________________ CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 10. . . .November 5, 2010.


The Bloodlight Chronicles: Reconciliation.

Steve Stanton.
Toronto, ON: ECW Press, 2010.
253 pp., pbk., $16.95.
ISBN 978-1-55022-954-7.

Grades 8 and up / Ages 13 and up.

Review by Ronald Hore.





In a compulsive ritual of invocation, Zakariah caressed his scalp where the network cable entered his skull just above and behind his left ear, a permanently hairless semicircle on the side of his cranium. He combed his fingers through a wavy tangle of hair atop his head and set his teeth with determination, psyching himself up like an athlete before a big game. He $B!G (Bd been a field runner his entire adult life since receiving the Eternal virus at twenty-one, his only vacations spent underground when he was too hot to surface on the net, squirrelled away with his young wife and baby boy in dark basement apartments in downtown free-zones. He reached up to the V-net plug dangling from his left earlobe and tapped out simple binary code with a pointed fingernail. The correct time flashed briefly in the upper right-hand corner of his field of vision. He had three more minutes until rendezvous.

This is the first book in a neo-cyberpunk trilogy called The Bloodlight Chronicles. Taking place in the near future, the novel follows the adventures of three main characters: Zakariah Davis, an experienced cyberhacker, his wife Mia, and their teenage son Rix. Both Zakariah and Mia have been infected by an alien virus that prolongs life. This virus, known as the Eternal virus, is desired by those not infected, and the blood of those who carry the virus is sold on the black market for its power to rejuvenate those not infected. Rix is one of those many who do not carry the virus; one of Zakariah $B!G (Bs goals in life is to rectify this by securing an "activated" sample of Eternal.

     Those who are infected by Eternal must keep this fact a secret as there are criminals known as "vampires" who search them out for their blood. Zakariah is a runner, a person whose brain is surgically wired for direct connection to the global computer system where economic activity is conducted by avatars in cyberspace. When a transaction goes wrong, Zakariah escapes but becomes separated from his family. While Mia searches for her missing husband, and Rix takes up his father $B!G (Bs cyber trade, Zakariah becomes involved with the Eternal Research Institute, the ERI.

     The head of the ERI is strong-willed Helena Sharp. She is seeking the source of the Eternal virus. Her stated vision is to make the virus available to everyone. Zakariah and Helena take a journey through time and space in search of this source.

     The book is 253 pages in length, plus a brief one-page bio of the author, and is divided into eleven chapters. There are no illustrations. This tale should appeal to science fiction readers, especially those who enjoy the virtual worlds and considering where computers and the internet may eventually lead us. Well-written, this volume resolves enough of its plot issues to satisfy, while leaving the door wide open to continue the adventure.


Ronald Hore, involved with writer $B!G (Bs groups for several years, retired from the business world in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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