Mark L. Van Name, whom John Ringo has said is "going to be the guy to beat in the race to the top of SFdom," has worked in the high-tech industry for over 30 years and today runs a technology assessment company in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. A former Executive for Ziff Davis Media and a national technology columnist he's published over a thousand computer-related articles and multiple science fiction stories in a variety of magazines and anthologies, including the Year's Best Science Fiction. Jon & Lobo stories have appeared in a Baen anthology and Jim Baen's Universe.
Overthrowing Heavenby Mark L. Van Name
Jon Moore grew up in a prison laboratory. When he escaped with nothing but his body's nanotech enhancements and more anger than even a long lifetime could wash away, an entire planet died behind him. Memories of the things he'd done still haunted him; because of them, he often ended
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It began as a favor to a woman trying to get away from an abusive husband.
Jon Moore grew up in a prison laboratory. When he escaped with nothing but his body's nanotech enhancements and more anger than even a long lifetime could wash away, an entire planet died behind him. Memories of the things he'd done still haunted him; because of them, he often ended up helping those in need.
His kindnesses frequently didn't work out well. This one really didn't work out well. It hurled Jon and Lobo, the intelligent assault vehicle and Jon's only friend, down an accelerating, ever more dangerous spiral involving:
• Private armies and government covert ops teams
• A courtesan who always seems a step ahead of him
• Rival superpowers that define Good in terms of their own advantage and Ethics as whatever doesn't get in the way of their Good
• And a brilliant, amoral scientist to whom human beings are just more experimental animals--and who might be Lobo's creator.
Jon and Lobo take the reader on a headlong rush through armed enemies and untrustworthy allies and encounter what just might be the worst danger their partnership will face: the truth.
At the publisher's request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).
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Our hero and his PCAV are back in action! Don't misunderstand the title: "Heaven" is the name of a planet, and it's only partly deserved. ( ... much less interesting than the name "Pinkelponker.") This book is very much in line with previous installments: deep character development is reserved for the principle figures, and the action is non-stop. For me, the level of descriptive detail is right on target: enough to spark your imagination, but not enough to clog the action. You get further backstory on Lobo and a little progress on Jon's inner struggles with his secret past. Not as many plot twists as the other books, but enough to keep you engaged. Buy it! Read it! You won't be disappointed.
Of all people, nanotechnology enhanced soldier Jon Moore should have known first hand by now that good intentions lead to hell especially if a beautiful damsel in distress is involved (see ONE JUMP AHEAD and Slanted Jack). Still, he started off with just trying to get the femme fatale away from her abusive spouse over the objection of his only friend in the universe, Lobo, his artificially intelligent Predator-Class Assault Vehicle.-------------- One thing leads to another manipulation of Jon while Lobo shakes his engine in disgust as his good deed definitely gets him punished. The Central Coalition, whom Jon knows to avoid having a bad history of "cooperation" with them, has him searching for renegade scientist Jorge Wei, who allegedly is conducting banned nano research on children. Jon and Lobo head to Heaven where Wei is allegedly performing his illegal tests cocooned inside a very popular humongous tourist spot, Wonder Island, a place impossible to enter without permission;. Super soldier Jon and super assault vehicle Lobo no such boundaries, but what awaits them is the results of bioengineering.--------------- The third Jon-Lobo outer space odyssey is identical in tone to the previous novels as the story line is faster than the speed of light, the action never stops, and some of the key characters are two dimensional from the same cookie cutter. Anyone who appreciates space opera at an incredible acceleration will enjoy the latest escapades of the universe's greatest soldier and his sidekick.----- Harriet Klausner
This book has been around for a while but it still has some interesting ideas in it. Copyrighted in 2009, it's part of a series that begins with "One Jump Ahead". I advise starting with the first book. The principal character is a bit rigid, but the book introduces concepts of nanomachines that still are not often seen in sci-fi. The genre is soldier-of-fortune; if you are not in to military or spy-type plots, the series is not for you. if you do like this stuff, the series is a great casual read. While there are some dead serious ideas in the book, there is also a touch of ironic humor which helps to keep everything moving.
I really enjoy Mark Van Name's books, but this one was not up to his previous standard. Characters did not develop much, the story pacing was uneven, and reading it felt like work to me. I think every author deserves a couple of bad books - I can't think of another line of work that's as demanding as writing, and in this effort Mr. Van Name stumbles a bit. Hopefully his editor, agent or friends will help him do better on the next one. Go buy all his previous books if you don't have them; they're all excellent!