on 8th of January I read following post over at Pat's Fantasy Hotlist:
There was a book mentioned in the post which aroused my interest. I was impressed when I read that the author paid 2000 USD out of his own pocket for the cover art done by the well known Stephan Martiniere.
I was surprised by the cheap price for the digital copy and based on price, cover and blurb I decided to buy a copy of The Immortality Game (digital November 2014) [Kindle ASIN: B00PGW5YZ8] by Ted Cross.
I had expectations and wanted to get the answer to the question:
Does the The Immortality Game lives up to its cover?
Book Store Information
In general my decision to read a book is mostly based on the cover and the blurb/synopsis delivered on the back cover. You do not get more information when you are in a book store. The world of books is changing which means I also will take in account blurbs and descriptions on GOODREADS and other places.
Here we go:
The Immortality Game (digital November 2014)
[Kindle edition ASIN: B00PGW5YZ8]
by Ted Cross
"Moscow, 2138. With the world only beginning to recover from the complete societal collapse of the late 21st Century, Zoya scrapes by prepping corpses for funerals and dreams of saving enough money to have a child. When her brother forces her to bring him a mysterious package, she witnesses his murder and finds herself on the run from ruthless mobsters. Frantically trying to stay alive and save her loved ones, Zoya opens the package and discovers two unusual data cards, one that allows her to fight back against the mafia and another which may hold the key to everlasting life." [Source]
The 278 pages are divided into 35 named chapters followed by an epilogue.
The cover serve the main purpose - to raise attention - perfectly!
It seems a futuristic big city plays a certain role which the book description confirm.
Take place and fasten seat belt in Ted Cross' virtual time machine. The date display in front of you shows 2138 and a scarcely audible voice in your head murmurs "Welcome to Moscow".
A shiver cross your body when you see a young woman working with a corpse and your nose recognise the smell of embalming fluid and decay ......
The young woman is Zoya and her job is not the average eight to five office job. The world has changed and in order to survive one can't be picky ....
A package containing two data cards and the death of her brother Georgy set the story in motion which will keep you captivated until the unexpected end which is an end and an option for a sequel.
But there is much more between the beginning and the end which deserve to be mentioned.
As you assume right, Zoya is one of the main characters. She is strong and vulnerable at the same time. She does not hide her emotions and she always believe in the good in mankind which take her quite often into trouble.
There are a lot of other people who have an impact on Zoya's live on different levels and direct and indirect. Even Ted Cross does not tend to write extended description of beings and places, he deliver in a few words characterisations which blossom based on your skill of imagination or to use other words, the more imagination the better.
There are at least to more characters which must be mentioned. There is Javier Saenz who is a well known computer scientist. Unfortunately you can't meet him in person because he died years ago. But he still exist in the digital world.He is a virtual person and highly interested in the data cards. His "body" in the real world is his only son Marcus who is a former mesh addicted. He is a kind and intelligent person. In order to get the data cards Javier Saenz send his son to Moscow where most of the action takes place.
Beside that a lot more persons and fractions each with their own agenda are involved in the action paced and emotional race to get the two data cards.
The world is not a pleasant one. It does not matter if you look at it world wide. Russia, China and America West work on different strategies to go to space in order to inhabit other planets. It is difficult because there is still no FLT drive available.
Millions of people are mesh addicted. Mesh is an all-consuming virtual reality place. There are people who live more or less constantly in the Mesh.
Russia. There is no democracy. Instead Army, Russian Mafia, Politicians and others like the group of people living in the underground fight for power. Not to forget a group of Russian scientists in the hand of the Army.
In the end more or less everything is related to the two unusual data cards which reminded me in a way of a small piece of jewelry well known as "my precious" .....
Is Zoya the female counterpart to someone with big naked feet?
Belong the Russian scientists to the fellowship of .... ?
Who will get the data cards and for what purpose they will be used?
The title of the book is the shortest description of what you can expect.
It is The Immortality Game - a game which is more like a war with a lot of violence and breakneck action, heartbreaking moments, thoughtful passages and a pinch of science.
Nevertheless it is the humanity in form of Zoya supported by Marcus and many more which shows that mankind is not lost as long as there are human beings like them.
Dear Ted Cross,
thank you very much for investing 2000 USD for the cover!
Without I would have missed your excellent story!
The content of The Immortality Game lives up to its cover and more!!
Please write more such excellent books.
I will definitely have a look at your boosk even the covers would be totally black....