This is a short story, but seeing as it costs about the same as a can of coke the value for money is pretty good. It is ideal for a lunchtime read sitting in the sun. That’s exactly what I did today.
I was surprised to see the author writing in this genre as it is not what I would normally associate him with. I was pleasantly surprised. I would say this is more Shadowrun than Cyberpunk. There is no magic as such, but that is certainly how I perceived the exorcism part of this story.
There is definitely a Logan’s Run aspect to the death lottery concept presented in this story. The idea that as a means of population control a “random” person is chosen to die is quite interesting. The twist being that it is manipulated by The Family to ensure neither them or key people are on the list for the lottery is an insight in to how the Utopian society is rotten to the core. The phrase “four legs good, two legs better” comes to mind.
The characters are vivid and individual and I was left wanting to find out more about them, particularly Petal and her eyes. I’m not going to spoil it, so you’ll have to read about it. I also like the fact that I could hear Gabriel’s lazy West Indian drawl through the dialogue. It really added to the character.
I’ll certainly be bugging Mr Barnes to hurry up and finish a full length version of this story. This is a great little lunchtime read that will leave you wanting more.