Jeff Altabef takes the reader to the future where new drugs are being developed, the city is more of a caste system and there is always someone who wants to rule it all:
Normally I would write a premise here about how I think the book should be portrayed and sometimes it is similar to the author's but other times it is not. With this book I do not know how to write a premise for this book and I guess that would start the beginning of the issues I had with this book...
I think that Altabef tried to put too much into this book, struggled to connect everything together and for me keep me entertained throughout. I personally got bored about half way through, I just kept waiting for something more to happen but it felt like it never was going to, almost like the book and plot had already hit its peak. Altabef could have separated this into two separate books that could have had some commonalities, but had different focuses, on for the government/fourteenth colony and the other one on Cooper. I say this as while the premise sounded interesting (it is what drew me to this book), I almost feel cheated in some instances. I wanted more time with Cooper and his sadistic nature which is what the premise is about but very little about this in the book. I found it was more about EFB-22 and fourteenth colony than it was about Cooper and Maggie.
I'm not sure why the author felt he had to place this plot in the future could have taken place today with very few changes and often I forgot that they were in the future, as there was not much different from today. I personally just read it as taking place today as I do not think that Altabef was very innovative about his world building about the future.
I thought that when Jack was given EFB-22 he would gain some sort of super human powers and while his hearing appears to have improved and he becomes sensative to light (maybe some night vision is kicking in, but we never really get that far), he really is more of a hindrance than help in most of the situations. Really his brother Tom who is a black belt in jiu jitsu is more useful than Jack ever is in the story and I really question introducing EFB-22 into the story as that storyline never really adding anything to the story other that Altebef's attempt to bring the two intersecting storylines together.
I think my main problem with this book is I never felt any type of connection with the characters either good or bad. They were just there and maybe Altabef tried to have too many points of view or too many characters but it has been awhile where I have felt nothing for even one character in the book.
I found out after reading this book that there is one before it called The Fourteenth Colony, maybe if I would have read that one it would have had some of the threads already figured out. However, I read some other reviews who said this one could be read as a stand alone, so I'm not really sure what to think. All I know is that Altabef has some good ideas in this book, but I think that he had too many and it became a challenge to put everything together that I as the reader got bored with what was occurring. I was hoping there would be more about Cooper and his sadistic serial killer ways, as that is how I read the premise. This book was just not for me.