Another Angry Robot review (I did say that now that I have a Kindle there were going to be more book reviews) but this is the first review for them that I’m writing based on a book I actually purchased from them.
In the near future, scientists have finally conquered death itself through the Amortals Project. The best and brightest of humanity need never die, at least as long as they can afford to keep paying for it. Ronan Dooley is a Secret Service Agent and the world’s oldest man. As the original test subject for the project, he also has a career spanning more than a hundred years.
When he’s resurrected (for the 8th time) he is put in charge of a high profile murder investigation. His own. But there’s a problem. He can’t remember the last three months of his life. He needs to work out who killed him, and why, without making the same fatal mistakes all over again.
Base entirely on the tag long “Yesterday you died, today you’re reborn. Tomorrow, you hunt the man who murdered you”, I was actually expecting something in a fantasy universe, likely vampire-oriented, rather than the near-future sci-fi that I ended up with.
That’s not a complaint, that’s just me leaping to conclusions about a book based on one sentence. I’ll admit that it’s not really my genre, I’m not really a a sci-fi connoisseur in this area but Amortals is possibly the best science fiction book that I’ve had the pleasure of reading.
I reviewed Matt’s Vegas Knights a while ago and I said that while it was good, I thought he had the potential to do much, much better. With this book, he has.
The characterisation is superb and the plot is wonderfully complex, without going into unnecessary detail OR becoming annoyingly vague. I will admit that, if you’re familiar with a particular sci-fi movie, you’ll see a lot of the plot twists coming but it’s livened up with great writing (much better than the movie, to be honest) and it’s different enough for me to ascribe the similarities as inspiration.
Matt’s ability to create a believable near-future setting is genuinely astounds me. This is usually the area where sci-fi loses me - the worlds are too poorly illustrated for me to believe in them. With Amortals however, it’s hard to shake the feeling that he’s describing places and that he’s actually been to (and has taken detailed photos and notes of).
With this book, he’s earned a place on my list. I have several of these but the one I’m referring to my list of authors that I trust to write something engaging and entertaining, even it’s it’s outside of my comfort zone.