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Ghost in the Machine

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2014

    Excellent Post-Apocalyptic SFR

    Hancock's "Ghost in the Machine" is a terrific, harrowing, deeply moving science fiction romance. Bet and Gabriel are totally believable characters: one, a woman who has grown up in this destroyed world, the other a soldier stubbornly clinging to his humanity even after being consumed by the alien machine. I like how Hancock flip flops between Bet's first person narrative, Gabriel's third person narrative, and transmissions from a resistance pirate radio station.

    Highly recommended to fans of Ann Aguirre, and "Zero Factor" by Stacy Gail. -- lyradora

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  • Posted October 29, 2011

    Engaging Read

    The Soul Eater has come to Earth. With the souls gone only shadows remain. Shadows of a life from the past. The few people who avoid the Soul Eater are constantly running from the shadows and sweepers who try to drive them to their master.

    Elizabeth, or Bet, returns to her squat to find her young brother Douglas has been taken by a sweeper. Desperate to rescue him before he becomes a shadow, she begins the dangerous journey to the Soul Eater's lair. Shadows fill the night and Bet must evade them if she is to survive.
    Gabriel is a shadow with a difference. He still has compassion and struggles to keep his humanitarian side. Intrigued by Bet he tries to help her.

    Bet doesn't trust Gabriel, but knows that without him she will not succeed with her rescue. Alone for so long, she feels drawn to this shadow who looks like an angel, but is he really trying to lure her into the Soul Eater's clutches?

    The Earth of this novel is dark; full of shadows, dirt and danger. Bet is older than her years due to the need to stay alive and out of the Soul Eater's clutches. Without going into reams of description, the author made me see the desperate plight of the characters, the darkness and despair. At the heart of it all sat the alien Soul Eater. Like a spider this creature pulled in the emotions, thoughts and dreams of the people of Earth, leaving behind a shadow, a husk without substance.

    Gabriel and Bet were at opposite ends of the spectrum. She is a fighter, but assumes he is merely another shadow, a bit different, but still in the thrall of the evil alien. He had to struggle to stay in control. If he failed, the Soul Eater would take him completely.

    Ghost in the Machine is a well thought out book although the storyline did tend to wander some at times. I also got a bit confused about the shadows and sweepers, but tended to enjoy the inner thoughts of both characters.

    If you like your fantasy set in an alternate future of darkness with a hint of redemption then Ghost in the Machine could be just what you're looking for.

    Originally posted at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews

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