It has been a while since I have read a science fiction novel (the last one was Passage at Arms), and even longer since I read one I liked (you have to go all the way back to The Lord of the Sands of Time), so it seemed high time to return to the genre that started it all here at Luke Reviews. Apex Publications is a growing publishing house that specializes in the more speculative genres, and they have been putting out some very interesting books, including a number of novellas, such as their brand new release, Prime, by Nate Kenyon, who is better known as the author of horror novels, but is venturing into science fiction.
Prime follows William Bellow, a “bug hunter” who lives in a future more and more reliant on virtual reality and connection to a global, internet-like system. He is called to New London to stop an out of control bug, but there seems to be far more than immediately noticeable, including a company-wide cover-up. As Bellow delves deeper and deeper, he runs into some old friends, and finds love, but he is dogged and tracked at every step.
The culture Kenyon builds up to fill his novella is well-thought out, and the characters feel real enough, although they choose to withhold information at seemingly unnecessary, arbitrary moments, solely to keep the reader from knowing the ending too soon. The flaw of it is the gap in logic that allows the tale to continue at times, with Bellows friends not telling the whole truth for no reason ever explained.
However, the rest of the story, as well as the tie-in to the flashbacks that are well weaved into the tale, leads to an enjoyable reading experience. Prime is my first experience with Kenyon’s work, but I feel that I need to branch out and grab a couple of his other novels. This author has a lot of potential.