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Supernova: The Lightless #2    by C. A. Higgins order for
by C. A. Higgins
Order:  USA  Can
Del Rey, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Supernova is the second in C. A. Higgins' SF series, The Lightless. I summarized the first book as Waiting for Godot crossed with Star Wars, as it followed computer scientist Althea aboard experimental military spacecraft Ananke, run by an advanced computer and under attack by rebels against the System - Leontios 'Ivan' Ivanov and his close friend and comrade Matthew Gale.

That first episode ended with Althea alone aboard Ananke, which has achieved intelligence - Althea considers the ship her child. As their relationship develops in Supernova, Ananke morphs into something like 2001's Hal, becoming ruthless and destructive. She knows that Mattie and Ivan have survived and is intent on finding them. Ananke no longer consults her mother, while Althea struggles to stop her. Her daughter eventually turns on her in a horrifying development.

That plot line is interspersed with another that moves (rather confusingly) back and forth in time, following the exploits of the ruthless terrorist leader, Constance Harper (the Mallt-y-Nos), who was close to Ivan and Mattie. Ivan's mother Milla works for Connie, and they both believe that Ivan is dead. As Constance and her people fight the System on different planets, she seems to be turning to the dark side, just as Ananke is. Some of her people rebel. Betrayals abound.

Both plot lines in Supernova end on a noir cliffhanger, leaving readers wondering what can possibly follow - whatever it is, it is sure to involve both Ivan and Mattie, who were very much in the background this time.

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