Toxic – Miyamoto Kano
The last thing Arata expected was for his cousin that he’d almost forgotten about to show up on his doorstep. But it soon becomes apparent that Kazuto is not what he appears to be.
I know it says supernatural but that ghost thing seemed to just come out of the blue.
Eidolon – E.S. Yu
When Cyrex Corp, one of the foremost bioaugmentation companies in the world, sends Vax to assassinate Zai Lumero, Vax thinks it’ll be a simple, straightforward job. Zai is only a journalist, after all, and with his bioaugments, Vax has never botched a job before. But then the hit unexpectedly goes south, and before Vax can correct his mistake and finish Zai off for good, he discovers that Cyrex has turned on him, putting him in their crosshairs as well.
With no one else to turn to, he strikes a grudging partnership with Zai to help him expose Cyrex’s connection to a missing persons case and take the company down. Getting along with a justice crusader who hates Vax’s profession with a burning passion isn’t easy—though Vax finds himself drawn to Zai in a way he never expected.
As they race against time to unearth Cyrex’s secrets, Vax can’t shake the feeling that Zai is hiding something from him. And the closer he gets to uncovering the answers—of how he’s related to Zai’s investigation, and how Zai is connected to a past that Vax can’t remember—the more he suspects that finding out the truth might destroy him.
The book caught my attention with two magic words: assassin and asexual.
Eidolon is a sci-fi book about an assassin who was hired to kill a journalist investigating the company the assassin is working for. When he tried do his job, he was in for nasty surprise.
Vax, the assassin doesn’t seem to be hard-core and deadly. He seemed more like a harassed salaryman trying to get the job done and get the boss off his back. His boss being Atali Norman, CEO of Cyrex and one hell of a manipulative bastard. When Vax was confronting Atali, I was like, just shoot him already! Don’t talk to him, he will mindfuck you! Vax then proceeded to prove himself human.
Zai, the crusading journalist, is out to uncover the nasty secrets of bioaugmentation companies.I liked that he is very dedicated to his job. Meeting Vax was like meeting a ghost but that doesn’t stop him from involving Vax in doing what he set out to do. There were a LOT of complications, personal and otherwise but Zai was, if anything, determined to do good so he made it work.
I think this should really be two stories. First is the sci-fi dystopian thread where humans were augmented with electronic parts for medical purposes or more insidiously to create super soldiers and spies.
This is a fast read and the writing was easy to go through.
I liked the world building here. It was not bogged down by info-dump but relevant bits and pieces were mentioned here and there that mesh naturally to create a good picture of the futuristic city of Orphis. There was a big mystery and some action scenes. This part by itself makes for an interesting read.
The second part was a hurt-comfort story about a man trying to deal with PTSD, depression and amnesia. This had a more contemporary feel, the futuristic elements were insignificant and barely mentioned. I liked how the mental issue and the asexuality were handled. I felt the friendship more than the romantic spark between Vax and Zai. I think Vax is in dire need of friends right now although their relationship had a good potential to be so much more exciting had the story been solely about second chances and dealing with mental illness.
Overall, I wasn’t blown away but I liked the story. The sci-fi elements were done nicely, the mystery was intriguing enough to hold my attention, the premise was interesting and the prose is uncomplicated. However, the first part and the second part seemed disconnected and I would have preferred two different stories if not a better transition/connection between the sci-fi mystery and the drama part.
I received a copy of Eidolon from Ninestar Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
3 Stars – not exactly setting my world on fire but I liked it
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Premise: one exists alone,
Within a system of increasingly mild ideals
—The good of love, the greater good of dreams—
Abstracted from the musings of the grown-up child
That somewhere, in a scene above the sky,
Lies smiling. Anxious to begin
Before the will can answer and its passions fly away
Like sparrows, he lays aside his cares and
Lets the world come, lets its shapes return,
Its mirrors answer and its angels roam across the narrow
Confines of the page. Like friends
Estranged by distance and the inwardness of age,
The spaces between letters become spaces between lives,
The fact of pain begins to seem unreal, the trees
Begin to seem too distant; the imaginary self,
Concealed from the world, begins its cry
Yet remains empty—as though it could contain
No tenderness beyond its own, and no other love
Than that concealed in its own reflection, hovering
On the threshold of age, between two lives.John Koethe