BL!NK (Hadron Damnation Book 1) by Mark Lingane
|BL!NK (Hadron Damnation Book 1) by Mark Lingane|
|Reviewer: Ani Johnson|
|Summary: Second in the Hadron Damnation series taking us further into a bleak, action-packed future by an author who packs the science into science fiction.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 444||Date: May 2017|
|Publisher: Insync Holdings Pty Ltd|
|External links: Author's website|
iYe is a smasher: a child who is capable of sending back pictures of the future by travelling out to where the past and future meet. Smashers don't usually live to see their teens as the information generally returns without them. However iYe's mother, Captain Trix Raiden, is determined he'll be different and, indeed he is, in many ways. Not only does iYe survive, he is a chip off the same block as Cally, the planetary hero. However there is a darker side: iYe carries a message that Earth doesn't want to hear. The planet is used to dealing with the aliens that Cally originally fought but worse is on its way. We are coming to kill you.
Australian author Mark Lingane brings us the second book in his Hadron Damnation series, playing with the usual series numbering convention that ties in with his original profession in IT. The first book in the series Fault/lines is classed as Book 0, making this, the second, Book 1. I'm glad to say that, where Mr L is concerned, the confusion starts and finishes right there as the story itself is a roller coaster thrill ride that's a lot easier to follow than the series numbering.
Blink is set years after we finish Fault/lines although Trix and iYe count that instalment's hero Cally as their ancestor. Cally has died but retains legend status, having passed on a plethora of knowledge and discovery before his demise although he hasn't made the world a happier place.
In this way Mark taps into the rich tradition of bleak dystopia, paying homage to one of its classicists while he's at it. There's a moment when one of our heroes refuses to eat soylent beans and those of us who have read Harry Harrison's Make Room! Make Room! empathise entirely.
What dystopia loses in cheer, Mark ensures is more than made up for in action. There's also a high body count as Trix joins up with pilot and hero in his own lunchtime Virgil. Together they try to save the world from current threats before the mega problems start to arrive.
iYe is the central hero as his abilities gradually unfurl with each ghost-like materialisation. Our curiosity surrounding what he's up to helps keep the pages turning between the wonderfully charged set pieces. Yet, for me, the aforementioned Virgil is the scene stealer as well as the most complex character in the book.
The pilot reacts to the effects of his tradition busting first meeting with Trix in a dramatic way afterwards… or we think that's the reason. It's not that easy though. Mark has something up his sleeve that's a real emotional body punch and when it hits, it explains a lot. (Yes, that's all you're getting out of me on that score!) Virgil is a man who develops and morphs towards maturity as we watch. Indeed iYe may have the powers but it's Virgil I dearly hoped would survive to the end.
Although perhaps a little slower in places than Fault/lines, Mark's trademarks are scattered reassuringly throughout his prose. Alongside the nods to his heroes and varied inspirations, there's a self-deprecating plug for something from his back catalogue. (This time Fusion from his exemplary YA Tesla Evolution series.) There's also a merging of real world and fictional. He not only does this with his scientific explanations (easily skipped without ruining the story for anyone with technophobe leanings), there's a hint of someone we may recognise.
General Grove is a wonderful, almost pantomime, villain with such a nifty talent for spin, I'm betting I'm not the only one who superimposed the face of a certain real-life presidential free-world leader, even before the mention of 'Mad Dog'. It definitely worked for me and actually made him scarier… and Grove is pretty scary to start off with.
Lingane leaves us at the end of the book with the same sense of fear and suspense he engendered at the beginning. As the surviving heroes teeter on the edge of an extreme nastiness, the only reassurance is the fact that Book 2 (yes, the third in series) Frac/ure follows soon and I, for one, can't wait!
(We'd like to thank the publisher for providing us with a copy for review.)
Further Reading: If you haven't already, treat yourself to Fault/lines (Hadron Damnation Book 0) so you don't miss out on Cally's part of the story. If you're already a fan of Mark in particular and other good dystopian fiction in general then we also recommend I Am Legend by Richard Matheson and/or Bloodtide by Melvin Burgess. (Feel free to ignore the teen category if you're in an age range ending in 'ties'; great fiction is great fiction.)
You can read more book reviews or buy BL!NK (Hadron Damnation Book 1) by Mark Lingane at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy BL!NK (Hadron Damnation Book 1) by Mark Lingane at Amazon.com.
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