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T2: Infiltrator    by S. M. Stirling order for
by S. M. Stirling
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2002 (2001)
Hardcover, Paperback, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Wesley Williamson

I suppose I should be thankful that we have been spared a third Arnold Schwartzenegger / Terminator movie. I admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the first two despite Arnold (good SF movies being in such short supply) but I'm not sure I could have survived a third. Unfortunately, this potboiler by Stirling is an inferior substitute even for Arnold.

The book is set in the same world as the movies, and is sequential to them, with Sarah Connor and her son John as principal protagonists. However, this time, the villain dispatched through time to eliminate John Connor is a human female, Serena, suitably modified and indoctrinated by the computer intelligence battling the humans fighting under John in the future. To help her in her task, she has a bellyfull of assistance (literally), thus being amply provided with all she needs to set up a production line for Terminators galore. Sarah and John have been rusticating in Paraguay, but by a strange coincidence, a new next-door neighbour, Dieter, turns out to be a semi-retired intelligence agent, who, just fancy, is the spitting image of a Terminator.

After the usual shenanigans, Sarah, John and Dieter infiltrate the headquarters of Cyberdyne Corporation, due to produce the warped machine intelligence responsible for the collapse of civilisation. They wipe out all the formidable Terminators and eventually kill Serena. Does all this mayhem ensure peace in the future? Alas, no! Serena has been too smart for them, and has provided a clone, to carry on the good work, and most unfortunately, provide the excuse for more books like this one.

I have the greatest respect for Stirling, and have thoroughly enjoyed all his books. Indeed, he is a good enough writer that I even liked reading this one, in spite of the nonsensical plot.

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