Wednesday, 10 September 2014
SCIENCE FICTION CRIME REVIEW: World of Fire - James Lovegrove
Release Date: 11/09/14
A brand new SF series from the author of the Pantheon series, which included the break-out hits Age and Ra, Age of Zeus and Age of Odin. Dev Harmer wakes in a new body with every mission, and he has woken this time on Alighieri, a planet perpetually in flames, where the world's wealth lies below the elemental surface, and humanity is not the only race after it.
Dev Harmer, reluctant agent of Interstellar Security Solutions, wakes up in a newly cloned host body on the planet Alighieri, ready for action.
It’s an infernal world, so close to its sun that it surface is regularly baked to 1,000°C, hot enough to turn rock to lava. But deep underground there are networks of tunnels connecting colonies of miners who dig for the precious helium-3 regolith deposits in Alighieri’s crust.
Polis+, the AI race who are humankind’s great galactic rivals, want to claim the fiery planet’s mineral wealth for their own. All that stands between them and this goal is Dev. But as well as Polis+’s agents, there are giant moleworms to contend with, and a spate of mysterious earthquakes, and the perils of the surface where a man can be burned to cinders if he gets caught unprotected on the day side...
I love spending time with James Lovegrove and having completely fallen for his Pantheon Series, so I was hoping that the magic he wove into the tales that I’ve loved would make its way into this new one.
What James does well is generate characters that the readers want to spend time with. They’re complex, they’re rounded and whilst some of the story elements may seem far-fetched the believability of the principle character really keeps you glued. What occurs within is a story of Science Fiction Crime with a detective who has to adapt not only to differing environments but also different bodies as each one is specially vat grown for him to suit the world that he is being sent to, with his consciousness being implanted into the new body. It works wonderfully well, allows a whole host of different concepts to be explored and all round allows you to hope and dream as it wends its merry way. Back this up with solid prose, some wonderful twists and the chance to see that the stranger things may seem to us, the more they are the same with emotional conflicts and murder speaking many languages and crossing different evolutionary paths. Great stuff.