Shadow Life by Jason Mather Kobo Writing Life Sci Fi & Fantasy Pub Date 26 Feb 2018
Small independent publishers can be hit or miss on quality. There are times however that you find a gem. Jason Mather’s Shadow Life is one such gem. It is a suspenseful science fiction thriller with plenty of fast paced action. Mather does a bang up job of keeping the reader’s attention while only slowly revealing the novel’s secrets. And then there are the characters. Each is flawed, damaged in some way, but they have a nobility that makes you care about them. The villains, particularly Brigham (who may remind you of the orange cheeto in office) are detestable. Brigham is the misogynist who leads the strictly religious Salt Lake City, where women are property and population growth is out of control.
The novel begins with the death of Hans and his reawakening. Technology allows for the rebuilding of the human body, but the mind is another question entirely. The situation that got Hans killed continues to have consequences. Someone is powerful is targeting him, and his sister Grit, a military leader, is revealing little. Attempts to minimize collateral damage lead Hans to the headquarters of a criminal mastermind, forcing him into a dangerous quest where what makes a person human is of central importance.
Shadow Life is an amazing novel. I was thoroughly impressed by Mather’s skilled writing and plotting. Jason Mather is definitely an author to watch.
5 / 5
I received a copy of Shadow Life from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
He’s back from the dead… and he’s not the only one. The city-state of Denver is tightly controlled. High-tech methods of food manufacturing and firm restrictions on reproduction keep the population stable. But even here, in this regimented society, violence is never too far away… It was supposed to be a simple job. At least, that’s what Hans Ricker was expecting when he agreed to deliver a mysterious package for five-hundred dollars. He was not expecting to get torn limb from limb while making the handoff. Nor was he expecting to emerge from a coma fourteen months later in the mile-high Denver General Hospital, his original organs replaced with regrown tissue. And he definitely wasn’t expecting to find himself entangled in a police investigation – one which takes a dangerous turn when an armed man tries to assassinate Greta “Grit” Ricker, Hans’ estranged sister and head of Denver’s security forces. Shadow Life follows Hans Ricker as he sets out to find the person responsible for the multiple attempts on his and his sister’s lives. Pairing up with “Onyx,” a powerful Denver crime lord, Hans hunts down leads across the Midwest. From the overpopulated religious commune of Salt Lake to the mountains of Colorado, Hans and Onyx fight for their lives against drones and lab-grown human constructs, gradually unravelling the mystery of who wants them dead, and why…