Binary Storm by Christopher Hinz. Book Review
In Binary Storm the prequel to the ‘Liege Killer’ series, Nick Smith, a computer programmer with a tight grasp on the current world politics and what to do about it, joins forces with Annabel Bakana, who is high up in E-Tech, an organisation dedicated to keeping developing technology under control. But with multiple connivances going on behind the scenes they’re going to have their work cut out to avert Armageddon.
This could have so easily been a Boy’s Own fight-sequenced fest, but there is also political deviousness, corporate wrangling (although very closely linked to the politics as to be almost indistinguishable) and time for compassion and love.
Nick is an unlikely hero. He is originally from the twenty-first century and thawed out from his cryogenic sleep into a world that is really no better than the one he hoped to escape from. Annabelle, ‘Bel’ is an excellent opposite to the vertically challenged and wise-ass Nick, who manages to manoeuvre his way out of many tricky situations using banter as a distraction. Their relationship reminded me of the Danny DeVito/Penelope Ann Miller paring in the 1991 film ‘Other People’s Money’, where the cunning DeVito has to deal with the tall and gorgeous young lawyer who is trying very hard to keep her legal head on while being drawn to DeVito, who is making a play for her at every turn, and gradually wearing down her resistance. The pairing in this story works brilliantly because of the apparent dynamic mismatch of the two would-be lovers and both of them trying to be cool and collected when in each other’s presence.
However there is a third individual in the relationship, Sosoome, Nick’s robotic feline housekeeper-cum-sidekick, who does not approve of Bel and has to be won over. But then Sosoome is programmed to give everyone a hard time, including his owner, because Nick felt he needed someone in his life who would constantly challenge him.
But fear not, there is plenty of action in the form of the assassins, the Paratwa, who as two individuals think and fight as one.
Before you start this book, stock up for a ‘Liege Killer’ siege and make sure you take a substantial comfort break, because you’ll want to hang in there for the entirety of the ride.
Binary Storm was courtesy of Angry Robot Books via NetGalley