Title: The Dogs of Cyberwar
Author: Jamie Fessenden
Cover Art: Catt Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Link: Buy Link Dogs of Cyberwar
Genre: M/M Science Fiction, Action/ Adventure
Length: Novella 76 pages
Rating: 4.5 out of rating stars
A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: Enjoyable, fast paced, dystopian adventure which felt like a short pilot for a must see TV series.
Blurb: Connor is a netrunner: a hacker who ventures into cyberspace to steal data from corporate computers. As he hides out in the slums of Seattle, he’s attacked by a street gang and, incredibly, rescued by one of the members. His rescuer is a man named Luis, who has decided Connor needs his protection.
But instead of providing safety, Luis’s presence wreaks havoc with Connor’s online identity, and they find themselves hunted by a lethal security force. While they attempt to escape the city, Connor finds himself struggling to survive with the most lethal killer ever pitted against the corporations that control the FreeCorp—and he risks losing his heart to the same man.
My music soundtrack for this short but tightly written work has been Arcade Fire‘s album Neon Bible mainly for the frantic energy of the fusion of multiple musical instruments. Jaimie Fessenden has twisted some familiar themes, into an exciting and satisfying episode of dystopian fiction.
The premise of the net-runner is one I’ve come across before, but it was revitalised by the details of Connor’s particular take on it. The rescue from rape reminded me of many a bodice ripping yarn, but Connor and Luis’ interaction grafted a new interpretation onto a familiar trope. The sleep pod close encounter was a great reworking of the two horny men in a small tent scene……..The dog eat dog world and the story thread were both revealed teasingly, layered between hot sex and the frantic- often decapitating- action scenes.
Although I found this visual, fast moving book reminded me very much of a pilot for a good TV show, the characters didn’t have that instantly recognisable quality so often found in the action genre. I enjoyed both main characters. Connor’s suspicious, thoughtful realism and Luis’ disconcerting romanticism worked really well to create an original if tentative partnership. It was very effective the way Connor’s evaluation of Luis kept changing, this fluidity was representative of the whole novella. As the book finished a little abruptly for me- with a small underdeveloped surprise- I’m hoping that the pilot is extended into a full series.