This is the third and final novel in "The Bridge Chronicles", a cyberpunk trilogy set in a near future where corporations own contracts for law enforcement and local government. The premise is not too far-fetched, but the uncomfortable plausibility is offset by a punchy storyline seen through the eyes of the coolest anti-hero money can sometimes buy.
I have enjoyed the entire trilogy of "The Bridge Chronicles". The main protagonist is gutsy, seemingly amoral at times, clever and decisive. I’ll take my heroes flawed thanks and Artemis Bridge is about as suspect a role model as anyone could ask for. He’s not just the guy who knows a guy, he’s the guy who’s working every angle, turning even the most horrible events into a morally ambivalent victory.
The plot moves quickly and is greatly entertaining. Immersion in technology is inevitable, but relatively painless. Virtual worlds, super powers through the control of mathematics and cybercops all dance with the good stuff – greed, power, dog-eat-dog and the almighty deal. I think of The Bridge Chronicles as “Snow Crash lite”. The technological aspects of the story are a bit more accessible, the writing slightly less dense, but the feel is similar. It’s a great compliment as Snow Crash is one of my favourite cyberpunk novels.
In this novel the story focuses on the illegal gangs of Los Angeles that run their businesses within the warehouse district of the city. The author has managed to paint an interesting picture of gang life with individual gang leaders adopting philosophies such as Darwinism, Communism and Pacifism. It’s actually interesting to see a world where those that are considered upstanding are only interested in power and wealth and those that are considered criminal are more interested in humanity and ideology.
If you like your cyberpunk readily digestible, your plot punchy and clever and your characters dripping with cynicism while you walk the tightrope between entertainment and uncomfortable near-reality, give this trilogy a chance.
(reviewed 44 days after purchase)