The Power of Two

by Patti O'Shea

Love Spell, November, 2004.
Paperback, 358 pages.
ISBN: 0505525933
Subgenre: Love Spell

The Power of Two by Patti O'Shea In the world of 2176, wars have left the earth in a fractured, suspicious state. Technology is advanced, but the terrorists are legion. Cai leads a lonely existence since her parents disappeared when she was a teenager. The army took her in because of her high intelligence and aptitude for computers, waiving the normal age requirements. Earth Army Special Forces recruits Cai for a special project where she was linked via nanoprobes with a Special Forces operative, Captain Jake Tucker. Cai provides technical back up and intel in real time while Tucker and his men carry out their dangerous missions all over the world. Tucker thinks that his link is with an AI-enhanced computer, not a brilliant young woman and Cai hasn't enlightened Tucker, who is her only real friend. But when Cai heads off on her own mission to find her parents, she decides its time that Jake found out the truth. So she gets herself assigned to Jake's next mission to the floating Raft Cities where Cai's parents are being held hostage for their scientific knowledge. Jake, horrified that the voice in his head is a human, and at the idea of Cai meeting pirates, terrorists and criminals in the notorious Raft Cities, balks at the plan. But his CO overrules him and the team sets out to find and capture the notorious Banzai Maguire, who is suspected of leading a revolution for freedom against the oppressive current government. After they find Banzai, Jake promises Cai that he will find and rescue her parents.

Although The Power of Two is the fourth book in the bestselling 2176 series, which are all set in the same futuristic world but are each written by a different author, it reads as a top-notch, stand-alone thriller. Patti O'Shea is a truly amazing new writer. Her characterizations are pitch-perfect. The shy, introverted Cai who managed to get through Special Forces training and who can go head to head with any commando, hides a world of pain and isolation and her journey to the outside world is absorbing. Jake is more than a cardboard action hero; he is well-realized and complex. The action and love scenes are both absolutely mesmerizing. The Power of Two is clearly one of the best action romances written this year. Highly recommended.

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This review was published in the November-December, 2004 of The Internet Writing Journal.

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