It's my first sci-fi of the year and it was an interesting one. Netherwood by Michele Lang isn't a new book and it's the first book of a series. Before I get into the meat of it I'll share the book blurb.
And her name is Talia Fortune. Her mission: capture the cyber-outlaw, Kovner, a man who knows she is more than just a sheriff -- Talia is also a woman, with a woman's desires. Scion of the Fortune family and primary shareholder of the mega-conglomerate FortuneCorp, she is the Hand of Fate... or at least of the Home Office. With the power to punish, she's been sent to Fresh Havens -- a corporate off-world colony run by her uncle. but the colony is full of hidden danger. Sabotage, deception, destruction ... it will take every ounce of Talia's strength and courage, fighting skills honed in the Amphitheater and knowledge learned at the Academy, just to survive. Her ability to love and trust will be sorely tested, especially in the clutches of her quarry, the Outlaw of Fresh havens, her cyber-lover and now her enemy. He and the answers lie in the Gray Forest, in a reality beyond the bubbledome, the Grind, and everything she's ever known. Her future lies in Netherwood.
What I Thought..
That's a lot to take in if you're not used to reading sci-fi and I've got to admit for those readers looking to get into sci-fi romance this might not be the best book to start with. The author dives into a really well developed world with terms and sci-fi principles that someone who doesn't read a lot of sci-fi might not grasp on first reading. However if you love a well developed universe then this could be a good fit for you.
Netherwood is told in a first person point of view. Readers get to view the story through the eyes of the leading lady, Talia Fortune. This character was hard for me to identify with at first, but once I got into the meat of the book I was able to enjoy her personality changes. She goes from cocky and full of grit to out of her depth and questioning reality really easily. At least, that how she read to me.
Our hero, Kovner, reads like a bit of a know it all. And I say that because the man is overflowing with zen at oneness with the Gray Forest. I won't lie, he got on my nerves a few times, but he had complete faith in Talia even when she questioned herself.
The story line held my attention. I loved the technology blend with humanity ideas. The idea of reducing down your mind into a cyber world is an idea I enjoy and the way the author painted this picture was intriguing.
At the end of the story it is clear that the door is open for other stories, but I felt a firm close to Talia's story. I may pick up the next book in the set to give it a try.
Netherwood is the first sci-fi I'm adding to my list of books for the Out of This World Reading Challenge.