City of Ruins (Diving into the Wreck 2) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch [Book Review]

From Space to Underground Diving and still no Water

This is the second book in the Diving universe. A much-anticipated book since I liked the first book, Diving into the Wreck a lot. The main character is called Boss by everyone and we never hear her real name in any of the books. She now owns a company that researches the mysterious stealth technology of the ancient Destiny ships for the lesser powers of the region so not to give the Empire free reins with stealth technology. Her father founded the Empire’s project and he subjected both her and her mother to experiments with it. Her mother died but Boss has the gene that protects her from the effects of stealth fields.

This time she is a bit out of her element in gravity and underground. They suspect stealth technology is involved in the dead zones under an ancient city and set out to find the truth. It is hard to review this book without spoiling it. There is a game-changing surprise there under the city.

Underground archaeology can be dangerous in itself without time warping stealth technology. The government wants to keep a lid on any problems with cave-ins to protect their precious tourist industry.

As usual a large part of my enjoyment of the books comes from interaction within the team. Letting some of them sit out the experience gives credibility to the story. They are civilians. Boss is an enigmatic character that continues to fascinate me but also comes across as a believable leader and researcher.

The first book was written wholly from Boss point of view but here it is different and especially the other side’s point of view gives great satisfaction to read. So many things I have wondered about get their explanation. The psychological impacts are well developed in a believable way. And the foundation for some breathtaking character development in the next book is laid out, maybe even romance…

The story has a thrilling suspense that kept me nailed to the text because I knew it was coming and could see all the preparations and the buildup to an amazing climax in the end.

Second books usually bring you down a bit from the freshness of the first encounter but not here. City of Ruins is even better than Diving into the Wreck and while both maintains a surprising self containment that should allow you to read them standalone, they do continue an overall arc about Boss, stealth technology and the evil Empire.

Rusch fascinates me as an author. She paints with small brush but succeeds in making characters and worlds come alive and matter to me. Consistency and surprising yet natural angles makes her stories unique.

Now I can’t wait on the next book in the series, Boneyard scheduled for January next year.

Book information

City of Ruins (Diving into the Wreck 2) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Pyr 2011) – Amazon USUK

Boss, a loner, loved to dive derelict spacecraft adrift in the blackness of space. But one day, she found a ship that would change everything–an ancient Dignity Vessel–and aboard the ship, the mysterious and dangerous Stealth Tech. Now, years after discovering that first ship, Boss has put together a large company which finds Dignity Vessels and finds “loose” stealth technology.

Following a hunch, Boss and her team come to investigate the city of Vaycehn, where fourteen archeologists have died exploring the endless caves below the city. Mysterious “death holes” explode into the city itself for no apparent reason, and Boss believes stealth tech is involved. As Boss searches for the answer to the mystery of the death holes, she will uncover the answer to her Dignity Vessel quest as well—and one more thing, something so important that it will change her life—and the universe—forever…