Chimera, the third and final story in T.C. McCarthy’s Subterrene War trilogy, is definitely my favorite of the three novels. I found Stan Resnick, a.k.a. “Bug”, to be the most intriguing of the three different main characters in the series. Stan has spent his entire military career thus far hunting escaped Germline units. Now he finds himself on a mission which forces him to work in cooperation with the genetically engineered female warriors to stop an even greater threat.
I’m impressed with the author’s development of the intricate (and somewhat prophetic) political underpinnings which initiated the conflict and now perpetuate the war. I’m even more impressed with his ability to convey the maneuverings of the various interest groups while keeping the story very personal. Fantastic details regarding technological advancements, or simply the futuristic world in which Stan lived, were well distributed throughout the story to keep the reader’s interest level high. The novel is still dark overall, but with a brighter glimmer of hope than the other two.
The author has an amazing ability to convey what many war veterans must go through when they find themselves trying to transition from war-time to “civilization” only to discover they’ve become institutionalized by a psychological prison. In this novel Stan hates the satos, the genetically engineered soldiers, and hates the war, yet he only feels like himself when he’s in the throes of a grisly conflict. I was hooked.
I also love how Catherine, the main character from Exogene (book two in the series that starts with Germline) was referenced in Chimera. It makes her story even more relevant when the reader discovers how her life and experiences have affected the other escaped Germline units.
Overall I’m very impressed with this series. For me it’s kind of like Bourne Legacy meets the Vietnam conflict.