Kaleidocide – Dave Swavely Review

Kaleidocide: A Peacer Novel In this sequel to Silhouette, Michael Ares must survive a series of assassination attempts to find out why he was destined to become one of the most powerful men on the planet

In the near future, a post-quake San Francisco is ruled by a private corporation called the Bay Area Security Service. BASS has established and maintained order in this new city-state with a police force of “peacers” who have a license to kill, and the company has developed a cutting-edge antigravity technology coveted by the rest of the world. Michael Ares has recently inherited the throne of BASS, and immediately finds himself marked for assassination by an even more powerful leader, the Chinese general Zhang Sun.

Michael doesn’t understand why he was chosen to play this important role, nor does he know why Sun is so determined to see him dead. But to find out, he will first have to survive not just one attempt on his life, but an unrelenting barrage that has never failed to end in the death of the target. His only hope is to entrust his fate to an old friend whose company provides personal high-tech protection that is almost as impressive as the forces arrayed against him.

A future world of aerocars, net glasses, and neural cyberware provides the backdrop for this timeless tale of good and evil, love and revenge, truth and mystery. Dave Swavely’s Kaleidocide is filled with a kaleidoscope of colorful characters and thrilling action that will make readers’ hearts pound and minds race at the same time.

Kaleidocide is the second book of the Peacer series. I read the first book, Silhouette, and really enjoyed the plot, world building, and the writing. The second book starts off strong with the same fast-paced type of plot. It drew me in quickly and I was very interested in what would happen next with Michael Ares. There were also some new technological concepts introduced in this novel like the idea of Dreamscape, which monitored dreams and measured them in terms of how precognitive they were.

Like Silhouette, the plot is fast-paced and the mystery of Zhang Sun’s motivations keeps the reader involved in the story. The action scenes also keep the reader on the edge of their seat and play out almost like a movie.

However, there were things I didn’t like about this book that either didn’t exist in Silhouette or I didn’t notice. First of all, I wish there was more world-building and discussion about the technologies. Personally, I found it to be the most interesting part. My biggest problem with this novel was the demeaning way in which women were portrayed. They were either promiscuous like Tara or needy and weak like Lynn and Angelee, with a healthy dose of religious fanaticism thrown in for the latter. Lynn and Angelee just wanted to be good wives and mothers, while the only successful woman introduced (Tara) was an adulterer whose only goal was to sleep with Michael. When it came to women, it was almost like we’d stepped back in time.

Another thing I hated was the excuse of polyamory to be promiscuous. It also annoyed me how Michael was almost always ready to cheat on his pregnant wife and it made him really unlikeable as a protagonist. I also disliked the little foreshadowing at the ends of chapters. As plot devices go, it’s one of my least favorite because it completely takes you out of the moment.

I much preferred Silhouette to this novel and even though I wasn’t pleased with the characterization, I did like the plot a lot and it’s a solid addition to the Peacer series.

 

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