Full disclosure – I was provided a copy of this book by the author; however, I have voluntarily chosen to write a review. All opinions are my own.
Mourning Dove is the second in the EMPATHY series of novels by author R. R. Campbell. Set shortly after the explosive conclusion of Imminent Dawn, Chandra finds herself reunited with her beloved wife and slowly tries to pick up the pieces after the failed Empathy experiments. Having been left nonverbal and harboring a dangerous secret, Chandra is moody at best and catatonic at worst. With her condition deteriorating and no sign of the Halmans taking responsibility for their role in her current state, Chandra decides to take matters into her own hands, but will her noble sacrifice be enough to divert a much larger disaster?
Having survived the forced uninstall of his empathy chip after his involvement in the compound’s demise came to light Ty is consumed with thoughts of vengeance for the Halmans and seeks to unload what he has learned of the Empathy coding to Human/ETech’s competition. When that doesn’t go as planned, he is approached by an unlikely duo who offers him what seems to be the chance of a lifetime. As he begins to pursue this opportunity, Ty can’t help but wonder if this is an “out of the frying pan and into the fire” type situation but the rewards are too great to ignore.
Meanwhile, Renauld Dupont is still searching tirelessly for Meredith as she has not been seen since the Galveston incident. Chances are she is dead, but Ren is not so sure. With events heating up at home and The NAU dogging his every move, Ren goes off the grid to continue to search for the human equivalent of the needle in a haystack. He must find out for himself if Merideth is dead. If she is not, she could hold information that could blow the covers of several high-level political players.
For me, Imminent Dawn was one of those “out of my comfort zone” novels for a variety of reasons, but it ended up being one that I was very glad to have read. Campbell does a great job of imagining a world in the not too distant future where technology has advanced to the point that there is a thin line between beneficial and detrimental. With Mourning Dove, Campbell continues to weave an intricately well-written storyline where all the players’ voices are equally heard to tell the bigger story. Even with the focus shifting from one storyline to the next, it was very easy to see where the pieces of each individual arc fit into the overall narrative. Chandra, even in her nonverbal state, continues to be very much the main player as does Ty as they work in their own individual ways for justice. I absolutely loved Kyra’s devotion to Chandra even though their life has changed drastically since the events of the compound. It makes me wonder if Chandra is not doing herself a disservice by shutting Kyra out of her inner struggles. There is strength in numbers, and something tells me that the dynamic we have seen so far with this couple would only be increased if they were a united front against M3RI.
As Mourning Dove ends, I am once again cliffhung. As I await the release of Event Horizon, I am hopeful that Campbell can extend this into a long-running series as I feel that there is much more to the story than we can even imagine at this point.