Thursday 24 December 2009


In the near future, the only thing growing faster than the criminal population is the Electric Church, a new religion founded by a mysterious man named Dennis Squalor. The Church preaches that life is too brief to contemplate the mysteries of the universe: eternity is required. In order to achieve this, the converted become Monks -- cyborgs with human brains, enhanced robotic bodies, and virtually unlimited life spans.

Enter Avery Cates, a dangerous criminal known as the best killer-for-hire around. The authorities have a special mission in mind for Cates: assassinate Dennis Squalor. But for Cates, the assignment will be the most dangerous job he's ever undertaken -- and it may well be his last.

Just reading the blurb and the title for this book was enough to grab my attention. And that very creepy cover sure deepened my interest.

When I started to read this book, I found myself a little lost in the narrator's set up of this world because there was so much going on, and so much to be explained. However, as the story moved into the second chapter and I settled into Avery's tale, I understood exactly why it was vital to drop all of that info on the reader at the very start. Getting the who's who out of the way helped me get my bearings and understand exactly what Avery was and what he'd gotten himself into. It helped me slip into this very dark and brutal dystopian society very smoothly.

Avery Cates is a criminal. For the right price he'll kill whoever he's hired to eliminate. He doesn't care who it is.

But when he gets himself caught up in some big trouble with the System Cops and attracts the attention of the very freaky Monks from the Electric Church, everything becomes a lot more complicated. When he's given an opportunity he can't pass up, he takes it. All he has to do is kill the founder of this mysterious religion. And to do that he'll have to head into the middle of their operation, with a group of misfits that include his only friend, Gatz, female twins who come in very handy, and a Techie who refers to himself in the third person. Along the way, he even manages to pick up a scary Gunner who might not be who he says he is. For the right amount of money, they're all willing to risk their lives.

This story is an action-packed thrill ride that had me on the edge of my seat. I couldn't wait to turn the page, to see what was going to happen next. Trying to keep up with Avery's very dangerous life was exhausting and exhilarating, because every time he thinks he can take a deep breath, more trouble finds him.

The Electric Church is a fascinating and totally engrossing book with everything that makes the noir-futuristic-cyberpunk genre so appealing. It's well written, gets under your skin, and throws you into the middle of the action. Avery Cates is the ultimate anti-hero. A killer who drinks too much and doesn't bathe near enough. Yet, he's trying to make his way in an insane, horrible and very violent world the only way he knows how. And I really liked him for that.

I also loved that what starts out as a way to get a huge payout turns into an ambitious attempt at changing a corrupt system that ignores and destroys the majority of the population.

This is a series that I really want to lose myself in. I thought this one was fantastic, so I can't wait to read the next book.

The Electric Church, November 2009, ISBN 9781841496160, Orbit Paperback

No comments:

Favorites More