Narrator: Joel Richards
Published by Audible Studios on 21 January 2015
Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction
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Can a genetically engineered psychopath grow a conscience, get the girl, and save the galaxy? Two out of three ain't bad.
Rico has a problem. The experimental program that gave him the high intelligence and lightning reflexes he needs as a hit man for a galactic crime syndicate left him incapable of internalizing moral imperatives the rest of us take for granted. It takes real effort for him to pass as a normal human being and he avoids it whenever he can. But he has a job he loves, a fast ship, and plenty of cash. So life is good.
When Rico takes an assignment on a planet where a major political conference seeks to bring more order to the galaxy, he accidentally thwarts a terrorist attack and has to pose as a visiting cop from a faraway world. To complicate matters, he partners with a local female cop and soon realizes he has fallen in love. That shouldn't happen! But not everything is as it seems, and as the story speeds along from one unexpected plot twist to another, Rico discovers the secret of his own identity and faces a terrible choice.
Will Rico live to become fully human? Or will he die just as he grasps what has been missing from his life?
Frank Fleming's exciting debut novel combines action, romance, and moral philosophy in an entertainingly combustible mix.
©2014 Frank J. Fleming (P)2014 Audible Inc.
Rico was genetically engineered before birth to have super intelligence, super fast reflexes and no conscience. Naturally, he becomes a hit man for one of the leading syndicates ruling interstellar commerce. Rico is known for his bravado and brutality; hit hard, leave a huge mess and let everyone know not to mess with the mob.
Written in the first person, we bounce around inside Rico’s mind being told over and over and over how great he is at what he does and how little he cares about the people he vaporizes. For someone without a conscience, he certainly spends a great deal of time thinking about his victims. It is difficult under ideal circumstances to make a psychopath likeable to most listeners. Rico kills and maims like he lives in a video game and we are supposed to feel sorry for him when he gets in trouble? It is really, really hard to care about Rico.
The plot is ridiculous and unbelievable, people hopping from planet to planet like picking up milk at the grocery store, but no authority is capable of registering a known killer in their database. Ugh. Then we get introduced to the most inept terrorists imaginable; seemingly only wanting to die, but why, we can never quite figure out. Something to do with future Islam or something. Double ugh.
Joel Richards is the narrator and does a good job, neither too dramatic nor too bland. Fine for this story.
If you stay with the story until the end, Superego does improve somewhat as Rico shows some semblance of humanity. If only the story had begun with a little more of this, it might have worked better. There are plenty of bloody fight scenes and future bling to keep superficial SciFi fans interested. But if you want something with a little meat, you will have to look elsewhere.
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