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Friday, June 10, 2022

On My Way to ParadiseOn My Way to Paradise by Dave Wolverton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well now. This was a particularly amazing find!

It's a book that ought to be read a lot more than it has.

I've read a number of Dave Wolverton's novels under his fantasy name of Dave Farland, the Runelord series, and I've also read one or two of Dave's Star Wars novels as well, but I had never even heard of his FIRST novel, a science fiction, that had nothing to do with any franchise. I daresay it might have just slipped my notice completely. I just happened to hear of this title randomly through a bunch of people who were talking about the best unknown SF novels they'd ever read.

And I was like... wait... I always jump on those. And wait... I know this author.

So how amazing was it? ... just wow. It sucked me right in with some amazing future Central America worldbuilding, a doctor getting roped in to help regrow this woman's hand in secrecy as she tempts him with some expensive hot tech, a cyberpunk mind cage for offloading from a body.

His life was so damn... peaceful. Getting up there in years, with a good friend, doing the best he can. And then it all goes to hell. I can tell you that this whole novel was a slow descent through hell. The title is extremely ironic.

Chimeras, off-world battle simulations, Japanese corporation worlds, Socialist republic takeovers, AIs, memory alteration, and the nature of good and evil... all of it is on the table, and the journey is absolutely heartbreaking.

I watched someone with such a good heart, such a good nature, get sucked into the world of endless death to become a freaking Samurai, only to claw his way out of it and back into peace again.

I'll just say this: anyone who loves great worldbuilding, deliciously horrific stories, massive amounts of Mil-SF, and heartbreak -- will love this novel. It's one of the best. Of its type (cyberpunk and/or MilSF, with tones of Blade Runner) or solid give-me-back-my-humanity SF.

This is a total Recommendation.

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