The Devil’s Dictionary

Steven Kotler. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-20209-3
Kotler’s earnest hero Lion Zorn gets back to work (after 2019’s Last Tango in Cyberspace) in this action-packed but moralizing techno thriller in which billionaires fight to control the fate of the global ecosystem. Lion, an “empathy tracker” whose sensitivity to individual and social emotions makes him a valuable marketeering tool, is on the trail of two colleagues who vanished after telling him of a new empathy drug, Evo. The case leads Lion into the feud between Sir Richard (his former boss) and a charismatic self-help guru, Chang Zee. Both wealthy men have visions of remaking the world: Sir Richard with a series of restored wilderness “mega-linkages,” Zee by reengineering humanity from the genes up. As more people go missing, Lion has to penetrate Sir Richard’s project and piece together his past connections to Zee to solve the case. Kotler tends to lecture but never quite forgets to keep the plot boiling, whether Lion is dangling over the streets of Seattle or slaloming off cliffs in search of killer flying snakes. Readers with a fondness for nature will appreciate Lion and the sincerity of his quest. Agent: Paul Bresnick, Bresnick Weil Literary. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 06/16/2021
Release date: 11/02/2021
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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