The first in a series, Ron Bender’s SHADOW’S FALL is a top-notch cyberpunk thriller set in New White Sands City, one of the megalopolises that emerged from the ruins of a collapsed America. I hadn’t read cyberpunk since the classic MONA LISA OVERDRIVE, and had a lot of fun with it.
Raven, a good-time girl and gun for hire, runs afoul of big corporate interests when she kills a man she later finds out is Shadow, a high-profile vigilante with widespread connections across the city. Accompanied by Brios, her loyal muscle, she goes on the offensive and eventually learns the truth about her identity and her past.
This is just good fun. Raven’s a bit hard to swallow, as she’s abrasive and erratic (with reason, we find out later), so while I still wasn’t crazy about her even after closing the covers, I’d totally fallen for the author. The action sequences are absolutely riveting, the secondary characters are all stand-out, and there’s enough weird future, high technology, and gun play to satisfy anybody who’s ever enjoyed or think they might enjoy a cyberpunk story.
His second novel, STREETS OF FIRE, is out, telling a different but connected story with some new and familiar characters, and I’ll be checking it out.