Review: Red Cells by Jeffrey Thomas


Publisher: DarkFuse
Publishing Date: march 2014
ISBN: 9781940544250
Genre: SciFi
Rating: 3.5/4.0

Publisher Description: Private detective and mutant shapeshifter Jeremy Stake (hero of the novels Deadstock and Blue War) has fallen on hard times in the far-future city of Punktown. When he is offered an opportunity to masquerade as another man to do his prison sentence for him, Stake agrees, but this is a new type of penitentiary—existing in its own pocket universe.

In this isolated prison, a series of gruesome murders have occurred, and the inmates soon force Stake to investigate. Can Stake catch a killer that might not even be human, without becoming just another victim?

Review: The cover art is lame in that it evokes images of the mundane with some red color overlay.

Stake, a shapeshifter, gets busted in prison, while trying to emulate a client. While there, prisoners inexplicably start disappearing leaving only splattered blood behind. The shifters in prison want Stake to find out why the killings are occurring.

This was a good short read. Hard to really rate novella’s. The story-line, while swift and engaging, leaves little left for plot and character development. The author does a good job developing characters within the confines (get it?) of the novel. I enjoyed the end, where the “entities” are stealing android prostitutes or rather hijacking them in order to learn more about the human species. I thought the novel could have been made whole by continuing this story-line. Hints of Blade Runner and all that. As it is, I feel that this gets a good score for incompleteness.


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