The author is clearly skilled. Her characters are intriguing, the dialog is believable, and the plotting is complex. However, if you’re looking for a standalone book this is definitely not it, as so much is left unresolved. The novel’s alien world is ruled by huge competing corporations and divided up by race, with Kolos on top and Diasporans on the bottom. Nash Korpes is a Diasporan ‘throwback’ a genetic anomaly of great interest to Special Projects doctors who want to use him in their experiments whether he likes it or not. Nash is tortured by them, and by his own ailments which include three inner voices that nag him to the point of insanity. It was unclear to me whether these voices are real or only figments of his imagination. Nash is also a brilliant tech designer who comes up with cutting edge inventions which garner the attention of the CEO’s of these competing companies and keeps him inches ahead of being sliced and diced by the ruthless doctors. In the middle of all this political intrigue is a love story, where Nash—always the rejected outsider even among his own people—finally meets a woman who values him and falls in love. Their relationship was probably my favorite part, but the novel quickly moved back to Nash’s inner turmoil and the outside threats coming from political maneuverings beyond his control. The author has provided a Character Index at the end of the book. If I had realized that, I would have referred to it frequently as I had trouble keeping the long list of characters straight. If you’re ready to dive into an alien world with the understanding that this book will raise many questions without answering them, then I would recommend it. This is just the beginning of a complex world with the answers still to come.
Dystopian novels like “Brave New World”, “1984”, “Fahrenheit 451” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” made a big impression on me. Guess they must have because I wrote one of my own: “The Cost of Living: A Life for a Life”. My dystopian novella takes an opposite approach to the low birthrates presented in “The Handmaid’s Tale” and instead tells the story of Janice who accidentally gets pregnant in a world so overcrowded there is no room for children to be born unless someone dies in exchange. The math is simple but the politics are not.
I’m giving the ebook away free for two days starting tomorrow – 6/9-10/18. An honest review on Amazon (and/or Goodreads) is always appreciated, but of course there is no obligation. Read and enjoy. Available free for a limited time: “The Cost of Living: A Life for a Life”
Speculations on SciFi, Writing and Whatever's on Tap