I interviewed John McClure over at Amazing Stories, and as promised, here is the review of his first novel, Puss & Boots in the 23rd Century.
P&B, as he calls it, and I will as well for sake of brevity, is a rousing good tale of a dystopian world in the throes of recovery. Not, as the characters point out, a revolution, because that is nasty and bloody. Rather the story centers on two women who are determined to restore the Constitution of the USA after many years of emergency rule imposed during an invasion by a hostile power. For those of you in the know, this is most definitely a Human Wave book.
The book is full of action, quirky characters, and odd dialect. The dialect made it a bit difficult to get into the story for the first chapter, but once I had the rythym of it down, I rarely noticed it. The flow of the action moves well, progressing from place to place without confusing me as to when and where things were happening. The quirky characters are sometimes a little too quirky, as with the albino computer hacker Molly, who I had trouble believing would do some of the things she did, and the verbal description of her voice and mannerisms got to be a little grating.
The biggest problem I had with the book, the mystifying inclusion of a character who seemingly time-travelled from the cave man era, I asked the author about, and he told me that Bila would be explained in the sequel. I will have to wait and see, in this book I had to just swallow and accept that he was there, with no plausible reason for why.
Now, I’ve gotten past the difficult, to the good. It really is a fun read. Plucky heroines, stauch supporting cast, and lots of “make it go boom!” make this a rollicking military science fiction tale. It reminded me of the book that Ric Locke wrote, “Temporary Duty” in that it defies political correctness to just tell a fun story. Also, for those readers like me who are becoming exasperated with the trend for truncating ebooks at the middle of the story (buy the next one to find out what happens! Er, no thanks…) Puss & Boots is a nice long novel that does leave an opening for a sequel, but it’s not a cliff-hanger ending.
All that, for the bargain price of 2.95 (Jack! Raise your price, that’s too low!)