‘Gun fights weren’t about who shot first, they were about who got shot first.’
As you all know Michael R. Fletcher is my new obsession, I love the way he writes so much. I love all his fucked up, gritty, unique, badass stories. He is definitely one of my favourite authors and this book cemented that fact even more. Going into this novel I was abit apprehensive mainly because most fantasy writers who try their hand at writing Sci-fi fail miserably imo, but I’m happy to announce that Fletcher nailed it. This is actually my first ever Cyberpunk book and it blew me away. I didn’t really know what to expect from a Cyberpunk book. I normally stay far away from ‘futuristic’ novels I just find them so unrealistic & super geekish (not hating on anyone who loves this shit). I just don’t understand the terminology used because I’m a simpleton. However I feel Ghosts of Tomorrow was extremely realistic, fun, believable and easy to follow. When I imagine the future, I actually imagine computers, robots and a virtual reality. This is exactly what this book is about. It’s not ridiculous with hover cars and laser beams, but instead scarily real. Will our future consist of a Virtual Reality? When our children’s, children’s, children’s, children die will their brains be scanned to a USB stick and they will exist in a virtual reality fucking the world up from the inside of a computer making them basically immortal? I’m not sure, but I’m pretty fucking sure that this is probably the most fucked up thing I could think of. Why? Because it seems so real. Being unable to die and live as a sentient scares the shit out of me. I do not want to be a computer or have my head removed from my body and scanned to a goddamn hard drive. But I wouldn’t mind being a robot and blowing shit up… But in all seriousness everyone should have this book on their gigantic TBR pile, it’s not just about the interweb and robots, it’s also about mafia gangsters who steal children and turn them into killing machines and it’s an extremely chilling story.
“Meat brains were the past. They age and rot and die, doomed from the day they’re born. Sickness, disease, cancer. Those were yesterday’s problems. Tomorrow was a whole new reality, one without filth and famine and poverty. Virtuality is the new reality.”
The Children are the future. The story is a multiple POV that follows a whole bunch of people set on earth in the future when virtuality is the new reality, there’s an autistic girl named 88 who has her brain scanned into a hard drive, the South America mobsters are using her to run their businesses. They thought she was a moron, a mental cripple. A victim. But 88 has been underestimated and wants freedom she has come to see humanity as a threat and she can only have her freedom by finding a boy name Archaeidae another child who was scanned but instead he is six limbed Chassis and a killing machine. (That badass ninja dude on the cover with the samurai swords, yeah that one). Griffin a junior investigator is put on a special case find all the mobsters illegal crèches a place where they raise children so they can scan their brains, but Griffin is in a dilemma he falls in love with his partner and must protect her aswell as himself while fighting a war full of chassis, gangsters and lunatic scanned brains. Abdul a depressed 17 year old boy who is now a chassis after being killed in a secession war in Old Montreal who is assigned as Griffins Heavy Weapons support, who doesn’t know a thing about killing and hates himself. Who will come out on top the good guys or the bad guys? Well you should go read it and find out.
“Hindsight is merciless,” said Abdul. “And self-pity a useless indulgence.”
This novel is actually Fletchers debut, I thought Beyond Redemption was his first book but I was wrong, this story is 88 but revamped and renamed as Ghosts of Tomorrow. I just don’t understand how Fletcher is still so underrated when he creates such beautiful vivid worlds full of badassery. He is an author that will make you think and his writing is so deep. He needs to be on everyone’s favourite author list, stop reading mindless crap people and come read some of Fletchers work, you’ll definitely thank yourself for reading his shite. His characterisation is fantastic, you have characters like 88 and Archaeidae who are unhinged, emotionally damaged killers, who you will either love or hate. I personally loved both and found my murderous darlings to be quite precious. But then you’ll easily love his good guys especially Abdul, who is always trying his best to be a better person.. or should I say the best killing machine chassis he can be. I also loved Nadia, I found her to be an extremely relatable character “Scars are sexy. War wounds are sexier. Missing limbs…” She fanned herself like some dame from one of those old black and white movies.I thought I was the only fictional character who loves disfigured men. Turns out Nadia is my twin.
Your probably wondering why I didn’t give this novel five stars? Well I had a few issues, firstly I’m not that into Sci-Fi. I find it interesting however like I said earlier, I find the terminology hard to follow, yes this book is an easier read then some, but the first 22% is extremely slow and very confusing, it took me 30 pages to realise that 88 was a scanned brain. I also had to google a shit ton of words. So you must be patient, at 23% in I promise you won’t be able to put the novel down because there is so much badassery happening, like there’s explosions, gun fights, people losing limbs and murderous computers. What else could you ask for? Nothing.
I personally thought this novel wasn’t going to live up to the expectations I have for Fletchers novels, I was waiting a long time for action and unexpected things to happen. Yes they did eventually happen, but my god that start was freaking slow.
‘At the end of the hall, exiting a room, was death. A gleaming chrome skull with long fangs. A ridiculous ninja outfit, and two samurai swords dripping blood and gore. It looked so much like something off one of those gory morning cartoons Griffin didn’t want to take it seriously. It flicked the swords and the walls were cut with two neat lines of red spray. The swords were now spotless.’
This novel is freakily good and will have you thinking about it for a long time. So all in all this is a great read that I really enjoyed, it’s EXTREMELY interesting. And complex. I actually never thought I’d say that about a Cyberpunk book. Definitely recommended to everyone who loves gritty Sci-fi, books about the future and everyone who is a mega fan of Fletchers Manifest Delusions series. Also if you liked the film Edge of Tomorrow, you’ll enjoy this.
Review by Luna