Honestly, I don’t think that you can call this a review, it’s more me getting things off my chest. Sorry for that. Feel free to throw me stones if I’m being pompous and/or unfair.I liked the drastic turn Afterimage took in the series, the story was less jumpy, focusing on the topic of people clinging to their humanity in a dehumanizing environment that consider them as tools, weapons and pawns only meant to be dispossessed of themselves, trained, used, overused, terminated and thrown away. They all struggle and it was engrossing and despairing to see particularly in Boyd’s and Sin’s case that no matter what they do, it always backfires on them, only tightening the net a little stronger and fucking with their mind a little more in the process by making them feel guilty for it. No character escapes it and they all look more and more like broken puppets. The only ones I truly hated are the puppet masters.The Agency is an implacable machinery that inspires revulsion, anxiety and helpless rage. I didn’t enjoy those feelings but this aspect of the story is absorbing and the authors really did an excellent job at spinning the web. So, I started Afterimage liking it a lot more than Evenfall and I finished still overall liking it but irritated.The announced failure of the relationship makes perfect sense but its development annoyed me to no end. Despite ALL the time spent overanalyzing everything in Boyd’s head (Sin, I missed you), it turns out being in facts a Sin/Boyd contest in miscommunication and random sex and a witch hunt for selfishness. Furthermore, it was unsettling to feel like I was supposed to support Sin vs Boyd because he’s seemingly so much more damaged and the consequences are always so overly dramatic and always end up being a life or death situation for him. I like them both, I feel sorry for them both and outside above-mentioned irritation, I felt more sad fatalism than anything else. I saw both of them as badly hurt children who put their life, their needs, their pain, their whole being in another child’s hands. It was heart-wrenching because it is so understandable, desperate and doomed but I couldn’t blame whoever said lover is, for making very human mistakes, having his own emotions, feeling the need to protect himself and failing at playing what is in substance the role of a parent. Nevertheless, the authors created and developed characters I worried and obsessed over as if they were real. I wished I could jump into my Kindle in full mama-bear-protecting-her-cubs mode and snatch them from the Agency. Faced with the annoying contingencies of reality, I contented myself with hyperventilating! My most blinding-rage-moments :--> They (I mean Sin and Boyd) somehow took a shortcut and came to this twisted, shortened conclusion that unconditional love would be being responsible of your lover’s emotions at the detriment of yours and being immediately at his disposal whatever the circumstances are. --> I have no doubt that the relationship portrayed between Boyd and his mother is one of emotional abuse and since it goes back to the time when Boyd was a child, it is one of child abuse. His childhood is admittedly different but as abnormal and destructive. Abuse is abuse. Period. I regret that it hasn’t been explicitly said somewhere in this book but I’m also aware that I bring a lot of passion for the topic and relating them to real persons doesn’t help. Anyway, despite how I related to it, ICoS is at the core a good story.I want to know more about the web the characters are tangled in, I want to know how they will manage to build themselves and who they are going to become. I fear what I’m foreseeing in their future but for the life of me, I couldn’t stop reading!To finish, two quotes that bruised me a little inside :”He let his emotions snap and break off one by one until he felt nothing but the comfortable, safe feeling of absolute detachment.” Boyd”But what if I can’t? I’m not like him—I don’t know how to move on. He’s all I have.” Sin*roll up sleeves* Now, on to Interludes!To finish finish :”Fuck you”, Boyd snapped furiously at Emilio with a glare (…). Ditto.