In the interests of full disclosure, I have to say that I met Wayne when we were both young geeks in University. I’ve been reading bits and pieces of his writing ever since then, and I was so excited to hear that he was finally going to be published. He kindly sent me an ARC of The Chimera Code. I had a vague fear about what I would say if I didn’t like it, but I should have known that wouldn’t be a problem. This book takes huge portions of my formative years, squashes them into a whole and presents them in a single, exciting story. It’s William Gibson, anime, urban fantasy, and MuchMusic all merged into one.
The concept that every story has already been written holds true here. When you strip away the meat, the bones of this story are very familiar, but oh – the meat is so very tasty. As I was reading, my partner said, “This must be a good one, you keep giggling.” I’m addicted to witty repartee and this book is chock full of it; the sarcasm runs thick and fast. The characters are familiar but well developed and appealing. There are mages, hackers, cyborgs, power-players, media darlings and I want to be able to hang out with all of them, except I’m probably not cool enough.
I don’t want to spoil anything, but I feel like trying to describe the book *is* giving away good stuff. Suffice it to say that the action is gripping, fast-paced, and filled with a lot of “oh, no way!” and “so cool!” moments. I want a sequel, but even more than that I want a prequel. That may be the part that turns some readers off. The story takes place in a near-ish future after some pretty dramatic changes have shaken up the world as we know it. There is some discussion about what happened, but no details and the bits and pieces come scattered throughout the story, not in a nice exposition at the beginning, so you just have to run with it. I think it’s absolutely worth it though – I will be recommending this book to all and sundry when it is released.