“From the very first pages I understood that “Acquired Traits”, the third volume of the “Dominant Species” series, is going to be a fast-paced book that won’t even give me a chance to breathe. If in the second volume, “Edge Effects”, things didn’t move so quickly and I had the time to enjoy David Coy’a beautiful descriptions and learn so many interesting things about planet Verde, in the third volume the planet seems to reveal its secrets, taking the characters one thousand years back, when Earth was still the rich, welcoming home of humans.
While reading “Acquired Traits” I realized that the second volume had simply set the background for it and for those to come. In “Edge Effects”, Donna Applegate, Rachel Sanders. John Soledad and all the other contractors on Verde had to fight against the planet itself, struggling to survive the hot climate and the endless jungle where huge plants, poisonous insects and monstrous animal-like creatures could kill anyone in a matter of seconds. In ”Acquired Traits” the main characters have already learnt to live in the jungle and now understand that the real threat is the organization of sadistic fanatics who are in charge of Verde – the High Council of the Sacred Bond of the Fervent Alliance. Resorting to torture and murder, they impose their will on the contractors and turn them into helpless slaves, whose sole purpose is to prepare the planet so that the Sacred Bond may breed and occupy it entirely.
If in the second volume the connection with the first one, “Natural Selection”, wasn’t quite clear, in the third one everything comes to light: Verde’s Revenge is the home planet of the alien species who tried to invade Earth a thousand years ago and whose plans were diverted by a bunch of stubborn survivors. However, a part of the alien ship is now on Verde and is found by Donna, Rachel and John. While exploring it, they find a man who seems to be kept alive by a parasite stuck to his head and they try to save him in order to get answers. But the man is no stranger to those who have read “Natural Selection”. He claims that he comes from Earth and he’s more than one thousand years old. He also clutches an old Bible in one of his hands and one of his arms is longer than the other. When Donna and Rachel allow him to go to the Sacred Bond they have no idea what evil they have unleashed upon the planet and its sparse population.
I must say that “Acquired Traits” was such a mysterious, action-packed novel that I just couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. When I finally reached the last page I couldn’t believe my eyes. It ended in a major cliffhanger and I was a little bit scared until a saw that the fourth volume is scheduled for 2013.