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Seppuku: Behemoth Book 2    by Peter Watts order for
by Peter Watts
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2005 (2005)

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This is actually the last half of a novel released in two parts (due to publishing constraints), the first being Behemoth: B-Max. The books should be read in order, and it would also help to take in the earlier two 'rifters' volumes, Maelstrom and Starfish.

The heroine of the series, Lenie Clarke, feels huge guilt after unleashing an acopalyptic infection, 'Behemoth', upon the world. As the first book in this pair ended, Lenie and ex-assassin Ken Lubin were poised to leave the ocean and head to quarantined North America, in order to save their people (who live in and around) the underwater Atlantis complex from a deliberately mutated form of Behemoth, 'Sepukku'. When they reach the 'grubby, dying landscape' of N'Am for the first time in five years, they see for themselves the devastation that the plague has caused.

On land, they encounter endocrinologist Taka Ouellette, who travels the countryside ministering to the sick from an armored mobile infirmary, while suffering survivor's guilt herself. Taka and Lenie release what they think is a cure for Behemoth through volunteers. But it may be something else entirely. As always, Lubin stays focused on his primary mission, to help the rifters and Atlantis. Soon, they're contacted by another key player. Sociopath Achilles Desjardins wields the power of the 'Complex Systems Instability Response Authority' in N'Am, and has his own agenda.

Helped by Ricketts, a young man infected with Sepukku, Lenie confronts the angry Internet demons unleashed in her name, and discovers how to crash the system. Achilles finds a new victim for his sadistic pleasure. And, discovering who their real enemy is, Lenie and Lubin launch a desperate attempt to win 'Another chance' for a world in despair and chaos. Don't miss this series. I enjoyed both volumes of Behemoth very much and look forward to whatever Peter Watts chooses to write next.

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