This is the first e-book I have ever read, and although I really like the concept (and the price), reading a book on my iPhone was not the most enjoyable thing I have ever done. I am now saving for an iPad.
First-time novelist Lee Doty has selected the future Chicago as the arena for the beginning of the end of the world. Two primary plot lines surround Ping, an Irish-Asian detective, and Anne, a struggling phlebotomist at a major hospital. Both individuals are learning about the Underworld, where Savants and Replicants access power that seems like magic to the rest of us. And yet, neither is learning in the same fashion. Ping receives his education as part of an ongoing investigation, while Anne gets hers from a man dying in the street.
Overall, the story is engaging and unpredictable, and the characters are well developed with solid backgrounds and individual behavior patterns. The book really bogs down in the overly detailed descriptions of physical conflicts and the sheer number of same. At first, it was gripping to follow very well done narration of what I term “slow motion fighting.” The author truly has a talent for writing the kind of action you see in movies when they intentionally slow it down to show detail. Unfortunately, it is his strongest ability, so he uses it a LOT, which becomes tedious.
The technological side is also very well done; nothing is described from the point of view of a 2011 reader. Rather, the author has his characters using equipment that is everyday for the period and in such a way that is fun for the reader to slowly figure out what this or that marvelous toy truly is. Even though I have never seen “Blade Runner” (a major reference point throughout the story), I was able to keep up just fine.
My primary hope is that the author generates enough income from this work to feel comfortable hiring an editor for his next book. Spelling and grammar errors are not rife, but they are glaring. The constant conflicts take away more than they add to the story, and he needs some serious help in bringing separate plot lines together. Fortunately, it only cost $3, which is just about right.
Rated: Moderate: The language is clean, but the body count and fight descriptions are pretty intense.