Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Digital Plague

While on my trip to DC, I finished reading Jeff Somers follow up to The Electric Church, called The Digital Plague.

It's got the same main character, a hired killer named Avery Cates, set in a cyberpunk dystopian future. I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the first one, though it was still quite good. They're written in first-person, which is done well. But what keeps the narrative really chugging along is that Somers writes relatively short chapters in a serial cliffhanger style. At the end of each chapter, either someone's about to die, or some twist is revealed. It's a nice style that makes the book read very quickly and makes it feel fast-paced.

The first book concerned the efforts to forcibly convert everyone in the world to become members of The Electric Church by kidnapping them and forcibly implanting their consciousnesses into monks, which are souped-up droids. Cates thought he executed the leader of the church, and earned a huge payday as well. In this second book, he's intentially infected with a plague made from tiny robots, that spreads rapidly and likes to chew people up from the inside. The book is well-written, tightly-paced, and filled with interesting characters. At times I had issues with the description of action, but I cut the author some slack...it's difficult to describe convoluted actions scenes.

So overall Plague is a nice complement to the previous book, and it's nice to see that the series apparently has legs...an excerpt for the next book, The Eternal Prison, is included in the back of this latest book.

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