cover image Unity


Elly Bangs. Tachyon, $16.95 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-61696-342-2

Chock-full of both big ideas and high-energy action, Bangs’s thrilling debut centers on a mad chase across a dystopian Earth in search of a collective consciousness that could save humanity from itself. Danae works as an often overlooked tech servant to a criminal syndicate that controls an underwater metropolis, but she is secretly a severed piece of a group mind that encompasses hundreds of people. Determined to get back to her larger self, she hires Alexei, a mercenary with a death-wish, to help her escape her employers. With Danae’s lover, Naoto, tagging along, the trio flees the city and heads to what was once Arizona—but they are doggedly pursued by bounty hunters and a shadowy figure from Danae’s past. Bangs pulls no punches when it comes to plot or characterization, but fails to fully flesh out her innovative settings, making it difficult to visualize events. Because of this hazy scene-setting, the first act drags. But by the time the characters reach dry land, the pace has picked up, leading to a riveting final sequence packed with firefights and fascinating ruminations on identity. This gritty, thought-provoking cyberpunk adventure does the genre justice.[em] Agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary. (Apr.) [/em]