Narrator: Joel Richards
Series: The Dossiers of Asset 108 #1
on 24 December 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, TechnoThiriller
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June 21, 1998
San Francisco, California
The world is not what it seems.
Michael Bishop is an Asset of the Facility - a job that comes with many strange perks. He is a man who never gets ill, who never pays taxes. He is effortlessly fit and has a different woman every night of the week.
That is, when he is not on assignment.
When activated, Michael becomes Asset 108, a cyberenhanced human who stands against the strange darkness that lurks at the edge of our world. Armed with equipment that most would find impossible to comprehend, he is sent on missions both strange and deadly. Each dossier pits him against irrational creatures and beings - most with the power to unravel his sanity or reality itself. It's never a simple job.
This job, however, is more complex than most. Mysterious, unknown targets are fracturing reality somewhere in the middle of the Mojave Desert. The Facility has no other Assets in the area, and their telemetry is spotty at best. Without knowing what to expect, Bishop is activated, assigned to a cadre, and sent to the middle of nowhere.
What he finds there is both the beginning and the end.
©2013, 2015 Irrational Worlds (P)2015 Irrational Worlds
Michael Bishop has a cushy life complete with female companionship. That is when he’s not on active assignment as Asset 108. The Facility uses it’s cyberenhanced humans as it will. Now Bishop and his little cadre are on assignment in the Mojave desert. It’s not what they expected. It’s much worse, involving monsters that assault their sanity as much as their physical bodies.
This was a fun, brain candy kind of cyberpunk with Cthulhu monsters story. It’s fast paced with little character development but lots of monsters and tech. Bishop gets the most screen time and he’s fun, having both brains and brawn. Wyatt is a bit of a loose canon cowboy who also happens to have some serious cyber skills. Anya is their coordinator and spends most of the book on overwatch. She’s monitoring the situation and feeding them intel as it comes in. She can also upload packets of info & skills to them, allowing their cyberenhanced bodies to take on new weapons with full aptitude.
While much of the story is just action, Guillen has the basis for something really good here. Who doesn’t want to witness a big throwdown between cyberpunk warriors and Cthulhu minions? There’s plenty of creativity on display here. I would like to see the character personalities expanded and deepened. This is probably a bit tricky since Michael Bishop doesn’t retain his memories from his Asset 108 assignments. Still, I have faith that this author can do it. Wyatt and Anya could use some deepening too. I wonder what Wyatt does when he’s not being used by the Facility? Perhaps he runs a kangaroo & capybara ranch in Utah.
I really liked that the monsters were both strange and deadly. There’s some tentacle action in a few scenes which makes me wish I was safely sealed in a big environmental bubble! There’s no reasoning with these monsters. You can’t bargain with something like this.
It was fun and I look forward to Book 2 in the series. More Cthulhu monsters? I can only hope!
The Narration: Joel Richards was a good match for this book. He is Michael Bishop, Asset 108. I also liked his feminine accent for Anya. He also makes a good old boy Wyatt.
This review first appeared on Dab of Darkness.