Writer Ian Whates returns to the universe he created in his novel The Noise Within with this latest book.
It would probably have been easy for him to retread the same paths he did in TNW, but Whates spreads his wings a bit here, and explores some interesting nooks and crannies for his creation.
I loved the section of the narrative that is set in a virtual reality world- no, stop that, no need to groan! Whates is a better writer than that, and the scenes here show some brilliant flashes of imagination, as well as (for me) the more interesting plot strand. Although at times it feels that the breadth of his imagination is just beyond his reach as a writer, which is also, it its own way, also a Good Thing. Whates is a writer who is visibly getting better as he goes along.
The story builds very well, and the characters are on the whole well written. Not all of them are likeable, but that’s okay. I did have some problems with some aspects of characterisation, but in the end, Whates knows these people better than me, so it would be wrong for me to say that the characters acted in the ‘wrong’ way- they acted in a way I did not expect, which is a Good Thing.
As I said, it builds well, and the climax is excellent.
Intriguing, exciting and filled with action… you can’t really ask for more.