Regeneration - Stephanie Saulter

Apparently I am now massively predictable and whenever people ask for recommendations, one of the first names that comes out of my mouth is Stephanie Saulter - I'd read and loved the first two books in this trilogy (Gemsigns and Binary) and was looking forward to Regeneration so much. Except not, because it's book 3 and therefore done, not to mention there's always the possibility that the author will bodge things at the last. Having now finished Regeneration, I can confidently say that there is absolutely no bodging involved. It's such a great book and well up to the quality of the other two, though I still think I like Binary just a little more.

 

Anyway, a brief synopsis of where we're at coming into this book: years after the Syndrome has devastated the population and big business has responded to a labour crisis by genetically engineering people to do particular types of jobs, those individuals (the 'gems') have gained legal rights and are now trying to build a life for themselves. In Binary and Regeneration, we see the pushback to this idea - this time around the story is partly focussed on the gillungs, people who've been engineered so they can breathe underwater, and the technology they have developed to harness tidal water power on the Thames to provide safe and clean electricity.

 

As you can imagine, this innovation isn't welcomed by the people who've been running the energy industry to date and a concerted campaign is being run, both online and in the real world, to discredit or destroy the gillung's efforts. Alongside this, we again meet Zavcka Klist, who has been the villain of the piece in the previous two books, as she is released from prison into home arrest - in Binary, we discovered that Zavcka had been cloning herself repeatedly to provide vessels into which to implant her consciousness and the most recent clone is now a small child and living with one of the gem families.

 

As with Binary, we have a police investigation conveniently led by Sharon Varsi, who is married to a gem, as well as spending a lot of time with the gillungs - we also get to meet Gabriel again, who was a major character in Gemsigns and who is now 17 and an intern with the gillung project. All of the characters we've come to know from the previous two books are here and playing a part, in a setting that feels both familiar and just a little bit in the future. I highly recommend Regeneration and the whole trilogy which it completes and look forward immensely to seeing what other great books Stephanie Saulter is going to give us in the future (no pressure!).