Friday, July 20, 2012

Crossover by Joel Shepherd - review

Joel Shepherd
Science Fiction

***** (5 out of 6) 

cover - Science Fiction cover - hover cars, tall trippy buildings and - it appears that a person is either floating in the air or flying.  Might be jumping down, but it looks like he/she is floating.  I like the feel of the cover - futuristic.

Crossover has a pretty interesting premise for a novel.  An android (or artificial person) has been created by The League for use in a war between The League and The Federation.  Cassandra Kresnov is this android, and she is of very high intelligence (being essentially a computer, or rather a programmed being) and interestingly has many human features.  Because she's been given a complete human system (organs, digestive system, etc) over the years she has developed an adroid sense of humanity, concience, ethics, etc. Something the creators didn't quite expect - completely, anyway.  Of course, Shepherd has written in Cassandra, every man's (most men, anyway) fantasy of the perfect woman - strong sex drive, no inhibitions, no strings sex availability because she loves to have sex SO much that she's happy to have it with many different partners and really has NO's her favorite hobby.  Everyone should have a hobby, right?  Of course, with all the mentions and references to her legendary sex drives, it isn't something that poor Cassandra gets to indulge in very much.  So there really isn't as many sex scenes as I expected when reading about her NEEDS. 

Long story short, she escapes or defects from The League because of a difference in morality/ethics and ends up on this planet that at first seems completely perfect.  Only something she should have figured out (especially with her computer like brain and analytical talents).  A lot goes on in this first novel.  Cassandra is hunted by a ruthless group that almost destroys her, is rescued by the swat team of the planet, ends up being "detained" with almost no rights until the president is attacked and she has opportunity to save her...  It WAS too good to be true, that this very beautifully planned out city would be beautiful on the inside and outside.

Crossover was action packed.  It was also Philosiphy packed, and Politically Intrigue-packed, and full of long infodumps in the form of long convoluted thought processes of Cassandra or in the form of dialogues between all kinds of characters.

The dialogue was good - although it tended to be a bit long winded at times, but the characters were very interesting and there was plenty to keep my interested, with all the plots, subplots and sci-fi gadgets.  Enjoyable book.  Much more goes on than I've even hinted at here, this is a meaty book with many, many words.  Political words.  Science words.  Philosophy words.  Bigoted words (you know, where one group of people doesn't quite trust another group - because of color, race, gender, political slant or human vs android) - a not so subtle treatment of prejudice between the pages.  

Bottom line - enjoyed the book a lot - enough to continue on to the sequel (which I accidently bought before the first book). If you're into the political intrigue as well as computer and science fiction, with a dab of police/military action mixed in, then this is the perfect book.

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