YA Review: The Base of Reflections

Title: The Base of Reflections (Re-issued in 2021 as The Hidden Base)
Author: A E Warren
Edition: Paperback
Rating: 4/5

The Base of Reflections isn’t published as YA, but it is entirely YA-compatible, so I am very happy to review it here!

What if humans created a superior species using genetic engineering? What if Homo Sapiens were then held responsible for the damage to the planet, and forced to make reparations? And what if we used genetic engineering to bring back extinct species – including Neanderthals?

The Base of Reflections picks up the story from Book One’s cliffhanger ending, taking the characters into new territory as they discover more about the world they have grown up in. Where The Museum of Second Chances explored one of the four settlement bases, this book gives the reader a wider view of the world, physically and politically. There’s a new Point of View narration, following a group of Neanderthals and humans from a different base, and the narrative is split between various characters in different locations. Each thread of the plot shows the reader new aspects of the wider society, raising the tension and the risk for all the characters.

The question of right and wrong, and how to tell the difference, is a theme that runs through both books. Close to the end of Book Two, there is a wonderful conversation about power, leadership, and corruption, as two characters try to decide on the right course of action. There is a tension between following the rules, and doing the right thing, and it is interesting to see how each character reconciles the choices they make with their personal loyalties, and the expectations they have grown up with.

The wider cast of characters in this book means that the story is not focused entirely on Elise and her experiences. The characters from Book One continue to develop and grow, alongside the new Neanderthals, Sapiens, and genetically enhanced humans. I was fascinated by the Neanderthal characters – by the effect on them of their experiences as museum exhibits, by their relationships with each other and with their Sapien and enhanced friends, and by the development of their beliefs and motivations throughout the book. This is a really intersting series, and I’m looking forward to reading Book Three!

Have you read The Base of Reflections? What did you think of the story? And what about the world AE Warren has created? Click through to the full blog to access the comments section, and share your thoughts! No spoilers, though – you can post those on GoodReads!

The Base of Reflections has been re-issued as The Hidden Base!

Review cross-posted to GoodReads.

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