Review by April Furst
“Seattle, 2078. The future hasn’t been kind to the spirit of humanity; commercial obsession and technological fetishism rules the day, religion and belief has died screaming in the fires of war, and what remains is moral decrepitude. Life in the future is hard on the soul.
As an agent of the Industrial Security Bureau, Thomas Walken knows that better than anyone. His job is to keep the worst kind of black-market technology out of the hands of citizens, technology born out of the shadowy nation nicknamed Wonderland. But the kind of fantasies that come out of that place aren’t for the good people of the world. Wonderland technology is like black magic made real.
Walken’s newest assignment starts out simply: intercept a smuggled shipment of Princess Dolls, little girls turned into sex toys, and bring them into custody. But when the girls are hijacked from federal custody and Walken gives chase, he finds a trail of bodies in their wake. Before he’s through, Walken will find himself confronted revelations that will answer every question that the troubled lawman has ever had about himself and the world he lives in – but his mind and soul may not survive it.
A dark, brooding piece of future noir, SHADOW OF A DEAD STAR will take you down the rabbit hole on a ride you won’t soon forget.”
“Shadow of a dead star” is the first book in the “Wonderland cycle” series and it had me gripped on the first page.
Set in a Cyberpunk future Seattle 2078- Michael Shean’s classic noir style of writing and flowing descriptions bring that dystopian world alive vividly. The author holds nothing back in his Chandler-esque thiller/mystery. It is a stark as it is desolate.
Thomas Walden is an agent of the Industrial Security Bureau and witnesses first hand the horrors of what can be done if the price is right. He stumbles upon something he shouldn’t have seen and now the tables are turned and the hunter becomes the hunted.
The world of Thomas Walden’s is bleak and immoral. Everything has it’s price and human life is devalued to such an extent that it is nothing more than a biological software interface.
It truly is a frightening vision of the future where technology has evolved and humanity has de-evolved into a kind of savagery. It is a decrepit world where the only thing that shines is the gadgetry.
GeneFexCorp is the evil behind the curtain pulling the strings, and everyone in this nightmarishly perverse world are the puppets. Walken finds out the intriguing truth in a stellar ending that you just couldn’t see coming.
Michael Shean created a future noir epic that would make Philip K. Dick and William Gibson proud. “Shadow of a dead star” is Cyberpunk Sci-fi at its best. It is a fast paced, non-stop thriller that is a must read in that genre. I can not wait to read the next book in the series: “Redeye”, just to see what happens next. I highly recommend.
About Michael Shean:
Michael Shean was born amongst the sleepy hills and coal mines of southern West Virginia in 1978. Taught to read by his parents at a very early age, he has had a great love of the written word since the very beginning of his life. Growing up, he was often plagued with feelings of isolation and loneliness; he began writing off and on to help deflect this, though these themes are often explored in his work as a consequence. At the age of 16, Michael began to experience a chain of vivid nightmares that has continued to this day; it is from these aberrant dreams that he draws inspiration.
In 2001, Michael left West Virginia to pursue a career in the tech industry. He settled in the Washington, DC area as a web designer and graphic artist. As a result, his writing was put aside and not revisited until five years later. In 2006 he met his wife who urged him to pick up his writing once more. Though the process was very frustrating at first, in time the process of polishing and experimentation yielded the core of what would become his first novel, Shadow of a Dead Star. In 2009 the first draft of book was finished although it would not be until 2011 he would be satisfied enough with the book to release it.
Michael’s work is extensively character-driven, but also focuses on building engaging worlds in which those characters interact. His influences include H.P. Lovecraft, William Gibson, Cormac McCarthy, Philip K. Dick, and Clark Ashton Smith.
“Two years have passed since Agent Thomas Walken and Bobbi January found themselves at the heart of a conspiracy of unimaginable greed and cruelty. The Genefex Corporation remains shrouded in mystery, and Bobbi faces a life of unanswered questions and mounting disillusionment to look forward to. But when she receives a mysterious message from one of Walken’s former comrades, she is drawn back onto the trail. Now, Bobbi will find herself newly equipped to discover the truth – about Walken, about Genefex and the Yathi race – and the key to unlocking those secrets rests in the hands of a cyborg terrorist known only as Redeye.
But the road to truth will be a dangerous one, from the glamour of Seattle’s ultramodern core to the sprawling wastelands of the Old City and beyond. Alongside a band of lethal comrades, Bobbi will face death and worse amidst urban rot, abandoned subway tunnels, and ultimately the nightmarish halls of the Yathi themselves in a race to stave off what may prove to be the death of humanity itself. Drenched in blood and neon, Redeye is a tale of humanity on the edge of a new and terrible reality.”