Billy Russell’s career as a cop ended abruptly when he went down for murdering the man who killed his wife. He’s shipped off to prison but gets a reprieve 15 years later because the new government wants men with his particular set of skills to work for them.
– Characters 4/5 stars: Billy’s an amusing narrator. He doesn’t try to pass himself off as the perfect guy, but his morals are firmly set in their ways. It’s clear he’s willing to stand by his beliefs. Jade’s a bit flat as a character, but their interactions are believable. The cast of other characters fulfill their roles well without standing out one way or the other.
– Plot 4.5 (until the very end): Billy’s stint in prison and his trip back to Earth are well-described. His fish-out-of-water feel comes across as very genuine. The progression through his early days on the job unfolds naturally.
– World-Building 4.5/5: We know it’s a disaster out there, and Billy slowly comes to understand the new world and how it works. The world is superbly crafted, but not very likable (as one would expect from dystopia).
Side note: I feel like this world and the one from Captive State have a similar vibe.
– Ending 3/5 stars: Kind of disappointing. I expected more since there was great build up to that point. Billy’s largely a spectator in the end events.
– Content Warnings: some violence, some cursing (~3 fbombs), a few adult scenes started then fade to next day
If you enjoy a well-crafted world and don’t mind that world being grim, this is a solid choice for you. Billy’s a hero you could see as a normal guy.
Associate links to follow…
The Collins Case – 2 FBI agents track down a kidnapped family. Kid friendly.
If fantasy’s more your thing, go Redeemer Chronicles. The first, Awakening, is available as an audiobook.
Ashlynn’s Dreams Shorts – a kid deals with her parents’ divorce, bullies, and the wonder of discovery.
Try The Dark Side of Science – Genetically altered kids fight for the right to live.