Thursday, May 31, 2012

Review: Shadow of a Dead Star

Shadow of a Dead Star
Shadow of a Dead Star by Michael Shean

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Science Fiction/Detective/Future Noir Reading Level: Adult

Disclosure: I received a free eGalley from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Seattle, 2078. The future hasn't been kind to the spirit of humanity; commercial obsession and technological fetishism rules the day, religion and belief has died screaming in the fires of war, and what remains is moral decrepitude. Life in the future is hard on the soul.

As an agent of the Industrial Security Bureau, Thomas Walken knows that better than anyone. His job is to keep the worst kind of black-market technology out of the hands of citizens, technology born out of the shadowy nation nicknamed Wonderland. But the kind of fantasies that come out of that place aren't for the good people of the world. Wonderland technology is like black magic made real.

Walken's newest assignment starts out simply: intercept a smuggled shipment of Princess Dolls, little girls turned into sex toys, and bring them into custody. But when the girls are hijacked from federal custody and Walken gives chase, he finds a trail of bodies in their wake. Before he's through, Walken will find himself confronted revelations that will answer every question that the troubled lawman has ever had about himself and the world he lives in - but his mind and soul may not survive it.

My Thoughts: This is a very dark book – the world in 2078 is not a nice place at all. Seattle has completely changed – what used to be a quirky and artistic place has been replaced with corporate sterility, only the Verge standing between the New City and the Old City retains any of the original charm.

The book was well-written with good characterization and a smooth plot flow, but for some reason I just couldn’t get into it; my mind kept wandering away and I’d have to re-read a section and force myself to keep going. It makes no sense to me, because this is the sort of book I tend to like – science fiction mixed with thriller and police procedural. I almost didn’t finish it, but I pushed through and managed to do so. The last 8 percent of the story is pretty important to understanding the whole thing, so I was glad I did so. However, I just didn’t like the story all that much – nothing wrong with it, it just didn’t hold my attention. Maybe it was just too dark – because it was very, very dark. If you like dark fiction, you should check it out.

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