Koko the Mighty by Kieran Shea
|Koko the Mighty by Kieran Shea
|Category: Science Fiction
|Reviewer: Sam Tyler
|Summary: Koko returns in another electric adventure as she once more finds herself on the run from a psychotic mercenary. Join her in this wicked adventure that not only has a touch of the ultraviolence, but a heart as well.
|Date: August 2015
|Publisher: Titan Books
|External links: Author's website
Many people have dreamed of packing up their old jobs and opening a B&B or hotel with their partner somewhere in a picturesque holiday destination. You may just deserve this new life, but running a hotel is not easy, especially when it is on a pleasure island known for its indiscriminate violence and hedonism. Koko Martsteller had her last hotel/brothel blown up, but after a series of extraordinary events she has a new hostelry and a new partner. It's a shame then that nothing is ever easy for Koko.
The events of Koko Takes a Holiday toolk their toll on both Koko and Flynn so they are happy to settle back down to the quiet life. Unfortunately, the price on their head is still available and this means that mercenaries are on the lookout for them. Koko and Flynn findsthemselves once more on the run from a familiar foe and end up hiding in a strange commune that has citizens who appear to be a little too docile. Can the pair survive another adventure together?
The first in the Koko series was a magnificent slice of pulp science fiction that fizzed off the page. The book was packed full of action and great ideas. Kieran Shea's quality writing was able to maintain structure and developed Koko's personality, despite the pace. Koko the Mighty is set soon after the first book and also has plenty of violence and action, but whilst the first book was full on, the second allows moments of real pause to learn more about Koko and Flynn.
In the wrong hands this reduction in pace could have undermined the series; the books rely on a dark sense of humour that is both manic and macabre. Thankfully, Shea proves once again that he is a cut above in writing style and the slower feel actually enhances the characters and the world. Mighty is not as packed as the previous novel, but the events that do occur are given more time to evolve and the impact is greater. As a character Koko in particular is growing; she is finding love for the first time and beginning to understand that other people can matter. She is still snippy and sarcastic, but by adding more depth to her character, Shea is making her more vulnerable and therefore makes her plight more appealing to the reader.
Alongside the impressive character building Shea continues to build upon his future Earth. This creation is a darkly funny world that mixes the absurd bureaucracy of a Gilliam future with the colour of Fifth Element and the tough justice of Judge Dredd. So many elements spring to mind, but as a whole Koko's world feel fresh and different. This book, like the last, is violent, but this time the gore is not played only for laughs as some of the deaths impact on reader more than before. You can see the maturing of Koko in the book, but also you feel that you are witnessing Shea evolve into an even better writer.
Koko the Mighty is a great continuation of a series that is going from strength to strength. The clustered explosion of the first book has been cut down to tell a simpler story, but the second outing still maintains the great action and dark humour. The conclusion leaves events open and the characters with decisions that have to be made. Reading the next instalment cannot some too soon.
This book would work better is you read them in order so try Koko Takes a Holiday by Kieran Shea first. Another great science fiction book with a powerful female protagonist is Afterparty by Daryl Gregory.
You can read more book reviews or buy Koko the Mighty by Kieran Shea 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 Koko the Mighty by Kieran Shea at Amazon.com.
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