The second part in this science fiction trilogy by Nick Sagan describes a similar path to that of its first generation of protagonists, from a cool and exciting adolescence into a rich maturity.
This time around, the tentative relationships between different characters are at the forefront, set against the backdrop of a world completely depopulated of humans by a virus. Except for the handful of survivors and now their children. Each has different views on life and on how to build up an existence for humans again, and some have just disappeared or are not on speaking terms. All this creates room for tension and discussion, from topics ranging to science, religion, and child-rearing.
The best part about this novel and series is that Sagan has a strong affinity for personalities, and that rare gift in writers to really have you live along with his characters. Even the two main antagonists in this story, or the villains, if you will, are portrayed believably, and with as much mercy and humanity as they deserve. They are more tragic than anything else, which is a testament to the nuance Sagan brings to a genre that all too often depends on black-and-white brush strokes when it comes to morality and personality.
Nick has also inherited from his father Carl the ability to treat issues of and clashes between religion, spirituality, science, and rationality with grace and understanding. Another one of those rare and undervalued talents.
In short, with the second instalment, this series has made a strong progression, and I can't wait to read the third.