The Burning Skies
David J. Williams
Bantam, May 19 2009, $14.00
In 2110 the North American Empire and the Eurasian Coalition are at war over who controls the asteroids revolving around earth. Both sides use cyber-warfare using “razors” to more than just hack the other side’s systems. They also use ground “mech” warriors to kill the enemy. Peace seems out of reach because of the value of the inhabited asteroids. Neither side will compromise as that is a sign of weakness. Instead allies are distrusted because the golden rule is to do unto others before they do unto you; treachery is the norm as the hostilities go back and forth between a Cold and a Hot war.
U.S. counter cyber terrorism agent Claire Haskell has learned the hard way that a third group Autumn Rain has resurfaced with a new plan to rule humanity by destroying the Net, which should heat up the war between the alliances. They also plan to assassinate leaders starting with the American president. At least that is what Agent Haskell’s memories insist will happen after she was betrayed from inside her agency and her lover is dead due to that treachery. She is not sure her recall is accurate or been placed in her mind because everyone knows Autumn Rain was eradicated (see THE MIRRORED HEAVENS).
The constant shifting viewpoints lead to a difficult futurisitc science fiction thriller to follow, but also enhances the concept of Machiavellian betrayals and treachery by friends as a normal way of life; trust no one not even mom. The story line is action-packed moving from the moon to the earth and in between and back as Claire and others play a deadly game of chess with the grandmaster not in sight. Fans of the first tale will enjoy this early twnety-second thriller, but newcomers need to read THE MIRRORED HEAVEN as much of what occurs in the exciting THE BURNING SKIES is built from that initial foundation.