by Michael Dempsey
Publisher: Night Shade
Pub Date: 10/04/2011
Genre: FICTION - ADULT: Science Fiction & Fantasy: Science Fiction
In a world where death is a thing of the past, how far would you go to solve your own murder? NYPD detective Paul Donner and his wife Elise were killed in a hold-up gone wrong. Fifty years later, Donner is back: revived courtesy of the Shift. Supposedly the unintended side-effect of a botched biological terrorist attack and carried by a ubiquitous retrovirus, the Shift jump-starts dead DNA and throws the life cycle into reverse, so reborns like Donner must cope with the fact that they are not only slowly youthing toward a new childhood, but have become New York's most hated minority. With New York quarantined beneath a geodesic blister, government and basic services have been outsourced by a private security corporation named Surazal. Reborns and infected norms alike struggle in a counterclockwise world, where everybody gets younger, you can see Elvis every night at Radio City Music Hall, and nobody has any hope of ever seeing the outside world. Lost in a sea of nostalgia, NYC becomes an inwardly focused schizophrenic culture of alienation and loss. In this backwards-looking culture where only some of the dead have returned, Donner is haunted by revivers guilt, and becomes obsessed with finding out who killed him and his non-returning wife. Little does he know, strange forces have already begun tracking him. Donner isn't the only one obsessed with the past.
Review: This is one twisty tail. I had no idea where this was going. With multiple points of view it could get confusing at times. I was thrown for several loops, yet this only made me want to read more. I had to figure out what the heck was going on. Mr Dempsey has this way of dangling information just out of your reach making you read more, before letting you have it and dropping another piece just out of reaching. Giving you just enough to keep you guessing and reading.
Donnor is basically the main character, although like I said earlier there are multiple points of view in order to move the plot forward. I found him relateable and likable, a man from our time thrown into this weird future. He gave me something familiar to hold on to,with his twentieth century quirks and mannerisms, while plasma guns and flying cars ran around. I could understand his confusion at being thrust into this strange yet sort of familiar world as an outcast. As if being brought back from the dead wasn't traumatic enough. I really actually felt bad for the poor guy.
As story progresses things get even stranger and I found myself pulled along for the ride, I was unable to put this book down as the ending got closer. On many levels the ending is a shocker, yet on another it really only makes sense.
This had a great bio-warfare aspect and what made it great was that it could happen. Some biological agent dropped around the world. Perhaps not with this specific out come, but it wasn't completely sci fi as other possibilities. I guess what I'm saying is that it was easy to suspend belief enough to get into the story. I found this to be a really good read.