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The Electric Church by Jeff Somers
Review by Steve Sawicki
Orbit Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 0316021725
Date: 25 September 2007 List Price $12.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /

The Electric Church is a cyber-punk novel with a few interesting twists. Avery Cates is a somewhat typical hoodlum--preying on the weak and avoiding the strong and managing to eke out a life in a future that has divided class between the haves and the rest of us. But Cates has a small problem. He's managed to come to the attention of the Monks, cyborgs with enhanced bodies and a small arsenal of advanced weaponry. They have but one mission--convert everyone to the electronic church. No one really knows what this conversion entails except that those who do convert are never seen as human again. Cates, hired to do a job that ends up being more involved than he first thought, ends up needing to call on old friends and enemies to help him stay alive. And as if that weren't problem enough, the head of the secret police (who are nearly as corrupt as the regular police) has also taken an interest in him and wants a small favor done.

From official release/information:

Book Description: In the near future, the only thing growing faster than the criminal population is the Electric Church, a new religion founded by a mysterious man named Dennis Squalor. The Church preaches that life is too brief to contemplate the mysteries of the universe: eternity is required. In order to achieve this, the converted become Monks -- cyborgs with human brains, enhanced robotic bodies, and virtually unlimited life spans. Enter Avery Cates, a dangerous criminal known as the best killer-for-hire around. The authorities have a special mission in mind for Cates: assassinate Dennis Squalor. But for Cates, the assignment will be the most dangerous job he's ever undertaken -- and it may well be his last."Some debuts simply set new bars in a genre. Jeff Somers' THE ELECTRIC CHURCH is one such book, a gritty noir story that challenges and surprises with every page. A novel that is equal parts Raymond Chandler and William Gibson. A major new talent has arrived -- and it's about time!"-- James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of MAP OF BONES and BLACK ORDER

(Source: Orbit)

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