“The Sequence” by Lucien Telford is absolutely brilliant in parts, (many parts), so much so that it’s hard to believe this is the work of first time author. The story line is multi-layered, fiendishly ingenious, and peppered with such cool tech gear, holograms, vehicles, implants and gadgets that I couldn’t stop thinking what a terrific movie it would make.
The story weaves around three main characters –
- Dr. Kit McKee, physician and genetic scientist, whose technical prowess and lab insights are unparalleled, – her ethical choices and compassionate heart, on the other hand, appear to be entirely lacking.
‘Kit found working in the deep basement for long stretches added to the darkness writhing around in her soul where she knew that this part of her work was horribly, horribly wrong.”
“She was a terrifying woman, he loved her, respected her prowess, and wondered what it was like inside her mind.”
- Dallas Ward, a 34 year old mercenary and pilot – a runner of goods for an evil and faceless Hong-Kong based mob. Dallas is an enigma, – extremely professional and capable, yet hard to like, and harder still to understand. We cannot help but feel there is more to him – an emotional past hinted at, but not resolved in his elusive backstory.
- Johnny Woo – a seasoned and somewhat embittered police detective – wise to the ways of organized crime, bio-weaponry, and the depravity and darkness that can pollute humankind. Perhaps the most like us, (the reader), Johnny is our moral compass, the long arm of the law and its clearly questionable power in protecting against the worst of human frailties.
For about two thirds of so of this book I was in sci-fi nirvana. The fantastical themes explored quickly morph across the spectrum from explosively and visually cool gadgets for speed, communication, highly marketable cosmetic augmentation, – to weaponry, cognitive manipulations, and finally truly dark and horrifying extensions. With great skill, the author introduces ideas and concepts so horribly and potentially possible in this new bio-morally corrupt arena that they appear to be natural extensions of a world gone utterly mad.
For the remaining third of the novel, I couldn’t help but feel some tighter editing, greater focus on the bio-themes, less “action and chase”, and a deeper exploration of the emotions, motivations and backstories of the main characters (in particular, Dallas and Kit), as well as a glimpse through the eyes of those characters (no spoilers here) who can only be referred to as lumpy and powerless (read the book, you will know who I mean!) could have transformed the final story into an absolute masterpiece.
All considered, this book is a wonderful, original and fascinating read, with an unexpected ending that I guarantee you’ll walk away from with a definite chill, and a burning desire for a sequel.
A great big thank you to the author for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.