The Demi-Monde: Summer, by Rod Rees
I can’t think of a book, or series of books, that I hate more than Rod Rees’ Demi-Monde. The writing style is juvenile, the characterisation appalling, the story a smug, convoluted mess, and frankly anyone that writes half their characters with ridiculously exaggerated, borderline racist, phonetic accents, should be too ashamed of themselves to publish their book.
The problem is that the first book wasn’t so bad. The writing style, characterisation, and accents were still bad (though the latter was more tempered than in the following two books), but the plot seemed fairly like a straightforward post-cyberpunk adventure. The basic plotline is that the US army have created a hellish computer synthesised reality to train their soldiers in urban guerilla warfare against, for no real reason, the most evil human beings in history. The president’s daughter somehow jacks into this matrix, and get stuck. The heroine is sent to get her out before everything goes to hell. Seems like a good enough story, right? The cosmology and society within the simulation is a bit weird, but it kind of makes sense in context. A little bit. Anyway, so while reading the first book, I got so caught up in the world that by the time I got to the end, I was hooked. Then I read the second, which was worse, what with the development of the universe, and worst of all the revelation of the vampires.
Yes, Vampires. Except they’re not really vampires, and they’re not just in the simulation, they’re in the real world. Oh, and the whole simulation is run by them, rather than the US Army who just think they’re in charge.
The third book is so bad it’s practically insulting to read it. There are occasional moments of good storytelling and empathy, but in general it’s just a series of events that lead from one thing to another with no sense of smooth progression. Oh, and the final straw was, when the bizarre cosmology Rees has created, is revealed to include an anciently genetically engineered sub-species known as the “Kohanim”, who over time, became the Jews.
Yes, you read that right.
I was all prepared to give up with the series once I’d finished the book, but unfortunately the last couple of chapters, once the action began again and we stepped away from the absurd pseudo-philosophy, dragged me back in, ending with a hell of a cliffhanger. Which means I’m going to have read the final book in the series.
But seriously. Don’t put yourself through the misery of reading this series. It’s not worth it.