Publishing Date: October 2018
Publisher: Del Rey
Publisher’s Description: On a Mars where ruthless corporate interests violently collide with a homegrown independence movement as Earth-based overlords battle for profits and power, Hakan Veil is an ex–professional enforcer equipped with military-grade body tech that’s made him a human killing machine. But he’s had enough of the turbulent red planet, and all he wants is a ticket back home—which is just what he’s offered by the Earth Oversight organization, in exchange for being the bodyguard for an EO investigator. It’s a beyond-easy gig for a heavy hitter like Veil . . . until it isn’t.
Review: I did not want this novel to end. It is that good. I wanted to savor every page and end it short to make it last. The imagery and poignant delivery transports you to a futuristic detective tale with all the subtle rawness in tow. It is funny, gritty, bloody and lusty seen through the eyes of a man that is aware enough of his actions to feel regret but driven to carry through based on his genetic development.
The Meh: Oh my fuk, who thought of that cover art? I think Veil should have been referred to as a “Heeb” rather than a “Hib”. More street worthy for martian slang, methinks.
The Good: The world building is spectacular but you would not think so with all the whiney reviews complaining that the author throws you into a world with idioms and techno-terms without explanation. Wah fukin’ wah. Welcome to unbridled old school SciFi you sniveling arse warblers. Dive into a world without explanation and you might find a transport into realities unknown. Indeed, wherever the story line takes you, it is full of expansive and detailed visuals that lends a septic air to the malady inherent in Mars populace.
The Better: The story line crackles with taut buttock like energy in the form of base instincts going off like a pyrotechnic orgasm. Yep, there are peeps that thought the book was pornography, and let me tell you it is confined to short stints with some graphic detail. These interactions usually have hilarious interchanges and outcomes. More funny than porno. There are many interests at play from the various groups that plague Mars that the story line becomes more of a mystery in which to discern along with Hakan Veil.
The Best: Hakan Veil is a character that I would read over and over without tiring. He is at once complex in thought, and base in action. He feels regret and makes choices devoid of painful outcomes but can carry out brutal retribution if threatened or paid. If he has a job to do, watch out. He embraces the internal solitude reflected in the masses yet shifts to higher ground in order to enact a hidden sense of humanity despite his debased environment. As he rides this line of moral ambiguity you can’t help but love him no matter the choices he makes.
Anyhoo, if you like SciFi techno-noir set in a well rendered Martian landscape, get this!