PrintE-mail Written by Sophie Atherton

Regeneration is the third book of the ®evolution series by Stephanie Saulter. Upon starting the book, the reader finds that time has jumped forward eight years in the narrative, and Zavcka Klist is about to be released from prison for her crimes in the series previous book, Binary. Klist appears to have mellowed somewhat, but Aryel Morningstar, the discoverer of Klists shocking plan in Binary and cause for her to be imprisoned, knows this is not necessarily the case. Meanwhile, the development of the gillungs - genetically modified, water-breathing humans - new aquatic industry could revolutionise the energy industry, but is causing fear amongst their competitors, giving thought that the biohazard scare at the recent festival was no accident.

Introducing some new characters and bringing back some of the old, Saulter develops the futuristic narrative beyond imagination in Regeneration. The technology birthed throughout the series is fantastical without being unrealistic, which is a pitfall of many science-fiction novels. The society created around this also feels completely real. It highlights the difficulties that communities have been dealing with for decades; the integration of those of a different race, or those with a disability. The politics behind this are highly focused upon in Regeneration, where Gemsigns and Binary were more interested with social media and public perception. We see the recognisable Mikal Varsi, councillor, trying to do what is right for his gem constituents while also battling with the internal turmoil that he could just make their situation worse.

When reading Regeneration, it’s hard not to be in awe of the story, especially when considering it is the third book of the series. Saulter has managed to create three very different, but completely linked, narratives, all exploring something different enough to encapsulate the reader, but linked enough to leave you shocked at the revelations which have been hinted at in the previous books. Much like it’s predecessors, the novel gathers pace gradually before the highly satisfying blowout at the climax of the narrative, revealing the answers to the questions that have been amounting since chapter one, but replacing them with others leaving the reader wanting more. This makes the series feels completely planned, but at the same time completely offhand. Saulter’s writing has certainly become stronger with each novel; where Gemsigns at times is difficult to follow, Regeneration is much more succinct. Stephanie Saulter is fast becoming one of our favourite authors, and so we're therefore both impatiently and excitedly waiting to see where the next instalment of the series will take it’s fascinating characters, and can only hope it will be published soon.


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