Metaphase: Beauty in the Chaos
by Mitchel Street

"Mom’s words popped into my head. Follow your heart, trust your intuition, and live simple. How could I when everything was so unbelievably complicated?"

In this second book of the Mitosis series, readers again meet up with Piper Walker during an extremely turbulent point in her life. After discovering her true mother only to have the matriarch’s life extinguished by her vengeful brother Eli, Piper is separated from her friends, her family, and her childhood home to live among her protector and lover Dev in the mature world. Discovering new powers that she inherited from her royal bloodline, Piper along with Dev must avoid the sinister Eli’s plans to eliminate his sister and cement his rule over the entire world. Offering a spark of hope, Piper begins to accumulate and collect allies across all the various mature families, all in the name of masking her power long enough to train to overthrow Eli’s despotism.

However, even as she seeks to unite the various groups in the Mature Realm, longstanding prejudices and Eli’s twisted machinations lead to dissent among the ranks. The situation is made worse by the likelihood of a spy within her group, which Piper refuses to believe given her trust and love for all of those in her inner circle. As Piper’s power grows, she becomes harder and harder to hide from Eli’s detection, either in combat or in her passionate love for Dev. The latter becomes a problem for both Piper and Eli when she discovers her surprise pregnancy with twins, the birth of whom would surely spell an end to Eli’s reign. With the clock running out, Piper is forced to adopt a lifestyle she never asked for in order to protect everything she holds dear.

So many details and events of this book are supernatural and outside of the human realm that it requires a keen imagination to follow each event. Fortunately, the author does a splendid job of being thoroughly descriptive, sharing details that paint the action and describe the characters vividly. With so many different magical powers, animal transformations, and world locations on display, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with all that transpires, but the main threads of the story are engaging and easy to follow. Additionally, some chapters offer some striking artwork to accompany the deeper symbolism present at that phase of the story.

As for the narrative itself, this book acknowledges its presence as a sequel and offers the reader cover-to-cover action with less need for exposition and worldbuilding. It is for this reason that reading the first book is most beneficial before embarking on this adventure, but it would be just as easy to get hooked on the striking and unique setting of this book and then get the backstory from the previous installment, Prophase. Since Piper and her friends are capable of essentially bending the very fabric of reality, virtually anything is possible, and the audience will be on the edge of their seat as the characters display tremendous ingenuity regarding their powers. The tone and design of this story undoubtedly resemble the world of young adult fiction, but some examination of topics like oppression, sexuality, and genocide may be troublesome for more sensitive readers. This volume does a brilliant job of continuing the story of the series and raising the stakes to near apocalyptic levels, prepping the reader to dive headfirst into the next book once it’s finished.

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