Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Angels and the Bad Man (Technomancer 3#) by M.K. Gibson

    THE TECHNOMANCER novels are one of my favorite indie reads with a peculiar combination of cyberpunk, urban fantasy, and Christian eschatology. The apocalypse had happened and God forgot to show up, resulting in demons taking over the world before human technology makes it into a cyberpunk dystopia. The books are witty, funny, and still manage to draw a lot of drama from the dark side of living in a hell-run post-apocalypse technopolis.

    The protagonists, Salem and Grimm, are two of the last free humans who have to play the games of demons to protect their isolated community of survivors. Well, it helps that said survivors is made up of a bunch of Vikings and has a couple of pagan gods defending it along with cyborgs but that's another story. Last book, Salem made a deal to try to get rid of his debt to hell but foolishly forgot the only way hell would ever make a deal like that was if they didn't think there was any chance of him pulling it off.

    ANGELS AND THE BAD MAN is the third installment of the series and follows Salem's escape from Flotsam Prison. This results in him being chased by mercenaries eager to bring him back even as he's made the stupid deal to find "The Tears of God" for his demonic patrons in exchange for saving his small community. Along the way he'll be kidnapped by Bison shifting Native Americans and be forced to reconnect with his deranged progeny. Meanwhile, Grimm is finally tracked down by the surviving fairy races who intend to make him pay for publishing all of their secrets and driving them to near-extinction.

    I like the Technomancer series as it's basically a light Dresden Files-esque read despite the fact it takes place in a world which has (literally) gone to hell. Terrible things can happen to Salem but he's almost always going to regenerate with his nanites and respond with a crack or a pop culture reference no one gets. He's done some bad things in the past but he's trying to make up for them and is a likable enough hero. I'm not as big a fan of Grimm or the Norse Gods but neither of them annoy me either.

    After three books in, I will say readers generally will know what they're getting with these books. While the existence of the Tears of God promises a bit more continuity, the books are more about Salem's trying to survive and his road trip adventures than a continuing story arc. Salem hasn't come any closer to overthrowing the forces of hell and that's not even his goal, it's just to survive long enough to carve a place for him and his people.

    I enjoy these books and recommend them to folk who like urban fantasy, cyberpunk, and things like Joss Whedon or Jim Butcher's work. What can you say about a book where an ancient wizard has to outsmart the entire Wild Hunt while another fights the Yakuza as well as a horde of cyborg ninjas? That it's a damned good book, that's what.


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