D’Arc (War with No Name #2) by Robert Repino

The Colony has been defeated, it’s mad Queen lies dead. In an effort to defeat the humans, the Queen released a strange and unknown technology in to the world. It’s purpose: to uplift the surface animals – cats, dogs, wolves, bats, etc. – and turn them in to sentient beings. These creatures would then rise up and kill their human oppressors, making way for a new era. Things however did not go as planned. The War with No Name is over and the world left behind will never be the same.

After years of bloodshed, these animals must now learn to coexist with the humans who were once their sworn enemies. Each side must learn to trust the other even as outside forces threaten to crush the fragile peace.

Our intrepid hero, Mort(e), still survives and has reunited with his beloved Sheba. Left “pure” by the Queen, she has received the mysterious treatment and has become like the other animals. She and Mort(e) have created a quiet life far from the new civilizations; and while he is content, she begins to yearn for more. When a series of strange occurrences threaten the holy city of Hosanna, she is given her chance. And Mort(e) has little option but to follow, whether he wants to or not.

Back when I reviewed the first book, I said I hoped Repino would write a second tale with these characters and I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this book at my library. Picking up shortly after where Mort(e) left off, D’Arc is the sequel that I was waiting for.

At first, everything starts normal enough – Mort(e) has been reunited with his beloved Sheba and the two of them are living what many would consider an idyllic life. However things begin to change them, especially when news of strange goings on in the city of Hosanna reach them. When Sheba decides to leave the cabin and travel to the city, Mort(e) is angry at first. The image of the life with Sheba he built in his mind has come crashing down around him.

As in the first book, Repino handles these different scenarios quite well. From the danger of the first battle with the mutant spiders to the heartbreak of Mort(e)’s and Sheba’s parting, it almost feels as if we are there with the characters. He further builds and expounds on the world created in the first book, introducing new characters as well as bringing back familiar faces.

The narrative switches several times during the novel; at times we are with Sheba (now known as D’Arc) in the city of Hosanna, and at other times we are with a strange group of sea creatures as they travel towards an unknown destination. While the sea creature plot line wasn’t as strong nor as interesting, it is a good setup for a potential book somewhere down the line.

Just like with the first book, I was held rapt with reading D’Arc. I shed several tears, especially towards the end.

If you have read and enjoyed Mort(e), then I highly recommend you pick up the sequel, D’Arc.

And just as I did when I finished the first book and wrote the review, I must go and hug my dog.



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