** I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.**
First Impression: Martian microbes and a rogue android, yes please!
Characters: A diverse cast of fully realized characters, interconnected in ways that unfold as the story progresses. From Maggie the young heart who had to grow up too fast, to Lilith the call girl with a mission they drive the story of a world gone a bit mad.
World Building: Earth hasn't necessarily changed all that much, but has become a bit bleak in the future. The Government has a tight grip on the population, and everyone is afraid of catching "the Rouge". I became fully immersed in the action-packed plot.
Writing Style: This is what blew me away right from the beginning - Matthew Bruce Alexander's writing. I laughed, then was surprised, and sometimes scared. His ability to write the way someone might think means I'm a fan from this book onward. It rarely happens when I know I'm going to fall into an author's mind, but I can't say enough how I appreciated this mastery of the written word. Enough "big words" to stimulate the mind without going overboard to the point of search and replace in MS Word. Such prose and attention to detail is often missing in the novels of today.
What I Enjoyed: The author gives the impression he really understands his characters, maybe even on a personal level. Drawing the motivations of people like Thomas the insider felt especially insightful. This in an author you want to have dinner with, much like Douglas Adams, and simply listen to their thoughts on any subject.
Deal Benders: I wish this story didn't have to end. That is all.
Overall Rating: 5 stars, and can I give it more!?...but that would be over 100% which we know is not a real number.
For Fans Of: If you've seen the movies Gattica or Aeon Flux, this world has a similar feeling. The story itself is not quite dystopian or sci-fi, but somewhere along the line of a realistic future U.S.