Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Review: Without Bloodshed by Matthew Graybosch

This book presents itself as cyberpunk, then takes a sideways turn into fantasy...maybe.

Genre-bending aside, Without Bloodshed is a pretty good book. (And I happen to like genre-bending every now and then). It does have cat people, but they aren't portrayed in the usual overdone manner. Morgan Stormbringer has CPMD - i.e., he's a cat person. He's also an Adversary - he works for the Phoenix Society, which ostensibly makes libertarian society work by taking out anyone who violates "individual rights." Of course, humans being humans...or others being others...there's more going on than that.

Yes, there's some libertarian propaganda in there - except there's also an admission that it may or may not actually work. Morgan and his girlfriend Naomi have to face the fact that everything they worked for and believe in might be a lie.

Oh, and it has rock and roll. Including, according to the author, a ton of references I didn't get. Ah well. And swordfighting, because killing somebody with a sword is more honorable than using a gun - a sentiment I've seen in my fantasy before. (Or maybe it's just an excuse for swordfighting).

It's a pretty fun read, and is the first of a series. As for that genre - the author calls it a "near-future science fantasy thriller." Which will do. Maybe.

(Copy received at World Fantasy Con).