The novel “The Paratwa” by Christopher Hinz was published for the first time in 1991. It’s the third book of the Paratwa series and follows “Ash Ock“.
On the colonies orbiting the Earth, already struck by the attacks of the Paratwa, the magnitude of the threat by those enemies that seemed eliminated becomes increasingly clear. The technologies available to the Paratwa seem so superior that they leave no hope.
Gillian continues to be upset by his inner conflict and arrives on Earth hoping to find some answers after receiving a message that only he can understand. When he meets Susan, he recognizes her because her disappearance is a high-profile case, but who is the mysterious man with her?
“The Paratwa” picks up the story at the point where “Ash Ock” ended, making the two books two halves of a single story. Christopher Hinz built a story that mixes action, typically violent, with intrigue connected to the Paratwa plans. The revelations that finished the previous book served to lay the foundations for the grand finale of the trilogy, which in my opinion is only partially successful.
Already in “Ash Ock” Gillian’s inner conflict, which began after he regained his memory of being a Paratwa tway, was an important part of the plot. In “The Paratwa” he continues to dig into his mind in the subplot that sees him as the protagonist. His personal story continues in parallel with the larger one about the plans of the Paratwa for the colonies and the Earth.
At the beginning of this third book, the ideas seemed good to me, but other twists arrived with revelations that significantly change the overall vision of the whole story of the Paratwa, and here the problems begin. The entire trilogy relies heavily on elements of this type and they’re good to keep the reader’s interest and often tension as well, as revelations often lead to bigger threats. However, in “The Paratwa” the most sensational revelations come from characters who make them to other characters, who in some cases report them to other characters. The exposition becomes really heavy, also because it reveals secrets that make the plot much more convoluted.
“The Paratwa” works thanks to the important characters already developed in the previous novels and on a fictional universe that had strong foundations in the story connected to the Paratwa. Those elements were supposed to be more than enough to develop the grand finale without burdening this last novel. The revelations that cause the great changes in the story initially offer a sense of surprise but soon after they started leaving me perplexed, also due to all their consequences.
The ending of “The Paratwa” leaves open the possibility for further sequels that never arrived. Instead, after many years, Christopher Hinz wrote a prequel that is best read after the original trilogy because it contains what can be considered spoilers on the most important revelations of the first novel. All this makes me think that the author didn’t know how to end the trilogy and ended up adding something completely new.
The flaws of “The Paratwa” make the ending of the saga disappointing for the readers who don’t just accept the revelations made in this novel without thinking about it. For this reason, it’s difficult to recommend it even if there’s something good in it. Of course, for if you read the two previous novels, you might as well finish the trilogy.