Like the first book in the series, Kaleidoscope is a light, fun read. There is no need to read The Clairvoyant Countess first; we are reminded who the characters are, but otherwise the plots are self-contained.
Book one was published in 1975 and book two in 2003, and this causes the only complaint I have about Kaleidoscope. In the story line, one year has passed, but I'm not sure the author knew what year to set the second plot. I think she wrote it set in 1976, realized it was out of date, and went back in to add 'modern' touches, like the mention of Y2K, computers, and hackers. Unfortunately she forgot to take out other details specific to 1976. For instance, a young woman has a mother born in 1921, another girl is asking if she can get a good job because she did well in shorthand in high school. There is no mention at all of cell phones, and people still walk to the corner to use a pay phone (because absolutely nobody owns a cell, and the business doesn't have a land line, either). I didn't realize pay phones still existed in this century.
Other than constant confusion over the year, I liked this book, and would get a third if there was one.
Great book. Lovely characters and story line. A must read
Superb sequel to the The Clairvoyant Countess, with recurring characters from the original book. I recommend it to all Gilman fans.