“Nina Duchenne walked away from a perfect life of wealth and ease to pursue a noble idea. Unfortunately, her hope of becoming a forensic investigator drowned in two years of mandatory street patrol. After one tragic night shatters her dream, she finds herself questioning the very nature of what it means to be alive.
Joey Dillon lives at the edge of a perpetual adrenaline rush. A self-styled cyber cowboy that chases thrills wherever he can find them, he is unconcerned with what will happen twenty minutes into the future. Lured into a dangerous region of cyberspace, he soon has the government of Mars trying to kill him. After fleeing to Earth, he takes refuge in places society has forgotten.
When two international agents threaten the security of West City, Nina gets command of the operation to stop them. Joey just wants to find his next meal. Voices from beyond the grave distract Nina from her pursuit, and send Joey on a mission to find out who is responsible. His suspicions lie grounded in reality while she hopes for something science cannot explain.
The spies prove more elusive than expected, convincing her they have help from a master hacker. Joey falls square in her sights with the fate of the entire West City, as well as Nina’s humanity, at risk. ”
“Virtual Immortality” is a great future Sci-fi read. Set in the same world as “Division Zero”, first introduced by Matthew Cox in his previous novel by the same name. It is a totally new story and a stand alone. It isn’t necessary to read “Division Zero” first.
Nina is such a great character. She is strong woman who was hazed relentlessly while in training, but earned respect by standing her ground. As well as being a fast paced, action filled, Sci-fi thrill ride – there are subtler contexts; as Nina tries to come to terms with her new artificial body and learning what it means to be not quite human.
Matthew Cox’s brilliantly written novel, introduced his female protagonist without resorting to clichés or making her too masculine. Nina comes to life with all the emotional facets of a woman; which is exceptionally hard for a male author to do.
What really stands out for me is that Matthew Cox describes his futurist hypothetical gadgets and devices in such a way, that you can imagine them functioning vividly. And not have to spend time in your head trying to figure out what it is the author is trying to do.
“Virtual Immortality” is a great cyberpunk novel with splashes of “Blade runner” and “The fifth element” that will hook you from the first page. I think Matthew Cox is a rising star in the new future Sci-fi genre, and I can not wait to read more of his work.