I Love Lucid by Mark Lingane
|I Love Lucid by Mark Lingane|
|Reviewer: Ani Johnson|
|Summary: The author himself describes this as cyber-techno-thriller-alternate reality-procedural-pseudophilospophical dark comedy. Just about covers everything doesn't it? Well, apart from the fact that it's definitely not one for the children! Mark Lingane popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.|
|Buy? No||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 443||Date: November 2013|
|Publisher: Insync Holdings Pty Ltd|
|External links: Author's website|
Lucid is more than a full-immersion role play game; it's THE full-immersion role play game. Its inventor Seth Pascal has ensured that all that needs to be done is to plug in and the player's brain will take them to the virtual world while during sleep, providing perfect lucidity and an alternative life within an avatar. However it's also becoming the game to die for. Yes, literally die for as players are being murdered while they're connected. Detective Evan Waugh is the investigator given the case to prove that he still has what it takes. However there's an added complication for both he and Seth as the investigation continues. Her name is Ellen, the woman for whom Lucid isn't just a way of life, it is her life.
Australian Mark Lingane has been a published author for a year and has already provided our shelves with three books: two fast romantic-comedy-thrillers featuring mismatched couple Ellen and Ax and Beyond Belief, an intriguing sci-fi-noir. I Love Lucid is number four and unleashed a little differently this time. Mark did a Charles Dickens and initially brought it out as individual e-book episodes. All the episodes have now been brought together for the novel so what do we have to look forward to on publishing day? The answer is some classic Lingane trademark stuff combined with flashes of fresh inspiration as his writing becomes grittier.
The novel starts in true Lingane scatter-gun style as we're sent off in all directions to meet characters and witness events. Gradually though our focus is channelled towards the presence of three major fields: the police investigation led by the likeable Evan, Seth's IT-riven ingenuity and the street gang up to something nefarious led by the intriguingly named Siimon. (Yes, two 'i's.) The street gang also speak in a mixture of alpha and n0n-a1pha characters if you get my meaning; interesting for us readers while not sounding different to the listener. One to mull over!
The backdrop is a world that's bleak and without hope, the only thing worth living for being the time spent in Lucid. Drugs are widespread and coupling is either brutal or utilitarian (or both), the only romance existing in hallucinations rather than reality. The Blade Runner perpetual rain may be missing but it's that kind of vibe. In fact the book on which Blade Runner is based gets a passing nod from the author, as do other cultural references in the way that fans have come to expect from Mark's previous, lighter novels. Having said that, there are still some echoes of the humorous banter that we've enjoyed in the past as Evan tries to come to grips with the divergence of the virtual and the down-and-dirty reality.
This is, in effect, more a novel about ideas than it is about characters, action or dialogue. All the three latter elements are there but our attention is drawn to the discussions about such things as the nature and use of artificial intelligence, love and narcotics. Mark's day job as an IT specialist also shows as he drifts effortlessly in and out of techie-speak. The computer coding used to such good effect in Beyond Belief also makes a reappearance.
All in all, Lucid is a little stretched-out to be my favourite Lingane but, whether you agree or not, the questions it raises as Evan races to reduce a rising body count will keep a book club busy for an evening or two.
I'd like to thank Mark and Insync Holdings for providing us with a review copy.
Further Reading: If this appeals then, in addition, try my favourite from Mr L, Beyond Belief. If you find the idea of real death invading a game world intriguing, we also recommend Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? by Andrez Bergen.
You can read more book reviews or buy I Love Lucid by Mark Lingane at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy I Love Lucid by Mark Lingane at Amazon.com.
Mark Lingane, Again was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
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