The Sapphire Sirens
by John Zakour
Cover Artist: Michael Koelsh
Review by Mel Jacob
DAW Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780756405816
Date: 01 December 2009 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Zakour continues the adventures of the last free-lance Private Investigator, Zachary Nixon Johnson, in the Sapphire Sirens, the seventh such novel. Johnson lives in a future world where well-endowed Amazonian women have designs on him. Hired by a Lantian princess to find the killer of her mother, the queen, he finds himself whisked to the secret island of Lantis. There, he learns his beautiful client is suspected of the murder. Others are determined to condemn her for it so another can become the queen. Plots and suspects abound. He also finds that Lantians hate men, but use them as the means to create children. The princess likes men and visits Johnson's world often.
Lucky for Johnson, he has an assistant, a holographic A.I. coupled to his brain, to aid his efforts. Harv, the A.I., takes on the persona of an English valet/butler and provides welcome humor. Johnson also uses a number of non-Lantian women with their own superpowers.
Combining the legends of Atlantis and the Amazons, the hidden island kingdom of Lantis has its share of man-hating women, some of whom would eliminate men or reduce them to the minimum number required to perpetuate the race. The original Lantians migrated from an advanced world all but destroyed by the violence of men. The women vowed to never let that happen again.
Johnson revels in humorous quips and repartee with Harv, but pursues his investigate with doggedness. His allies provide information and convince the Lantians to help him.
Others have pursued noir detective stories set in both the future and the past. Jonathan Lyons in Burn and Timothy Zahn in Odd Girl Out used future settings. Phillip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" formed the basis for the film noir Blade Runner. At least Zakour updated the weapon used by Johnson so his .45 talks and has a different shape unlike Zahn. Alex Bledsoe uses a fantasy setting ala quasi-medieval for his hero Eddie LaCrosse with similar use of humor to Zakour. Some may find Zakour's hero to their liking while others will consider him too juvenile. More novels will continue the series as long as the novels sell well.