The Keepers of The Contingent World

Lightning Brain Series (Book 7)

Fiction - Science Fiction
350 Pages
Reviewed on 03/28/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Keepers of The Contingent World is a work of fiction in the science fiction, adventure, and action subgenres. The work forms the seventh book of the Lightning Brain Series and continues the new generation of the Keepers storyline. Penned by Cliff Ratza, the story continues for adult and young adult readers with Irani and Indira, who must now face the responsibility of caring for two sets of twins destined to continue the Keepers legacy. After imprisonment, rescue, confusion, and chaos, you’d think that the former Electra Kittner would need a break from it all, but conspiracy and the threat of presidential assassination throw our central hero back into the fray once more.

Author Cliff Ratza has so much to give and so many new inventions for the Lightning Brain Series that it’s nothing short of incredible to still see new inventive twists and turns when we’re seven novels in. As usual, the action sequences are absolutely packed with cinematic detail and tense wordplay that quite literally explodes onto the page, with some really tender moments as the younger generation of characters come to terms with the gravitas of the situation they are soon to be more deeply involved in. Irani gets a lot of time to shine in this tale, with a deeply-considered narrative that allows for a fascinating insight into how her personality and perspective have been shaped by the harrowing adventures of her life thus far. Overall, fans of the existing series will certainly want to catch The Keepers of The Contingent World, and I, for one, can’t wait to see what’s coming next in this engrossing science fiction series.

Asher Syed

Book seven in Cliff Ratza's far-reaching Lightning Brain series, The Keepers of the Contingent World, wastes no time immersing readers once again into the mind and machinations of Electra Kittner. Electra has always had superhuman physical capabilities and intelligence after her mother was struck by lightning while pregnant with her. Over the decades, readers of the series have witnessed the evolution of Electra and the world as she morphed into alternative personalities and saved the world many times over. Most recently, Electra returned from what many thought to be the dead with the help of the four children she cloned from herself and the sentient AI she created named Indira. Now, using the identity of Irani, Electra carries on her work while keeping an eye on her young adult offspring and fighting new threats of contagion, terrorism, and environmental assault.

Cliff Ratza's latest incantation of Electra Kittner as Irani in The Keepers of the Contingent World is possibly the most endearing yet. Electra is still the physical extension of herself and Irani comes forward when the combination is working on intellectual feats. There is a maturity to the pairing that suited Electra's advanced numerical years, although they do not apply to her anymore. Indira does not ever come across as a third wheel and Ratza incorporating all three, Electra, Irani, and Indira, as a cohesive think-tank broadens the ways the storylines can continue together and independently. Ratza's explanations of the technical elements are complex and, as in prior books, they are delivered in professional and educational monologues, messages, records, notes, and documents. Very highly recommended.

Jamie Michele

The Keepers of the Contingent World by Cliff Ratza is the seventh book in the science fiction superhero Lightning Brain series. Electra Kittner, now going by the name Irani Ramani, is back in Washington D.C. Alongside her AI creation that has been a prominent character since she was sparked in the Singularity novel, they have their fingers on the pulse of the world, and the Keepers who are Electra's clones. One of the clones, Eve, becomes an extension of Irani/Electra's political arm. The primary problems the globe faces in book seven remain the proliferation of viruses with the current incarnation being X, climate change that has the potential for massive catalysts with one of particular concern, and a mission Electra takes on to snag the radioactive chemical element plutonium from Iran. Meanwhile, the danger that clips at the heels of Electra and all who surround her, including Eve, comes to a head.

Welcome back, Electra...I've missed you! When I read book six in the Lightning Brain series I was absolutely convinced that Ratza was totally passing the torch from Electra to her four little human clones. It was bittersweet but understandable, and even as that book hit full speed and she did return, I believed it could be ancillary. But no! Cliff Ratza pulls her from the brink and reignites her journey as the primary power surge in The Keepers of the Contingent World. With the exception of the whole Hollywood offshoot, I loved the split personality of Alisha/Electra and found the Irani/Electra combination well done. I struggled to 'love' Alisha but Irani makes it so darn easy. The four not-so-kiddo-kiddos test one's patience but the authenticity of what is closest to sibling rivalry is important in building their characters and personalities. As a California native, I found the Yellowstone volcano angle really cool, given that I grew up being taught we would either die in the Pacific from an earthquake or the force of an eruption blowing in from the Caldera. Another winner in the series and I remain a faithful fan.

Pikasho Deka

The Keepers of the Contingent World: Lightning Brain Series (Book 7) picks up the story from the end of The Keepers of the Lightning Brain by Cliff Ratza. Back into the real world after a twenty-year hiatus, Electra Kittner has rejuvenated herself as Irani Ramani, and, together with her AI-empowered Singularity called Indira, is eager to renew her quest to make the world a better place. With two sets of twins as her protegees, Irani takes a particular interest in mentoring Eve Cortez while Nari and Nila Bose pursue further studies at Harvard. Irani and Eve delve into politics, working toward bringing the Re-Gen party to power with an inspiring leader at the helm. However, the outbreak of the X-Virus and natural disasters complicate matters. On inauguration day, everything erupts into chaos. How will Irani react?

Conspiracy theories, real-world politics, and philosophical discourse are seamlessly woven into a thrilling narrative in this installment of Cliff Ratza's Lightning Brain Series. The Keepers of the Contingent World is a sci-fi adventure like no other. Ratza incorporates so many diverse elements into the story that it is hard to pin it down to a single genre. Main characters would go on political, philosophical, or financial tangents that make every discussion worth a reread, adding to the authenticity of Ratza's storytelling. Electra Kittner has developed significantly throughout this series, and Irani seems to be her most evolved form. I liked her bond with Eve and would like to see them both in the sequels. Recommended to fans of sci-fi adventure thrillers.