By Mike Griffiths
Stanton, Steve. The Bloodlight Chronicles: Reconciliation. Ecw Press (September 1, 2010). US $14.95/CAN $16.96. ISBN-13: 978-1550229547.
A few cyberpunk novels crossed through my door over the last year, The Bloodlight Chronicles being one of them. Stanton sets out to weave an epic tale set in a future where cyberspace is nearly as real as the grim life of the accepted reality. And when humankind has embraced the stars and even lives on other worlds, who is to say what reality is more accurate than the other?
The situation on Earth grows in complexity when an alien virus grants certain people immortality. This works out fine for the net-runner, Zak, and his wife, Mai, for they both had the virus, but when their son, Rix, does not inherit their gift, it throws their little family into turmoil. They soon become involved in a plot to help their son gain the immortality they each enjoy.
The small family has to split up as they each work for the same goal. Soon, they can no longer be sure if the others live, or have even remained on the same side. When Zak takes to the stars, and begins dealing with people on other worlds, all communication within the family is lost. Webs become crossed and more players are introduced. When something as important as immortality is on the line, how can anyone be trusted?
Stanton sets up an interesting and in-depth cyberpunk realm, both on and off the Net. The wetworks and other high-tech wonders are enough to keep most fans of this genre happy. Zak and his family members are also likable heroes whom you certainly wish to see succeed. The climactic battle in cyberspace is one of the best I have read within the genre.
Certain drawbacks of the novel include how Stanton jumps around a lot. This leaves holes in the narrative and even plot, which the reader is required to fill in. The book reads a bit like a longer book that has had a hundred pages edited out. Part of this could be due to the author having so much to convey that he doesn’t wish to waste our time on the nuts and bolts side of how Character A went from X to Y. This can often be a good thing – not everyone needs to write another Lord of the Rings – but there were some unhappy leaps that the reader was forced to make.
If you are a cyberpunk fan, or would like to become one, grab yourself a copy of this novel. Stanton is an inventive and thoughtful writer. The next books in the series will find a place on my bookcase.
The Bloodlight Chronicles: Reconciliation is available through Amazon.com.