Jeff Somers – The Digital Plague

Yes, I did read it in one day 😀 I guess I’m currently on a reading/writing roll, so let’s make use of that and post a quick review, before I forget about it again and return to hiatus and procrastination 😉

First off, everybody who hasn’t read The Electric Church yet should do so before picking up The Digital Plague. Even though Somers makes lots of references in regards to Avery Cates’ previous adventure, especially the second half of The Digital Plague sort of expects the reader to know what happened in the previous installment, especially as far as character relations and events are concerned.

That said, everyone who has read TEC will be delighted about the fact that its sequel is as loaded with action and black humor as the previous book, but this time Somers does a little more in terms of character development and I hope you indulge me for a moment when I throw in the aforementioned quote by him again:

I’ve created a character who kills people, who physically assaults people when annoyed, who has stepped over the bodies of friends in order to save himself — albeit, perhaps, regretfully. Then I went ahead and made him kind of fun and charming.It feels good on some primitive level to then smack Avery in the head with a lead pipe. It feels like the Literary Lead Pipe of Justice.

I’m probably boring most of you to death, quoting the same lines over and over again, but let me say one thing: it does apply to this book – 100%. Avery Cates gets it from each and every one and I’m pointedly not giving away anything about the plot, other than saying it involves some nasty nanotechs, a lot of dead bodies and – after you almost think they’re being completely left out, having dwindled close to non-existence – our most favored homicidal maniac monks from The Electric Church.

There are some new characters showing up, some of them not for long, due to…well you’ll see…but we also see many old faces again and there are some rather interesting twists and may I just say: Damn you, Jeff! for the ending of this book, because it seamlessly leads over to book 3, The Eternal Prison which is to be released in….well apparently Orbit doesn’t know yet since Somers  just about finished writing it and it still needs to go through editing and revision. However, my money’s on 2009, given how fast Somers hammers the Cates books out. Let’s hope so, because I for once can’t wait to read the next installment of Cates’ awesomeness. Let’s hope that Somers’ initial contract for three books will be extended, since according to his blog posts he’s got some more Avery Cates up his sleeve.

Anyway, final verdict for The Digital Plague: 9.5/10 since I’m hoping Somers will evolve both his world and his characters even more with the next installment 🙂


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