Review: Prime by Nate Kenyon

I’ve had Prime on my shelf for awhile, and I must confess that I gave up on it twice. The drastic difference between the prologue and the first chapter jostled me out of the narrative. Turns out I gave up about a page too soon. I had a novella length wait yesterday, so I brought Prime along to fill the time.

After the first chapter the narrative settles into a tight 3rd person point of view following William Bellow, bug hunter extraordinaire. Think of your traditional cyberpunk hacker mixing the roles of bounty hunter and quality control. He’s been hired by a corporation to solve a series of murders that seem to have been committed in virtual reality. Quite the engrossing read.

A lot of great concepts are dealt with. A growing religious movement wants to live in virtual reality. Corporations are tweaking people’s minds in an incredibly invasive extrapolation of current marketing trends. There is exploration of cloning both for medical and entertainment purposes. All of these and more are woven into a tight little story. I’d label this combination of noir and science fiction “Richard Morgan Lite” as it has elements I enjoyed in both Altered Carbon and Woken Furies. “Lite” mainly because of the length. It’s hard to get as much depth and detail in a novella as in a multiple book series.

This may me the first novella I’ve read as a standalone book. I enjoyed the experience and if the rest of Apex Publications’ books live up to the quality of this one, They’ll definitely be getting my business again.

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~ by mentatjack on January 10, 2010.

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