Sunday 22 August 2010


Avery Cates is a wanted man. After surviving the worst bioengineered disaster in history, Cates finds himself incarcerated - in Chengara Penitentiary. As Chengara has a survival rate of exactly zero, the System's most famous gunner must do some serious plotting. And a betrayal or so later, he achieves his goal. At a price. All he has to do next is defeat some new personal demons, forge some unlikely alliances, and figure out why the people he's killed lately just won't stay dead. Plus pull off the biggest assassination of his career...

After reading THE ELECTRIC CHURCH and THE DIGITAL PLAGUE I couldn't wait to get stuck into the third book in this series. This is one seriously dark and awesome world. It's very bleak and dangerous, plus Avery isn't exactly a good guy, but you still can't help but like him. lol.

Avery Cates is a gunner. He's also an old man who's been through a lot in his life. Well, okay, he's really not that old, but in his world youth is already considered a long life, so you can understand how someone several decades older would be viewed. He's pretty much reached his limit, and seems ready to just give up and relax for a while. Let someone else take up the fight.

This book was a trippy read that I really enjoyed making way through.

The story starts out simple enough, with Avery on his knees and bound by a System Pig. Then he's in Las Vegas stalking a Russian, before signing himself up for some serious trouble when he agrees to track down and kill Director Dick Marin. That sounds simple enough, doesn't it? But soon, I was taken back to Avery's stint in the worst prison in the world--Chengara. A place where People of Interest are dumped, and eventually processed. Which, ah, means that they disappear.

So, two different stories seem to be going on--one in the present and one in the past, to let you know exactly how Avery got to The Star. Of course, after that happens, everything got spun around and I kept thinking: what the hell is going on? In a good way, of course. I don't want to go into it too deeply because I'll give everything away, and trust me, the twists, turns, and surprises are definitely worth it. And a lot of things get answered about Avery's very peculiar behavior and how he can be in two places at once. 

This cyberpunk-noir nightmarish world is so bleak and horrible that you just can't help but cringe at the horrid state of it. Everything's collapsing and a war between the SSF and the army is making everything worse. As if the digital plague didn't wipe out enough of the population. Poor Avery goes through hell, and is pushed to his physical limits so many times that you just can't help but feel bad for him and wish he could have a holiday already. He's also forced to place his trust in a variety of very colorful lowlives--one of whom betrays him severely, and changes the path of his life--as well as cops.

The Eternal Prison is as gritty as it gets. It's another full-throttle, action-packed, violent romp filled with unpredictable situations, the expected attitude, and more explosions. Not to mention a sick and twisted plan--that's much worse than the Monks--by one corrupt individual who wants to take over the world. Or at least, he wants to replace everyone in it.

This is a series that I don't think I'll ever get sick of reading. I love that it's so darn clever and well-planned. I love that little hints were constantly dropped like bread crumbs that don't seem to matter but then turn out to be vital to finding your way out of the labyrinth. And it just doesn't rest until the very end.

Every book makes matters worse than the one before, and I can't help but wonder if Jeff Somers has any clear vision of an end to Avery's series... I hope he doesn't, because I'm hooked. Bring on the next one!

The Eternal Prison: Avery Cates #3, June 2010, ISBN 978-184-149705-1, Orbit Paperback


Tez Miller said...

Considering that Book #5 is called THE FINAL EVOLUTION, that sounds like it could be the last.

Yolanda Sfetsos said...

Oh, cool. Thanks! :)

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