Humans have fled Earth after a nuclear apocalypse – humanity’s worst fears had become realized. But leaving Earth had one benefit … it meant leaving behind the dreaded Paratwa. The Partwa were genetically modified killers that inhabited two bodies but were controlled by one mind.
But it’s been two hundred years and humanity has adapted to life in space and haven’t thought much of the Paratwa. Until, that is, a series of recent murders suggest that the Paratwa are back and in business.
I’ve been a bit indifferent to author Christopher Hinz’s writing prior to this, but of the three books of his that I’ve read, I enjoyed Binary Storm – a book in his Paratwa Saga – so I thought it would be fun to once again dig into the Paratwa realm. Unfortunately I didn’t find it quite as thrilling.
The basic concept of the unique assassins and humanity leaving Earth is generally pretty good. Hinz sets up the world building nicely and we actually feel pretty ‘at home’ here. And, as just mentioned, I do like the assassins as a device for a sci-fi murder mystery.
What doesn’t work so well for me is that I don’t really feel I have anyone to root for until late in the book. I don’t mind having characters, such as assassins, being the protagonists or central figures in a novel, but I would still need a reason to want to cheer for or at least care about what they are doing.
The action happens pretty fast and this is almost a space opera in my mind, but it doesn’t quite reach the level of some of John Scalzi’s or James S.A. Corey’s space opera work. This straddles the line between space opera and mystery and purely sci-fi.
I had fun, but not as much as I did with the prequel (Binary Storm) that I read previously. I’m also a tad surprised to see that this book was originally published in the late 1980’s and reprinted a few times – including again now. I really didn’t find it to be that exciting.
Looking for a good book? Liege-Killer by Christopher Hinz is a reprint of a popular 1987 sci-fi/mystery/adventure novel. There is clearly interest enough from publishers and readers to keep this out and on bookstore shelves, but this reviewer wasn’t overly impressed.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: Christopher Hinz
series: The Paratwa Saga #1
publisher: Angry Robot
paperback, 458 pages