Saturday, June 16, 2012

No Going Back-Mark L. Van Name

No Going Back

Mark L. Van Name

Baen, May 29 2012, $22.00

ISBN: 9781451638103

Jon the hybrid nano-machine-human obsesses when it comes to keeping children safe. He knows he is a compulsive psychotic over this as he is the result of horrid experiments as a child on Aggro over a century ago. His “partner” Lobo the sentient assault shuttle knows Jon is insane when it comes to kids, but though he grumbles about their suicide rescue missions, he feels the same way as he was created by gruesome experiments on children.

The pair learns of ten abducted kids being sold to the highest bidders. Though Lobo objects to the poorly rushed plan filled with perilous unnecessary risks; the pair intercedes rescuing the youngsters, but not before a very wealthy patron sees Jon’s face. Jon knows he should execute this deviant, but does not while the pedophile vows vengeance.

Meanwhile Jon finds out his first love is dying. Over the grumbles of Lobo, he goes to say goodbye though he alters his appearance as he trusts no one since he believes there are plenty out there who would return him to being a lab rat as he still tries to conceal even from Lobo his essence of being a nano-machine-human.

This terrific Jon-Lobo entry is filled with the irony of readers knowing the half-human hero’s childhood (see Children No More) while almost no one else does; that is until now as Jon’s paranoia proves justified. Fast-paced from the onset even with Jon thinking about his past and filled with A Modest Proposal sarcasm that Jonathan Swift would appreciate, this is a fabulous science fiction thriller that series fans will enjoy as we learn more about Jon and Lobo’s history.

Harriet Klausner

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