Review: ReMade Season 2 created by Matthew Cody

I received a review copy from the publisher. This does not affect the contents of my review and all opinions are my own.

ReMade Season 2 by Matthew Cody, Gwenda Bond, Andrea PhillipsE.C. Myers, and Amy Rose Capetta

Mogsy’s Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Series: Book 2 of ReMade

Publisher: Serial Box (March 29, 2018)

Length: 452 pages

Serial Box has published a number of gems since their launch, and to me, the most surprising has been their first foray into the Young Adult genre with ReMade, a futurist sci-fi thriller told in an episodic format similar to Lost. The first season was immensely enjoyable, and so with the second season now available in its entirety, I looked forward to continuing with the saga.

The second season sees our protagonists forging ahead in their new world—one that has seen them all “remade”. At the beginning, there were twenty-three, but since their run-ins with killer robots and other threats, their numbers are now considerably fewer. The group has also split up in the hopes of increasing their chances of survival. One team has decided to venture forth into unknown territory, searching for the human stronghold known as Sanctuary using coordinates found from the ruins of Arcadia, while the other team has opted to remain behind, giving time to those who need to recuperate as well as to maintain a defensible camp.

But then, one of the teams discovers something amazing. Led by Inez, the group comes across Jing Wei, alive and well, even though they all saw her die at the hands of a rampaging caretaker. Somehow, she had been remade again, sending Inez’s suspicions ringing, especially since this second version of Jing-Wei recalls nothing of her time with the group and is also accompanied by a robot of her own. Though Jing-Wei insists Sparky is harmless, the others are not convinced, terrified by his resemblance to the mechanical caretakers who have been slaughtering them. They decide it’s not safe to bring Jing-Wei back into their fold, in case she is on the side of the killer robots. As the search for Sanctuary intensifies and bears fruit, the characters also uncover even more secrets about their mysterious world, and of the artificial intelligence designed to run it—though unfortunately, none of the information they find spells good news.

Season two of ReMade contains fourteen episodes, and the first few were perhaps the most challenging to read. “Patch Job” kicked things off by dropping the bombshell about Jing-Wei, though the pacing immediately turned sluggish afterward as we returned to the flashbacks, killing whatever excitement had been created with the reintroduction of a character once thought dead. I understand that some of these pacing issues can’t be helped on account of the authors choosing to tell this tale via a very difficult format, though nonetheless, I’d expected a little more from an opening episode to a brand new season. Inez, whom I adored from the first season, also became an unbearable tyrant, and it was hard to reconcile the spunky courageous girl I knew with this power-hungry and out-of-control bitch queen who seems to have taken over her personality. Some minor character inconsistencies are to be expected when it comes to multi-author projects, but I was still surprised to see how unbalanced and paranoid Inez has become.

It wasn’t until around “Save Point”, episode four, where things started to pick up. No surprise that this is also the episode where the characters find Sanctuary. The pacing remained measured, however, as the group discovers that the human stronghold is not what it was purported to be. Again, we keep returning to the past in flashbacks, and certain characters have more interesting memories than others. Part of the problem is that we’ve covered some of the more dramatic and important ones back in first season, so the flashbacks in season two feel a lot more random and they don’t always seem to serve their purpose of explaining character motivations or personalities. Fortunately, there were still a few perspectives the authors had left in reserve, and we finally got to see them here, like in the case of Hyrum. Still, I have to wonder what will happen once we go through everyone, especially since the most interesting characters seem to keep dying off.

The highlights for me though were some of the later episodes, like “The Bones of Sanctuary”, “Siege Mentality”, or “Actus Reus”. Not only do we finally get some action, these episodes are the ones that start fleshing out the series, focusing on the group’s interactions and future plans. The tone also becomes more emotional as the characters start to form deeper connections with each other, including new romances and alliances. Previously relationships are also tested when one person betrays the group, and we are left on edge with questions as to how the characters will deal with the traitor. Gradually, the teens are starting to come around to the fact that they are the remnants of humanity, and the decisions they make here will set the course for what’s to come.

Overall, it was another great season, though perhaps not as strong as the first. The opening episodes probably wouldn’t have kept me waiting in anticipation each week, though some of the more exciting ones towards the end of the season might have, and this unevenness in serial novels is why I typically choose to read them once they are complete in a collected edition format. With the way things have unfolded in this second season, I’m looking forward to reading the third.

More on The BiblioSanctum:
Review of ReMade (Season One)

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12 Comments on “Review: ReMade Season 2 created by Matthew Cody

  1. They can call them “serials” all they want to but to me they will be short stories. And reading one short story every week, not a good fit for me at all.

    That being said, I’m seeing more and more young people reading “chapter stories” online, so this would fit in perfectly to that kind of mindset.

    Like

    • I still think there’s a difference, because the serials are made up of episodes like that of a TV show whereas I expect short stories to follow a certain structure or at least be “complete”. With that said, I can probably read a short story every week just fine, but not a serial because 1) if it’s bad, I’ll just forget what a read a week later and lose all motivation to continue, or 2) if it’s a good, I hate the feeling of being left hanging! It’s a lose-lose situation for me. When it comes to TV shows I also prefer binging full seasons, so I’m not surprised I feel the same way with reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think you’re correct and that is what makes a serial not ‘just another short story’. But they’re still short stories to me 😀

        I hear you on 1 and 2. For tv, I think the gradual move from “episode of the week” stories to season long arcs has induced the binge watching. I know I think “I want the whole story!” not just pieces…

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  2. This sounds like an interesting way to develop a story, not unlike a TV miniseries with a narrative arc developed through a given number of episodes, and that’s what intrigues me… I might give these… book serials a try 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  3. Pingback: Mogsy’s Bookshelf Roundup: Stacking the Shelves & Recent Reads | The BiblioSanctum

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