[The Superlative Stream by Kerry Netiz]
The Superlative Stream: Kerry Nietz just turned out another fantastic title with our favorite characters :SandFly, HardCandy, and if you can count the lovable personality-Darktrench. They reach the Betelgeuse system and find something out of the ordinary. Not the Superlative Stream waiting for him as SadlyFly had hoped, but instead, civilization? After sending out a probe and having it destroyed, they realize it might not be friendly inhabitance, and then it’s proven. Unable to absolutely avoid the impending attack instead of making them await the verdict, Darktrench puts SandFly and HardCandy to sleep.
When they awake things are definitely different. Darktrench won’t respond to their prodding and it looks like…they are going to get boarded. HardCandy wonders if their impending meeting with the planets’ inhabitants is a fulfillment of more Abdul prophecy. Sandfly is not so sure, something is amiss, but what? What is the voice telling him, it doesn’t make sense! They are boarded by the strange shimmering craft, and—no one is aboard. Following it’s beckoning stream commands the pair leave the now nonfunctional Darktrench and embark down to the land. What they find? Muscled and blue skinned men, could they really be Jinn as HardCandy supposes? They travel underground and dock in the city, everything is dazzlingly beautiful, but from what the strangers say, there is many more cities just like this, many of them below ground!
The caste system the blue skinned men fit in, binds them in ways not unlike debuggers and Abduls, but they claim it is freeing. Is everything as wonderful as it looks? Everything is stream aware and building from the most basic of elements all things can be changed and crafted. Created, Maintained, Reclaimed, the three castes are kept busy. Everything is customizable, perfect, but HardCandy wants the surface air and to walk on a planet again. And since Hard wants it, and Sandfly doesn’t have a good reason why not, he acquiesces.
When on a walk with HardCandy, Sandfly kisses her, and the incurring shock from the stops send her into a non-responsive coma. SandFly is torn as to how to best help her. Should he try to return to a nonfunctioning Darktrench and try to take her home? Join one of the castes? What would help her more, can he even do anything? The Jinn seem to believe the only option for helping her is to have him join a faction, only then can he be fully stream aware and able to help her. When SandFly joins the Maintainers, everything changes. With his new template he can do anything, fix anything, his life completely changed, ultimately different and he has accepted everything is random, just like Shem, one of the Jinn, said.
Why is the person in the chamber tube in his room? The face holds no significance to him. Why should it? SandFly wonders at the strange phenomenon, shouldn’t they have removed this already? The person doesn’t look like him either. He has HardCandy sent to the planets ICU sector and continues with life glad to be rid of the object. Days and days pass without a thought for his past life or even HardCandy, and then…in the middle of working on a project, a triped appears with a message for him, could he be from A-A^3. What does it mean?
I won’t spoil the ending for you, it was toooooo interesting to chance ruining it for you, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and believe it to be a worthwhile read for all.