So back at the beginning of the year I reviewed the first in Colin F. Barnes’ Code BreakersAdystopian post-apocalypse cyberpunk series and I’ve been intending to review the rest of the series ever since. Now I downloaded the Complete Series Kindle edition and it’s the cheapest and easiest way to read the whole series. If you want to purchase the whole series in paperback, you’ll have to buy the books individuallyA. A slight drawback, especially as, at time of writing, an individual paperback costs significantly more than its electronic sibling!
Economics aside, I have to say I did enjoy this series. The story shifts away from Gerry, the main character in the first book and settles on Petal. The author is obviously fond of his little elfin creation as she strikes out with her own story arc. The earliest that Petal can remember is the point where Gabe found her wandering alone in the middle of nowhere and, as her true origins are revealed the reader is drawn into a world of cyborgs, spy satellites and the truth behind the apocalyptic act which turned the planet, and the human race, into what it is.
We meet Petal’s “family”, including her equally extraordinary sisters and how they all link to the insane Elliot. Gerry makes fleeting appearances throughout the rest of the series (until about the second half of Delta) and we finally discover what The Family have been plotting all along. Gabe’s tragic past is explored as he swings between friend and foe with the rest of he lead characters. When his story arc reaches its conclusion you can really “feel” the weight of those years on him.
I found the whole series an interesting study in humanity and our social constructs in general. The nods to the late 20th/early 21st century technology and pop culture are a nice touch. Barnes’ ending to the saga felt very satisfying. Although there had been characters lost along the way the final realization of the identity of a character who had seemed incidental brought a smile to my face.
As with Alpha, the rest of the series isn’t one that I would necessarily stay up all night to finish, but I would (and have) still recommended it to a friend. With some series you really can pick and choose which ones you read or flit about them in any old order. However the way the storylines of each of the characters develop in Code Breakers you really must read them in the order that they are written and I strongly recommend that there you don’t leave much of a gap between each book either! All in all I think I will give the whole series an 8/10, and the other books by Barnes are already on my reading list. Code Breakers has likeable characters that I really started to care about in a post-apocalyptic dystopia.
What’s not to enjoy?
UPDATE! Through the power of the internet (aka twitter) the author himself responded to my review with some rather excellent news about the e-book/paperback issue:
@Dizzyfy Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed the series. I am currently working on getting a print omnibus version released.
— Colin F. Barnes News (@ColinFBarnes) April 17, 2016
What a lovely chap 😉
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