EVOLUTION is a return to the dystopia of Kate Wrath’s E world, a series of books which – for the uninitiated – is essentially a female led Spaghetti Western with killer robots. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Picking up where the last novel (simply called E) left off, the narrative finds Eden in Outpost 3, but angling to get out and take her friends with her. Eventually she manages to convince her captor – who’s in love with her – to let her and her friends out into the wilderness on a mission to save their town. But is Eden lying even to herself about what she’s trying to achieve?

Quest novels can be great on their own terms, just giving the reader chance to admire the wonder of this created world. But I’m one of those grumpy old stick in the muds who likes the quest to reach a its conclusion in the narrative. The journey has to have a destination, after all.

We do build-up to a large twist here, but the actual conclusion – and what it all means – is clearly been held over until book three.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot here that I like. The action of the adventures is exciting, the character development is affecting, and Eden remains a compulsive character to hang a book around. But as much as I enjoyed what went before, the lack of a proper conclusion means that this is a book I simply cannot love. It’s a stepping stone story, some extra course slipped between starter and main which doesn’t fill the belly.

That’s not to say that I won’t enjoy the next one. I’m sure I’ll race through the pages, but to continue with the culinary metaphor – I just wish the meat had arrived sooner.

My debut novel, THE WANNABES – which has been out of print for a little while – is now available for free. A supernatural thriller of beautiful actresses and deadly ambition in London town, it’s well worth your time. You can get your copy here!

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