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A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor

The Carls disappeared the same way they disappeared, in an instant. While the robots were on Earth, they caused confusion and destruction with only their presence. Part of their maelstrom was the sudden viral fame and untimely death of April May, a young woman who stumbled onto the Carls’ path, giving them their name, becoming their advocate, and putting herself in the middle of an avalanche of conspiracy theories.

Months later, April’s friends are trying to find their footing in a post-Carl world. Andy has picked up April’s mantle of fame, speaking at conferences and online; Maya, ravaged by grief, begins to follow a string of mysteries that she is convinced will lead her to April; and Miranda is contemplating defying her friends’ advice and pursuing a new scientific operation … one that might have repercussions beyond anyone’s comprehension. Just as it’s starting to seem like the gang may never learn the real story behind the events that changed their lives forever, a series of clues arrive — mysterious books that seem to predict the future and control the actions of their readers — all of which suggest that April could very much be alive.

The sequel to An Absolutely Remarkable Thing was both more complex and abstract, but it was refreshing to have multiple points of view in the story, because honestly, April was kind of annoying. Andy, Maya, and Miranda told most of the story through vignettes.

However, Andy’s storyline really stood out, and not in a good way. Eventually, he’s addicted to the technology at Altus, Peter Petrawicki’s company founded after the disappearance of the Carls. His friends are angry with him for spending so much time using it, and I found myself being very judgmental as well. Which is really silly as well as really scary. Silly because Andy is a fictional character, so he doesn’t exist, and scary because people judge my use of technology the same way I was judging Andy’s — they think I’m addicted.

It got so scary I actually had to put down the book for awhile to stop myself from judging Andy and thinking about my own relationship with technology.

When I finally picked it up again, things got a lot more interesting and action packed, so,putting my personal issues aside, I have no complaints about the book.

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