This review was first published by Booklist on May 17, 2019.
After defeating the artificial intelligence on Mars, Liz Anderson and two other survivors arrive back on Earth, but not to the welcome they expect. Earth is in turmoil after the devastation of nuclear war, and paranoia and hatred of AIs run rampant. The astronauts return with the remnants of the Martian AI, which contains the uploaded consciousness of Liz’s dead lover. Or does it? It turns out the AIs aren’t done with her yet, and all is not as it seems. Targeted by the U.S. government and aided by AI sympathizers, Liz must figure out whom to trust. In Cawdron’s follow-up to Retrograde (2016), he develops his ideas about artificial intelligence and the nature of life in complex and interesting ways. The political ramifications that drive the action are entirely believable. Reentry is a worthy sequel. Though it lacks the novelty of its predecessor, this series entry develops this world more broadly and leaves open the possibility of future stories. Fans will be satisfied.