Published by audible studios, Penguin on 2015-01-27
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fiction, General, Science Fiction
The national bestselling author of the Legion of the Damned novels, "a must-read for any fan of Mil Fic," (Archaeologist’s Guide to the Galaxy) begins a brand new science fiction police procedural series...
In the year 2038, an act of bioengineered terrorism decimated humanity. Those who survived were either completely unaffected or developed horrible mutations. Across the globe, nations are now divided between areas populated by “norms” and lands run by “mutants”…
Detective Cassandra Lee of Los Angeles’s Special Investigative Section has built a fierce reputation taking down some of the city’s most notorious criminals. But the serial cop killer known as Bonebreaker—who murdered Lee’s father—is still at large. Officially, she’s too personally involved to work on the Bonebreaker case. Unofficially, she’s going to hunt him to the ends of the earth.
In the meantime, duty calls when the daughter of Bishop Screed, head of the Church of Human Purity, is kidnapped by mutants and taken into the red zone to be used for breeding. Assigned to rescue her, Lee must trust her new partner—mutant lawman Deputy Ras Omo—to guide her not only through the unfamiliar territory but through the prejudicial divisions between mutants and norms…
Deadeye was a unique take on mutants in an urban setting that provided a fast paced plot and a like-able main character. Cassandra Lee is admirable in her motivations, driven, and often reckless but she grabs your attention and almost forces you to like her and take notice. I’m not sure how this one falls into the sci-fi category, it feels more like an urban fantasy but overall I was pleased with the uniqueness of the story.
My biggest pet peeve with this book was the multiple POVs. I’ve never been a particular fan though there are several books that have multiple POVs and I feel do so successfully. Deadeye however is not one of them. In addition to main characters having their own point of view, minor characters and those who we saw for only one scene even, gained their own brief points of view such as the widowed mutant who is in one scene and Cassandra’s early partner who we don’t see anymore after the second chapter.. While I understand that the author likely did this to give the reader a larger perspective of what was going on, I feel like it lacked creativity and was more distracting than anything. Another thing that didn’t add up for me was that norms and mutants such as main character Cassandra and Ras, wouldn’t eat with on another for fear of contamination but later have sex. That leap didn’t really add up for me.
The ending saved this book for me though. While there were moments in the end that felt rushed due to all of the chaos that was going on, the over the top cliffhanger left me wondering what the heck was in store for our cast of characters and how they were going to get through what they’d be forced to face in the future. Now as I mentioned earlier, the story itself was quit good but the writing style was hard for me in particular with the multiple POVs. I read an eARC of the book as well as listened to the audiobook from audible and would give the book itself 3 stars meaning I did like it, it had issues but it was still enjoyable. I’d give the audiobook 3.5stars. The reason for that is because the audiobook made it easier to overlook the hiccups that occurred throughout the story and made the multiple POVs much easier to handle. The speakers voice was also easy to listen to. I don’t have a a lot of audiobook experiences but will say this has been my best so far. A voice can make or break and audiobook and this narrator did an exceptional job.
William C. Dietz is the bestselling author of more than thirty science fiction novels. He grew up in the Seattle area, spent time with the Navy and Marine Corps as a medic, graduated from the University of Washington, lived in Africa for half a year, and has traveled to six continents. Now retired, he lives in the Seattle area with his wife. Visit him online atwww.williamcdietz.com.
Interview with the Author
Hi William, thank you so much for joining us today over here at Coffee and Characters as we discuss your latest book, Deadeye. Now for those who may be unfamiliar with the book, what can you tell us about it that the blurb doesn’t already?
There are various traps that a writer can fall into, one of which is to always write the same sort of story in the same genre or sub-genre, and that’s something I’ve tried to avoid by getting out of my comfort zone every once in a while. But what to do? Which way to go?
I considered zombies. They’ve been popular for a while… But that’s the problem—zombies have been done to death. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) Besides, from a writerly perspective the problem with zombies is that they don’t scheme, love or hate… They just lurch around gnawing on people.
Mutants however have all of the same motivations that regular people do–plus the angst that goes with being different/looking different, being hated for something you have no power over. So I went with mutants, game on.
How does Deadeye differ from your previous novels and how is it similar? Will original fans of your work love Deadeye?
On the face of it Deadeye, as well as the two books to come, are near future police procedurals all of which are set on Earth, and have a single science fictional element which is mutants.
Therefore those who are Legion of Damned fans and used to reading books about a future filled with intergalactic battles, alien politics, and a futuristic French Foreign Legion might be surprised.
On the other hand I think people who have read previous books will feel right at home with Casandra’s Lee’s loner personality, street tough persona, and code of personal honor.
Deadeye contains multiple POVs from main characters to minor characters and some in between, what was your thought process behind utilizing the multiple POVs?
I must say that the criticism of multiple POVs came as a surprise, primarily because I’ve been doing it for thirty years, with very little reaction pro or con during that time. All of my Legion of the Damned books involve multiple POVs for example and have received quite a bit of critical praise.
That said I think it should be mentioned that the type of book we’re talking about has a name. It’s called a braided novel, and they are typically distinguished from other novels by the fact that there are two, three, or even more primary viewpoint characters. All have significant parts to play in the story and the reader is given an opportunity to “see” what is taking place through their eyes.
One of the advantages to the form is that the author can imbue characters with a lot more depth than is possible by only providing the sort of observations available to the main character… Or the sort of things that the omniscient narrator can hint at.
Can the approach be taken too far? Of course… And at least some people (including yourself) feel that I did so. And believe me I listen to my customers. So, if I had it to do again I would remove the short segments.
On the other hand I can’t imagine telling this story without going inside the Bonebreaker’s head. Knowing what he thinks, why he’s doing what he does, and how that will impact Lee is critical.
What inspired you to write Deadeye and how long did the book take to fully develop?
Well, I don’t want to sound too commercial here, but the need to make a living certainly inspired me. I have published more than 40 novels at this point–and consider myself to be a professional writer. So at any given time I am writing a book, working through the editorial process on the last book, and thinking about the next book.
The Mutant File trilogy was born from that process and, as I said earlier, a desire to do something different. I worked on the idea on and off for a year or so, was fortunate enough to sell the series to Penguin, and wrote it in six months. The latter might sound like a short period of time to some, but when not on vacation I write seven days a week, seven or eight hours a day.
What can we expect in book two and when can readers expect the book to release? The ending left us hanging so I’m sure readers are wondering when they’ll have the opportunity to see what happens next?
Okay, full disclosure… There will be changes of POV in book two and book three as well. But as in book one the plot will focus on Lee. I can’t share any spoilers, nor would my readers want me to, but I will say this. In book two Lee will learn some very interesting things about the mother who abandoned her as a child, an interesting man will come into her life, and a whole lot of bad people are going to be sorry they were born. How’s that?
Does Deadeye contain any hidden meanings or messages that you are hoping your reader will grasp?
But if I tell it won’t be hidden! The simple answer is yes, although I don’t know how hidden it is. The whole subject of mutants was an opportunity to address the role that looks and tribalism play in our society. First, there’s lots of research that proves a positive correlation between good looks and success as measured by position and wealth in our society. So if you are born without legs as some people are, or you have a horn sticking out of your forehead, it’s going to impact your life in a negative way. And that isn’t fair.
Secondly, it’s my opinion that a great deal of misery flows from traditional tribalism, religious tribalism, political tribalism, and so forth. And by dividing the world into green and red zones I hoped to poke at that. Not change it, because I know that’s out of reach.
Thank you so much for joining us, it was a pleasure having you.