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Posted June 5, 2012
Original Review by Jane Palmer for Crowsnest. Legislation on Had
Original Review by Jane Palmer for Crowsnest.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Legislation on Hades takes the meaning of political correctness to its extreme. Here, with the force of the law, it is a haven for the Darkers, virally enhanced humans who have chosen to become vampires and werewolves for a sort of immortality, despite the fact that movement can become an art form for some because of their plastic implants. Zombies, humans who have sold on their bodies for the use of after death, undertake tasks that the mentally aware do not want.
Due to friend Percy’s paranoia and Phil's own aspiration to emulate Sam Spade, the hero sets out to investigate the mysterious disappearances of an increasing the number of men. Gina, his new girlfriend, is reluctantly obliged to join him on the run when Hades’ security realises that he can identify the suspect responsible for the abductions. After leaping rooftops and laying low in a vacant luxury apartment, they are eventually sucked into the embrace of the Darkers’ underworld.
The narrative is a first person stream of thought from Phil Lew. Throughout the action he is sardonic, embittered, sometimes rambling and frequently beset by lewd thoughts about Gina, quite often at the most inconvenient moments.
For the unprepared, Darkers can come as quite a jolt. Initially Phil’s wit is delivered with Sten gun effect that can leave the reader feeling quite breathless. There have been witty and sardonic space heroes before of course, but Phil owes more to the genre of early detective fiction. In fact, however bizarre Hades' society is on the surface, it has something Earthbound in its feel for the "creeps” and other members of Hades’ underclass.
This is not to say that the satellite isn’t a wonderful invention in its a claustrophobic awfulness. So much so, the author can tend to luxuriate in the idea. Also, having such a witty and garrulous hero, there is a temptation to over-egg the cake. In indulging his skilful turn of ironic observation the plot can lose momentum. With judicious editing, even though it may mean sacrificing some gems of wit, Darkers could be more than a clever combination of derivative genres and fall into the category of cult classic.
There are some very nice touches, like the probability of three youths in black leather - petty thieves in waiting - being "hopped by geriatric gangs out to for trouble". Towards the end everything speeds up and with a deft twist in the tale explodes into a scary crescendo.
Posted February 24, 2004
A Fun Read for Crime Fiction Fans, Too
Philly is kind of a typical P.I. type (security consultant) who has retreated to Hades, far, far from mother Earth. At the request of his obsessed neighbor, Percy, he tries to find out who is turning some of the Hades residents into zombies. Against their will. Because plenty are willing to become zombies¿after they¿re dead. Payment is rendered in advance and gives them a comfortable stretch before their not-so-permanent departure from this plane. But when the zombie gangs get you, you don¿t get paid and you get taken well before you¿re ready to go. When Percy gets arrested for breaking into computer files, Philly starts to dig deeper in the case, revealing the darkest side of this darker society. Author Lisa DuMond has hit the hardboiled nerve peg on, a talent for tone that she combines with her science fiction and horror inclinations, resulting in a novel that¿s both fun and a real whodunit puzzle book. A sci fi horror mystery with overtones of romance, Darkers crosses all the genres but remains accessible to fans of each category of fiction. This is an entertaining story that carefully details a really weird type of place, as a sort of social satire. But the story and its crime tale twists are never left behind, since DuMond vigilantly maintains her focus on the plot¿as a mystery author most properly should.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 1, 2000
A great find for sci-fi and mystery lovers alike!
Don't like sci-fi written by women? DARKERS is a must read guaranteed to change your mind. A campy tale of mayhem, mystery, and the truly bizarre, vividly told from the perspective of the unlikely hero. With frequent tongue-in-cheek asides from the usually horny, typically witty, but brutally honest and opinionated Phil, the reader gets swept up in the action and taken along for the ride.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.