If you can't trust a spy, who can you trust?
by Stephen Deas
Sci Fi & Fantasy
Pub Date: November 27, 2015
From Stephen Deas, bestselling author of The Adamantine Palace and The Royalist, comes LONEFIRE, a new foray into the many worlds of cyberpunk sci-fi.
Constantine is a veteran freelance corporate spy. Time was he was the best of the best with a rep to open any doors, but that all stopped a year ago when Victor Longthorne, the richest man in the galaxy, blew up in his face – literally.
Now he takes what work he can get – dirty, murky, whatever pays the bills; and that's why he's about to wake up in a system that doesn't welcome visitors with no idea how he got there.
Not only that, but he's got an Artificial Intelligence system peering over his shoulder, manipulating his every move and why, like it or not, he's about to find himself sucked into a galaxy-spanning conspiracy, desperate to find out why Victor Longthorne's empire is turning on itself before the galaxy's most lethal cult of religious fanatics catch up with him.
The dead messiah in a box, though? Mostly that one's on him.
Part space-opera, part cyberpunk, and part Tourettes Syndrome, LONEFIRE is a frantic science fiction ride through a broken future with a bad attitude.
Lonefire is no ordinary sci-fi novel. It is an amazing adventure combining fast paced, cinematic action sequences and speculation on the nature of mind and artificial intelligence. At first, I was shocked by the amount of expletives, but as I read, I realized they fit. It wasn’t just used for shock value, it was integral. These individuals are living life on the fringe, and staying alive in a wired world where everyone is expendable, alliances are constantly shifting, and even the simplest job may kill you isn’t easy.
Constantine is an attractive enigma. His specialty is negotiation, getting into people’s heads and figuring out what they want and how to turn it to his advantage. But he isn’t the only one inside his head. Constantine has amassed numerous identities, slipping between them as effortlessly as some change clothing. It is a great skill for a corporate spy to have, but it also makes knowing yourself a challenge.
It should have been obvious that the job was a set up, it was too easy, too pat. Now, his team is dead and Constantine is on the run with a prophet in a box. Somehow, the mind of Leonard Ortov, the long dead prophet of the Bratstva is alive. Constantine is drawn into a galaxy-spanning conspiracy, hunted by religious fanatics and uncertain of who to trust. His lover/handler is willing to help him disappear, but first she wants him to discover who is trying to destroy the company and all that Victor Longthorne built.
Lonefire is an impressive blend of classic space opera and speculative cyber-punk. The novel is a thrilling ride that takes the reader unexpected places. Exciting, irreverent, and undeniably one-of-a-kind, Lonefire is just the ticket for those wanting something other than the standard sci-fi fare.
I received a copy of Lonefire from the publisher and netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.