Only Human (Missing Link, book 2), by Kate Thompson

Kate Thompson: Irish. She writes a lot of books set in Ireland, viagra 40mg and I’ve introduced her three times before. I’ve got no new information on her, patient but I will provide these links: The New Policeman (the first book I read of hers and reviewed); Switchers (the second, an unrelated but vaguely speculative novel as well); Fourth World (the first volume in this series, in which we meet Christie [a boy] and his brother Danny and are introduced to their particular world of Ireland during an awful economic crisis).

Since this is the second book in the trilogy, and because there are a few big reveals in the first volume, I’m cutting plot discussion. After we learned that Maggie and her absent husband are geneticists and they have been tinkering with humans and animals over the years, Christie and the crew settle in at Fourth World, her farm. Danny (who is part dolphin) can swim whenever he likes, and the rest help with the general farm duties. Until Bernard, Sandy (part frog) and Colin’s (part fish) father, comes home, and reveals that he wants to go find yetis in Tibet, looking for the missing link. Maggie is in an uproar, but they (including Christie, Danny, Sandy, and Colin) leave anyway. Will they find anything? And will Fourth World survive the winter without them?

This book, like the first one, has short chapters with many breaks. As with the last one, I didn’t find every stop to be inherently logical, but after a while, I fell into the rhythm and didn’t even notice when I had to turn an extra page. Also like the first one, the majority of the plot is taken up with traveling. In the first volume, they are traveling from Ireland to Scotland, and while it’s hard and they’re walking most of the time, it really isn’t that far. In Only Human, though, they cover a very great physical distance and survive even more extreme weather than in the first one. It’s certainly not easy, and it’s even traumatic for more than one of the explorers.

Unlike the first one, we have three different perspectives — not on the same storyline, but on all the events happening simultaneously. We follow the explorers in Tibet; we follow the farm back in Scotland; and we follow one of the children who has gotten separated. I found each line quite interesting and devoured them all with interest. Obviously tracking a yeti is going to be compelling; they stop in a Tibetan monestary along the way, and meet many interesting characters. One of them can even tell, just by looking, that some of the children have the DNA of animals. Christie is, of course, ‘only human,’ and he must decide what that means to him.

The separated child’s adventures — I won’t give them away — were possibly my favorite, and I suspect we’re going to see more of that world in the future. It was also the least happy storyline, but I appreciated seeing it anyway. Back on the farm, there are looters and too much work for too many people, but Maggie holds firm to her ideals. The fact that the farm was completely self-sufficient is very helpful. Overall, I thought this was a great middle book — it certainly didn’t suffer from sequel-itis, and if perhaps the science part is skimmed over (and/or just plain unworkable), then it makes up for it with action, adventure, and suspense. 4/5 stars.

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