novel by Marc D. Giller (his debut) published in 2005. Heavily derivative of William Gibson
, with doses of The Matrix
and Blade Runner
. Reviewers have criticized it for being perhaps a bit too
derivative, but it compensates with some smashing action scenes as well as presenting female characters that are better developed than the males (a rarity, for a male cyberpunk author).
In a near future ruled by corporations, Cray Alden is a former hammerjack—or hacker of the computer world know as the Axis—now forced to work as a corporate spook, hunting hammerjacks down. He gets swept up in a war between a corrupt government, and anti-tech terrorists, as a strange infection begins to change his mind and body
There is one sequel, Prodigal
, published in 2007.
Tropes in this work:
- Action Girl: Zoe, Avalon and Lea Prism, introduced in that order
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Lyssa will do anything to be free of her boundries
- Ambiguously Gay: Andrew Talbot, depending on your interpretation. Since he gets no physical description we don’t know if he wears a pink shirt or prissy glasses, but we do know that he’s a sassy, sarcastic, humorous friend to Lea.
- Audience Surrogate: Both male leads Cray Alden and Nathan Straka have very generic personalities in comparison to the other characters, and neither are given any physical description or even an age.
- Awesome Mc Cool Name: Avalon, Lea Prism, Vortex, Funky...
- Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: Cray Alden According to the Inru, anyway.
- Author Appeal: All of the female characters in the first book have great bodies (justified with Zoe, Avalon and Lea, as they’re action heroines). And all except possibly Avalon spend a good portion of the story either dressed in revealing cloths, acting seductive, or both.
- Bad Ass: Basically everyone
- Bad Ass Longcoat: Avalon. And, according to the book cover, Cray Alden.
- Crapsack World
- Cyberpunk Arguably a throwback to classic '80s cyberpunk
- Chase Scene: Only about every other chapter or so...
- Cool Shades: Avalon’s eyes were eaten away by the Mons virus, and replaced with cyborg implants, which she covers with onyx glasses.
- Decoy Love Interest: Zoe, who is introduced as a young sexy action-girl in a black leather suit that "left little to the imagination," and who Alden is on a mission to capture...and she ends up dying in at the end of the first chase scene!
- The Dragon: Avalon: in the first book for Phao Yin, and in Prodigal for the Inru.
- Dying as Yourself: Both Lauren Farina and Avalon in "Prodigal."
- Ensemble Darkhorse: Avalon
- Expy: Nathan Straka, the new male lead in Prodigal, is almost identical to Cray Alden in personality (or lack thereof), and is even an ex-hammerjack who works for the government. Lea Prism and Trevor Bostic also fill the roles that Cray Alden and Phao Yin had in the first book, of ex-hammerjack-forced-to-work-for-the-govornment, and the evil boss. (Though Lea and Trevor's relationship has the extra dimension of Trevor's attraction to her.)
- Goth: Apparently in the future, the Goth subculture will evolve into a violent cult.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Alden’s ascension into the computer world
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Zoe, at the very least. Possibly Avalon, as her “dark clothes” could be interpreted as leather (since it’s a cyberpunk story after all). According to the cover of “Prodigal,” Lea Prism.
- Hello, Nurse!: If a male character falls in love with—or just comments on the beauty of—a woman in the series, it's Lea.
- Hollywood Cyborg: Avalon’s body and senses having been largely eaten away by the Mons Virus, so she had to be rebuilt with enhanced reflexes, a “sensesuit” that gives her inhuman senses, and two small lights where her eyes used to be.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: Avelon’s shimmering sensesuit
- Meaningful Name: Avalon is mysterious and solitary; in Prodigal, Eve Kelean brings about a sort of "fall of man," when she unleashes the virus on the crew.
- Miss Fanservice: Cray’s newfound ally Lea Prism just happens to be young, sassy, single, and beautiful. She is forced by circumstances to disguise as a prostitute (twice). Lyssa also likes to take the form of a sultry, seductive babe, for no explained reason.
- Moral Event Horizon: When Avalon tries to strangle Alden, it's pretty clear she's officially a "bad guy."
- Anti-Hero: Over the course of the two books, Avalon switches sides almost more than Captain Jack Sparrow.
- Storming the Castle
- Pinball Protagonist: Cray Alden moves through the adventure through almost no choices of his own, at least for the first half or so of the book.
- Psycho for Hire: Avalon
- Punch Clock Villain:Eve Kellean, in Prodigal.
- Relationship Sue: Arguably Lea Prism, for Cray, in “Hammerjack.” Fortunately though, Lea does not suffer this trope in the sequel, as she is now the protagonist.
- Unstoppable Rage : Avalon. Holly hell, Avalon. Especially when she goes on a rampage against Yoshii Tagura’s gang in the middle of Prodigal.