Shooting out of the darkness, dodging plasma cannons, flying in full stealth mode, blasting with EMP pulses, dumping engine heat as a weapon, flying out of windows, wrestling with security forces, using invisibility devices, making friends with insane engineers, planning with AIs, all this and more happens in this amazing book. It is one exciting, seat-of-the-pants, rollercoaster ride through space and as Joseph Lallo turns his hand to Science Fiction.
Our hero Trevor " Lex " Alexander used to be a race car driver, but he fixed a race by losing, and got caught, and because he's an adrenalin junky and a really good race car driver / ship pilot - he starts a courier service. The object of the courier service is to get a single item from point A to point B without anyone knowing that it happened, especially the authorities or the competition. You can see how this might attract some less than legal types of client. Btw, he also has a side businesses as a Limo driver. You can get there sedately, quickly, or insanely quickly depedant on price.
There's only one slight little problem, Lex took on a courier job for a lady who handed him a briefcase and wanted delivered to a planet six days away- no problem right? Wrong! She turns up dead a few days later, on a shuttle with 26 other people, that VectorCorp killed just to get her. Now they're after Lex. Who is VectorCorp? The biggest company in the galaxy - they own all the trade routes through space (except the middle), and all the communication channels and equipment in the galaxy. If they owned an army, they could crush everybody. And now they want to crush Lex because of what's in that briefcase.
After this, hold on to your hats, it's time to blast off. Once VectorCorp comes after him, all bets are off. First there are plasma cannons, EMP pulses, dives through space junk, full hull integrity breaches, spectacular crashlandings, buses, snippy AIs, insane engineers, new ships, cop ambushes, auto hopping, planet flights, briefcase searchings, mob threatenings, crazy autopilot, fighting with lasers and black holes, old ship made new, brainstorming, planning with the AI, on to the Mother Planet, video dispersal, jumping out a 70 story window, playing with the cops, and home again. It all happens at about Mach 2, as you simply can't read fast enough to keep up with the action ( Evelyn Wood, where are you when I needed you?).
Mr. Joseph Lallo, you've done it again! First it was fantasy, now science fiction. I'm sure you could write anything you put your mind to. What's next? Horror? Paranormal? More Epic Fantasy, please? You are the most under rated writer on the market when you should have fame similar to Tolkein or Frank Herbert. Your writing is so exemplary, it just needs the right cross genre exposure to get you properly appreciated.
The characterization in the book is brilliant as always for Lallo. Even the AI, called Ma, (who I love), has distinctive modes of communicating with Lex and Karter, (the insane engineer), Ma even admits to pretending to be human when Lex admits that he talks to her like one. Karter is a great example of a personality in complete freefall. With no medication, he is borderline on some conditions, full blown on others, the combination makes him more than unstable, it makes him certifiably insane - he has the paper to prove it. Lallo does insane masterfully! The AI has learned how to manipulate him after 30 years. That's good too because he get's homicidally violent without Ma. Even Lallo's secondary characters get royal treatment. Agent Fisk from VectorCorp, is clearly a militaristic hunter, later, we find antique weapons in his office and notches in his desk for the people he has hunted down and killed. It was clear that he was extreme when he survived his DAR crash, and came inside the building, plasma gun in hand. His end was so ironic as to be hilarious! Death by cuteness! Who but Lallo could think that up?
As I've already said, the pace of the book was Mach 2 and beyond, the whole book is one solid piece of dramatic tension which doesn't let up until the last final pages after Lex gets home, and meets his new Landlord's Assistant and Michelle. There don't seem to be any transitions in the book, just one magic carpet ride at Mach 2 with Lex while hoping you both make it out the other side alive. This book is definitely first person POV Lex all the way through - and that's how it should be. The dialogue in the book was masterful as well. Mostly it's between Lex, Ma and Karter. Everyone else is just issuing warnings or threats. Because Ma is on Lex's side and is managing Karter, some of the conversations are pretty funny. Some even include props. You heard that one about the insane engineer, the racer and the AI all walk into a bar... Just joking...
The next book in the series is Unstoppable Prototypes and that's what I'm reading next. I would recommend this book to both sci-fi and fantasy lovers. I would also recommend it to gamers, engineers, and people who are into adventures and mysteries because there's a great one in this book, it just happens in the future. And of course, anyone looking for a thumping good read, look no further - it's right here in front of you! At this price, it's either half a cup of coffee at your favorite cafe or buying the book. I know what I'd do - I already did it!
(reviewed 9 days after purchase)