In the summer of 2018 I read Angels in the Mist, written by an old buddy of mine. He later sent me the sequel, but then things got complicated and by the time all was done, that sequel was two books, expanded from the previous story; and IMO that is for the better, because some layers of complexity were added. So here we have a review of the third installment, but definitely not the last. It feels like there will need to be a couple more books before all this is done, but I don't actually know.
The trouble here is that the story is quite complex, and I wouldn't want to give away spoilers. It's the perennial middle-book dilemma! I mean, how do you describe The Empire Strikes Back to somebody who hasn't seen Star Wars?
Anne Perrin has developed close friendships and new love in her group of friends -- though she hasn't abandoned old friends, either; her BFF is along for the ride. But there are problems both inside and out, as their vampire enemies are becoming more powerful, and Charlie, the head of Z-Tech, is suffering from a malady that can't be cured by any normal means. So the team splits up, and Charlie takes his COO and friend Cappa along to visit an old mentor in hopes that he can help. Everybody else will work on the myriad problems at home. It...doesn't go too well.
Anne and the gang find a new group of vampires who are very different, and they need to find out whether they're friend or foe. At the same time, the regular (evil) vampires have allied with Z-Tech's rival company, the arms manufacturer Orwing, and are planning a massive attack on the company's compound. There's all kinds of stuff going on.
I honestly did not see the last twist coming. It was a doozy, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.
The story is complicated and action-packed; it hardly ever slows down. Southwick brings in elements that we don't normally see in a techno-thriller, to good effect, and there are vampires, plasma guns, martial arts, mysterious malevolent beings, and what I guess I should describe as a few psychic powers. And androids! Lots of androids, maybe a cyborg or two!
The only trouble I had is idiosyncratic to myself, so don't let it influence you. I mentioned in the last review that there was more romance than I like, and what I mostly meant by that was...sex scenes. I can't deal with 'em. And this novel has more of that than I like. However, most people like those, and I will not tell you that they're badly written or super-awkward; they're not. So probably that's a draw for lots of other folks!
The list of stories so far:
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.