- New World is the second full-length novel in the series, but it’s technically the third book. It should be read after Fourth World and Different Worlds. You can find the Fourth World recap here. and the Different Worlds recap here.
- The events of this book pick up immediately after the ending of Fourth World and Different Worlds (since both those books end at the exact same moment).
- Unlike Fourth World, New World is only set in one timeline: Mars, 2075 C.E.
Did We Meet Anyone New in New World?
New characters include:
- Mariyah Khan, 19, Tamara’s roommate at the Herschel Institute. We met her briefly at the end of Different Worlds. Mariyah is a studio art major and a talented painter. She hit it off with Tamara and particularly Scylla right away, and they have become close friends.
- Lizeth Senghas, 20, one of the leaders of the Stateless, the rebel movement on Earth. An anarchist with a talent for tactical planning, her goal is to bring about the downfall of the continental unions and put power back in the hands of the people. Her older brother is Bruno. Her boyfriend is Dante.
- Zero Feldman, 21, hair stylist extraordinaire. They are a secret member of the Stateless and one of Lizeth’s closest friends. Their role in New World is minor, but they become important in One World so I wanted to give them a mention here.
What Happened in New World?
The TL;DR Version
Isaak returns to his own timeline to find that nothing is as he left it. In the two years he was missing, his best friend Henry has become the leader of a nascent rebel movement on Mars, and his family has changed beyond recognition. Nadin, who accompanied Isaak to the future, attempts to negotiate a treaty with GSAF to allow her people to evacuate to the future, but her attempts are repeatedly rebuffed. Joseph Condor seizes power and arrests Henry, bringing the friend group to Earth to meet with the GSAF council. There they learn that GSAF has access to the System, Nadin’s people’s ancient computer technology, and they are planning to use it to control the populace. The friends escape with the help of Lizeth, a leader in the Stateless, a rebel group on Earth. They discover a connection between Mars’ ancient past and an archaeological site in Mexico. There they find another time door which allows them to return to Elytherios. But they learn that the Iamoi rebels have been betrayed and the geroi are planning to attack Earth. Nadin closes the time door, trapping Isaak and the others in the future.
The “Give Me ALL the Details!” Version
- Isaak and Henry spot each other across the crowd and pandemonium ensues. Nadin, flashing back to the terrifying riot in Hope Renewed, passes out. When she comes to, she and Isaak have been separated, and she is being escorted by GSAF agents back to the capitol. There she is met by Kate Ponsford, governor of Aeolis Province and Wyatt’s mom. Kate has a man with her who, to Nadin’s shock, speaks Iamoi. Unbeknownst to Nadin, while Isaak was gone GSAF managed to decode portions of the System and learn to translate the Iamoi language.
- Nadin attempts to negotiate with GSAF about resettling the Iamoi on modern Mars, but GSAF is adamant that they be granted full access to the System in exchange, and will not negotiate until their demands are met.
- Joseph Condor, Kate’s second-in-command, wants to send Nadin to an isolated suite at the Plaza Hotel, but Kate feels it will be more comfortable for Nadin to stay in a home environment. She asks Bryn and Delia to host Nadin for the time being. Condor disapproves of this arrangement because of Tamara’s connection to the Free Mars movement. Kate counters that now that Isaak has returned, the Free Mars movement will die out, and this will happen more quickly if GSAF remains cordial with its members. Kate has Wyatt bring Nadin to the Randall-Torres’ house.
- Isaak learns that in the time he’s been on Iamos, two annums have passed on Mars. He is reunited with his family and discovers that Jesica and Erick are now married. This causes conflict when Isaak reveals that he found his dad and that Raymond has returned with him. Isaak tries to explain everything that happened on Iamos to his family, but Jesica struggles to believe it. She is particularly reticent to believe that Joseph Condor is not on their side, after the aid and support he provided the family during the time Isaak was missing.
- Isaak overhears a news broadcast on his mom’s deskpad that shows a press conference that Kate Ponsford is giving, confirming the existence of Iamos and introducing Nadin to the public. Henry is present during the broadcast to offer a rebuttal as the whistleblower and leader of the Free Mars movement. Isaak is shocked by how much everything has changed in his absence.
- Meanwhile, Nadin settles in with Bryn and Delia. She meets Tamara, Henry, and Scylla, who tell her a bit about Mars and the world that Isaak left behind when he traveled through the postern to Iamos. Henry urges her not to deal with GSAF, but to instead ally with Free Mars. He believes that if the movement had the support of the indigenous people of Mars, they would have a stronger standing to negotiate independence from GSAF control. Nadin is hesitant, wanting to trust Henry but also feeling pressured to deal with the current authorities on behalf of her people.
- Isaak is eager to reconnect with Henry and Tamara, but Jesica insists that she does not want him communicating with them due to what she sees as their bad influence. With his old Speculus headset now dead and his palmtop confiscated by Condor two annums ago, Isaak is trapped in his home with no contact with the outside world. Paparazzi and curious bystanders congregate outside. After a week of isolation, Erick helps Isaak sneak out of the house and brings him to the Randall-Torres home, where he is reunited with Nadin, Tamara, Henry, and Scylla.
- Nadin shares with Isaak about GSAF’s conditions and that she feels unequipped to deal with them without the advice of Ceilos and Gitrin. The five decide to try to find another postern they can use in secret in order to reconnect with the rest of the party. They make plans for the following weekend to travel to the Elysium mountains to look for the ruins of Elytherios and see if the postern Isaak and Nadin used to travel forward in time can be used to travel back to Iamos.
- Nadin asks Isaak why she hasn’t seen Hamos while she’s been on Mars. Isaak, unsure of how Iamos’ sister planet somehow shifted its orbit so drastically and afraid of upsetting her, tells her that it can’t be seen as easily now because of the thicker atmosphere.
- When Isaak gets home that evening, Raymond appears, wearing brand new clothing and bearing expensive presents for Isaak and Celeste. A new Speculus headset and palmtop mean Isaak is now able to communicate with the outside world again. Isaak wonders where Raymond got the money for all these gifts. Erick seems bothered by Raymond’s reappearance in the family’s lives, despite Jesica’s adamancy that she will never take Raymond back.
- Isaak texts Tamara and asks her on a date to make up for the broken museum gala date from two annums prior.
- The next morning, Nadin awakes from a nightmare reliving Ceilos’ judgment of her for not being interested in him sexually. She goes downstairs and finds Tamara and Henry talking about Isaak’s message to Tamara. They agree to break up in order to spare Isaak’s feelings. Nadin sees them kiss and becomes uncomfortable again, aware of the fact that she is somehow different from everyone else.
- After Henry leaves, Nadin and Tamara talk, and Nadin asks her if it’s normal to not be interested in kissing or sex. Tamara suggests to Nadin that she may be asexual. Nadin is relieved that there are others like her and that it’s normal to feel this way. Scylla buys Nadin an ace ring, and Tamara gives her a wig so she can go out in public without being recognized.
- That evening, Isaak arrives at Tamara’s dorm to pick her up for their date, and encounters Nadin and Scylla there as well. Isaak is embarrassed to find that he keeps looking at Nadin and thinking about Nadin instead of paying attention to Tamara. Isaak and Tamara’s date proceeds with great awkwardness.
- While Isaak and Tamara are on their date, Scylla and Mariyah take Nadin out for a girls’ night on Herschel Island. While having dinner at a desi restaurant, the girls are approached by a strange man with a shaved head. He introduces himself as Geoff Preston, saying he works for GalaX and that his company is interested in dealing with Nadin for the System. He gives Nadin his card before leaving.
- Isaak returns from the disastrous date to find Raymond at his home, bonding with Celeste. After Jesica sends Celeste to bed, Isaak overhears his parents talking. Jesica warns Raymond to stop trying to get close to Celeste, because it will only hurt her when he inevitably gets bored and leaves. Raymond tries to kiss Jesica, but she rebuffs him. Isaak asks his mom why she doesn’t give Raymond another chance, and Jesica tells him that when they were married she gave him chance after chance, but in the end he only ever cared about himself. Her point is proved when Isaak turns on his Speculus headset and discovers a news headline that explains where Raymond’s newfound wealth came from: he revealed the location of Elytherios to the media.
- GSAF restricts all access to the Elysium Mountains, meaning that Nadin now has no other choice than to deal with GSAF in order to get back to Iamos.
- Nadin arranges a private meeting with Kate Ponsford, and after hearing Nadin’s side, Kate agrees to allow her access to a postern to bring Ceilos and Gitrin forward in time so they can negotiate. Wyatt brings Nadin to the caves east of town where the ruins of the underground portion of Hope Renewed are located. Before they can activate the postern, they are intercepted by Joseph Condor, who has deposed Kate due to her unauthorized, “treasonous” actions. With Condor now governor, Wyatt and Nadin are taken into custody and Henry is arrested. He is to be extradited to Earth in order to stand trial for his whistleblowing at the end of Different Worlds.
- Distraught, Tamara calls Isaak, who hurries to the Randall-Torres’ home in time to be there when Nadin arrives to collect her things. Bryn refuses to allow Condor entry to the home, giving Nadin some private time before she has to leave. She and Isaak speak on the veranda, and Isaak tries to reassure her. Isaak comments on her ace ring, and Nadin comes out to him as asexual. Isaak explains that he’s demisexual, so they’re not that different.
- Inadvertently, Isaak points out Venus in the sky. Nadin, remembering that Hamos is called Venus in English, becomes hysterical when she sees how small and far away it is. Isaak stammers that the only thing he knows is some kind of cataclysm caused it to shift orbits.
- Nadin, knowing now that there is only one chance for survival for the people on Iamos and Hamos, agrees to cooperate with GSAF on the condition that she be allowed to return to Earth to negotiate with the GSAF Council directly. She also demands that Henry remain with their party until she can speak to the Council, and that Isaak come along as her interpreter. She bluffs Condor by telling him that if she does not reconnect with her people back on Iamos, that they will come forward in time and start a war with the people of Earth. Condor agrees to her demands.
- The group board an interplanetary ship for Earth, Isaak and Nadin on an official capacity, Henry as a prisoner, and Tamara and Scylla as ordinary travelers. Raymond, having been offered more money for appearances on Earth to tell his story, agrees to come along with Isaak as a chaperone. Condor attempts to keep Nadin isolated from the other members of the group.
- While on the ship, Nadin is approached again by Geoff Preston, who requests to negotiate with her even more urgently. When she declines, he warns her that he can’t stop what’s coming.
- Also aboard the ship, Isaak encounters a new technology in a gaming lounge that uses nanobots to cause players to feel the pain their characters experience. Isaak is disturbed by this development, finding it unsettlingly familiar to the System, but the lounge attendant insists that it’s supposed to make the games even more fun.
- Nadin sneaks out of her stateroom in the middle of the night and manages to rendezvous with Henry, telling him about the strange encounter with Preston. Henry gives her encouragement.
- Isaak tells Tamara that he thinks they should not continue to pursue a relationship.
- Once on Earth, Isaak, Nadin, and Henry are taken to Lago Verde, a private island owned by GSAF off the coast of Florida. Tamara and Scylla wait in West Palm Beach, planning to meet up with Isaak after the meeting with the Council. Nadin sees Henry escorted to an outbuilding on the island, where he is met by Geoff Preston.
- The next morning, Preston appears at the meeting with the Council, where it is revealed that he has been working with GSAF on the System. He provides each of the members in attendance with an earpiece, revealing that the System does work on Earth despite the magnetic field. The Council demands Nadin give them full System access. When Nadin insists that they negotiate for the evacuation of the Iamoi people, the Council refuses, citing the recording of the gerotus session that the Liberator had patched Nadin into. On the recording, the geroi reveal their plans to create a neurotoxin that will target Earth DNA. The Council state that because of this threat, the Iamoi people can never be allowed to come to this time. Isaak tries to argue with them that the actions of the geroi do not reflect the populace as a whole, but he is overruled.
- Realizing she has no hope now, Nadin activates the adherence protocol, allowing herself and Isaak to escape.
- As they attempt to flee the island, an explosion rocks the building. Nadin and Isaak find a group of black-clad people in the process of breaking Henry out of the outbuilding where he was being held. Isaak and Nadin escape with the group, with GSAF in hot pursuit. While escaping, Nadin loses her medallion, the so-called “coin” that unlocks the posternkey.
- The newcomers are revealed to be members of the Stateless, a group of Earth-based rebels led by Lizeth who are attempting to overthrow GSAF and reinstate democracy across Earth and Mars. The rebels manage to evade GSAF, and they bring the three escapees, as well as Tamara and Scylla, to a safe house in West Palm Beach. The five are given disguises and smuggled out of Florida to the United Federation of Seasteads, a nation of artificial island that is outside the jurisdiction of GSAF and the continental unions.
- Without her medallion, Nadin is unable to unlock the posternkey, meaning that she is trapped in the future forever. Lizeth reveals that her uncle is a professor at the Anthropological Museum in Veracruz, and that he has a medallion like hers in the collection at the museum. She makes arrangements for them to travel to Mexico after taking a brief rest in the UFS.
- While in the UFS, Isaak and Nadin reconcile. Isaak catches Henry and Tamara sharing a moment that makes him realize that he has been ignorant to his friends’ feelings all this time. Isaak apologizes to Henry and Tamara for his lack of consideration, and encourages them to not feel they have to hide their feelings from him anymore.
- The group travel to Mexico to meet with Lizeth’s uncle, Karl Senghas. Karl shows them the medallion in the collection, which Nadin recognizes as belonging to Achillios, one of the geroi who disappeared with a party of colonists on Earth. Karl tells them that the medallion came from a site in the Los Tuxtlas Rainforest, and makes arrangements for the group to travel to the site. Before they leave the museum, Isaak asks Karl if any major celestial events, such as asteroid impacts, had been known to occur around 10,000 B.C.E., Nadin’s time. Karl says the Clovis impact fits the bill.
- At Los Tuxtlas, Nadin encounters a pyramid similar in construction to an Iamoi pyramid, with a postern positioned at its apex. When she enters the pyramid’s burial chamber, a System protocol activates that records the final message of Achillios. He explains that when the colonists arrived on Earth, they had somehow traveled forward in time by several thousand years, and the System was in stasis mode. Nadin realizes that, as when the early disaster warning protocol had been overridden, somehow the System had been sabotaged using the time postern protocol. There is a saboteur to the System back on Iamos.
- Nadin and the others make plans to use the postern on top of the pyramid to return to Elytherios. But after hearing Achillios’ message, Nadin grows suspicious, so she gives Henry instructions for a backup plan just in case.
- The night before they’re due to return to Iamos, Isaak gives Nadin a blue flower and attempts to kiss her. Nadin panics, shoving him away. Isaak apologizes, explaining that not all aces dislike kissing. Nadin asks if he would mind not kissing if his partner loved him. Isaak tells her that as long as she loves him, that’s enough for him.
- The group open the postern and find Elytherios in flames. The source of the explosion that separated the party is revealed: the geroi have invaded Elytherios. Ceilos is revealed to have betrayed the rebels as a deal to save his partnership with Nadin. The geroi, surrounded by Enforcers, prepare to pass through the doorway to Earth. In order to stop them, Nadin passes through the doorway and deactivates the key. The door closes with Nadin trapped on Iamos and everyone else back on Earth.
- Henry reveals what Nadin had given him the night before: a System earpiece with instructions on how to reprogram the key. Isaak and the others realize that Nadin isn’t trapped on Iamos—they can make a other door.
End of book 2! With this, you are now ready to read One World!