Spring is the second volume of Rod Rees' four volume Demi-Monde series.
If you've read volume 1, Winter, (and if you haven't, you really do need to as coming into this blind you really will be confused) you will know that the Demi-Monde is a massive computer simulation allegedly for the US military to train soldiers. The reality is a lot more frightening. It is populated with simulations of some of the vilest, nastiest people from history and someone has plans for the real world.
The first book finished on 3 separate cliff-hangers, and where this book stands out for me, the start here is just before one of the fore-mentioned cliff-hangers (similar to how Dr Who used to handle episode starts/ends back in the day).
A good few of the main characters are still here but this volume also gives more time for secondary characters, mainly Burlesque Bandstand, the former bar owner and general wide boy, and his 'associate' Rivets. These two are really good fun.
One of the characters , Catherine Sophia, Doge of Venice, a new for this volume, though was, in my opinion, quite iritating. The problem is the way she speaks. She has spent a lot of time in many of the other European sections of the Demi-Monde so the way she speaks is a cobbled together mish mash of several accents and this can grate a bit after a while.
Back to the good stuff though...Spring introduces us to the Paris and Venice sections of the Demi-Monde in all their glory. Also, some interesting new people from these sectors, Michel de Nostradame, Robespierre, the Marquis de Sade, even appearances from Josef Mengele, Cassanova and Mata Hari.
In the real world Aaliz Heydrich is settling into her role as the daughter of the US president (in the place of Norma who is still trapped in the Demi-Monde).
There is a lot going on in this story but I believe that even though we are now at the half-way point in the series there is still so much we are unaware of, lots more surprises and revelations to come.