failed robot’s memories. The following investigation eventually reveals the link to the kidnappings, with danger at almost every turn.
If Chimera was more complicated than Mirage, then Aurora is at least that much more complicated than Chimera was. Tiedemann does a good job of weaving between four main plot lines: Derec and Ariel, Coren Lanra, Mia Daventri, and Masid Vorian. There have been severe repercussions following the aftermath that took place at the end of Chimera. Derec and Ariel are recalled to Aurora at the beginning of this book. Ariel which has become romantic with Coren Lanra must leave him behind. Coren soon begins an investigation of his own. Mia works to uncover the inner workings of smuggling through the Nova Levis blockade. Masid Vorian also begins an investigation but as a spy on Nova Levis itself.
Derec and Ariel have been exiled to Nova Levis, the site of the cyborg lab that was uncovered at the end of the previous series by Tiedemann. Derec has been focusing the resources of his lab on containing the mutating plagues released by Kynig Pyrapoyos. There is a murder on Kopernik station which appears to be committed by a robot, which Derec is summoned to investigate. In the meantime Ariel is asked to look into the possibility of cyborg survivors getting the right to vote.
One of my main disappointments with this book is that the plot lines don’t seem to pick up in pace until about the last quarter of the book. Irvine doesn’t seem to demonstrate the knack for complexity and pacing that Tiedemann did during the last trilogy. Besides these things the book was overall an enjoyable read. If I could pick out one good thing it would be that the plot lines switch back and forth often enough so that you aren’t stuck wondering what is happening in the other one for too long.
***Spoiler discussion for this novel & Robots and Empire****