3.09.2009

Review: The Digital Plague by Jeff Somers

I finally got around to reading The Digital Plague, I had been meaning to, and after running into author Jeff Somers at NYCC, I knew I needed to sit down and put the gun in my mouth.
You see, when going on an adventure with thug-turned-crime lord, Avery Cates, you need to be ready for some pain. Because it hurts every time.
Somers' mix of noir-inspired narration and curse dialogue is as quick as Avery's draw, and his world is a ruthless future where destruction is everywhere, and the System Pigs rule with an iron fist. The only way to survive is to be tough as nails. Or rich as hell.


At this point, Avery is both. But that also means he has a big target painted on his back. Something he's used to, of course, and this time he needs to find the one techie that has given him a nasty bug. This second novel is a slog from the mean streets of New York City to the remnants of Paris, where Avery, accompanied by a few cops (not his favorite people, and vice versa) must find a very special someone.

The most addictive element of Somers' writing is his narrative voice, the way he brings Cates to life. No matter how bad or bad ass he is, you always want him to pull through. You feel like you're there, counting the last few rounds of ammo, wondering if he'll make it. I'm hooked, and can't wait for the next installment.

One thing I would have liked to see is a taste of perspective from another character. He builds up some interesting side characters, but we only get see them through one set of eyes. I sometimes found myself craving another voice, just to change it up.

Overall, I feel it's a solid series, and I've been recommending it to friends who might be looking for a writer with sharp teeth.

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