Monday, December 14, 2015

Review: Zero World

I picked up Zero World from the library because of some good reviews from a magazine I read. It's a purported science fiction thriller, but I was disappointed.

The setup was intriguing enough: Peter Caswell is an assassin who works on such secret projects that he has an Integrity Assurance implant. The implant would effectively wipe his memory after a certain time, which forces him to complete his mission within a time limit while ensuring that his employers could keep the secrets secret.

When he's tasked with killing everyone aboard a ship that went to salvage a long lost research vessel, his employer activates his IA implant and tells him to pursue the last remaining member of the crew and kill her, under a strict time limit. He follows her into a wormhole which takes him to another planet that looks just like Earth.

What follows is a lot like the first Jason Bourne movie: he meets up with a local agent and they go on the run after a botched assassination attempt. The action is non-stop, but the world's barely sketched out and it feels like the author's deliberately doling out reveals at a slow pace to keep you dangling just a fair bit. And indeed, it appears the novel is a setup for a sequel.

The characters aren't very well developed, and don't change very much. Ultimately, it's an action movie turned into a novel, but not so well executed (unlike say, Richard Morgan's Takeshi Kovacs novels) that I'd bother reading any more books in the series.


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