So, Singular is the name of a company that is trying to develop immortality. Simple yet brilliant if you ask me. To do so, they are testing compounds and gizmos on some animals, including humans at this point. In the first book, an autistic vegetarian kid named Odin and his animal rights activists found out about this, and like in the Virals series, he sneaks in and rescues a dog named X and has no choice but to leave him with his outcast sister, Shay, who's found a temporary home in a slum-esque part of Hollywood, run by a man named Twist who hospitalizes a hotel of people who leave their freshly-chewed gum on desk undersides and can pack a punch. Now Odin, Shay, X, Twist, and two friends Cade and Cruz, are on the run with a girl who had they suspect a brain transplant, and she might be the one to lead to the way they will expose Singular's criminal actions.
My favourite aspect of this book is the new character, Danny. He's a drug dealer and farmer and just a noble uncle type. I enjoyed how his business is not really the spotlight of the film, because I'm kind of sick of seeing or reading about people on the black market getting handcuffed without the backstory of their business or themselves. Danny willingly helps out Shay with firing a gun even though he doesn't use them much himself...it's just a nice and humble element.
I also enjoyed how much I can compare this to a strategy game. Both Singular and Twist keep trying to stay a step ahead and take every precaution possible. You never really 100% know who's ahead and if one side is falling into a trap, or has already fallen into one. They have a realistic way of communicating as well, and even a funny way too: primarily through Facebook pages. And you know how hard it is to find very concrete information these days? In the wake of the Trump-Clinton bloodbath, uncovering stories with 100% fact is tougher than ever and Shay knows if they don't do their actions properly, Singular will manufacture new evidence and bury the story. This book and the other one got me interested in stories that have been falsified over the decades.
Some criticism comes from comparing this book to the first one. In Uncaged, Shay and her team did stunts such as displaying a big banner on a Wall-Street-esque building with razor wire so it would take more time to be taken off. Then they snuck past the fence surrounding the Hollywood hill and decorated it with Christmas lights displaying a URL to lead a police investigation. Basically, these ideas were fun stunts that I wished were true. In this book, the crew still do some really cobra-stinging anarchy but without that feeling of fun. Instead, they break into a home with locks and security dogs, infiltrate a party and hide a very significant man in a bathroom stall where he won't be able to move. In Uncaged, there was a clear amount of annoyance and even legit anger with this corrupt company. In this novel, Shay and her friends are calling most of the shots and it's not quite the same here. It's I guess more investing when you have a corrupt leader and they do stuff front and centre. They did it in the last book, just not as much here.
Also, there's a member of Singular having second thoughts, and his desire to do the right thing is obviously a good message but at this point in time, the idea felt simple, yet not so brilliant to me.
This sequel to The Singular Menace is nowhere near as inventive or fun as the first book, and doesn't deliver the same cruelty on the opposing side that makes Singular so infuriatingly corrupt, but its high stakes still transcribe here, and when things end up going from here to there, the conclusion, Rampage, feels like it's going to be a big knockout.