Readers may possibly remember that in 2018 I reviewed a tech thriller, Angels in the Mist, by my old buddy Ryan Southwick. He also sent me the second volume, Angels Fall, and you'll see that review in October, when it's published, but first -- a prequel!
Here is Zima's story between escaping her former life and the start of Angels in the Mist. Instead of being an AI implanted in a psychopath, she has her own cyborg body. But that means she has a lot to get used to and to learn, and she figures the best way to do that is to go out and find herself a family. How better to learn the normal human interactions she knows nothing about?
Zima finds siblings Emilio and Rosa, and applies for membership in their family. Rosa, a bouncy little 8-year-old, loves this idea. Emilio, 17, thinks it's pretty strange. But even though he's sure that he's got his life under control, it turns out he could use some Zima-style help. Pretty soon the whole family is on a roller-coaster of danger, and wondering if they'll manage to survive.
I thought this was a nice change of scene -- very different territory than before. Southwick is evidently not the kind to stay in one place for long! And I'm a sucker for 'stranger in a strange land' type stories, so I found this one to be particularly fun.
Zima: Origins is a good bit shorter than the other volumes in the series -- about 150 pages. It is being released on Kindle tomorrow at the lovely price of $2.99. Observe the fancy new cover art; Southwick has been picked up by Water Dragon Publishing and you can purchase the first Z-Tech story in paperback as well as Kindle (I did!). The second volume will release in the fall!
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.