Review Augment Human Services by Phil Elmore

Augment: Human Services by Phil Elmore

  • review
  • 2014
  • novel
  • short
  • electronic book
  • sci-fi
  • thriller
  • macabre





There is something about the future that always attracts us. Something about guessing, thinking, deducing, hoping, wishing, what it could be like that has us poking at it. We are scared of it, we want it to never come, we long for it. And, at the end, whatever our desires, wishes or hopes it will simply come, it will get here, it will come about. the worst thing that can happen is that we won't be here to experience it.

Augment: Human Services is a novel by Phil Elmore that digs deep into what society could be in a future where piercings and tattoos are considered the childish, and very antique, way to make yourself different, unique. Why put on decor, why just paint your skin when you change how you look, who you resemble? why just go skin deep when you can be outside as you see yourself inside your head, your dreams, your desires?

The book amounts to a relatively short presentation of the world in which the main character, Agent David Chalmers, starts its adventure. A world that shares context and elements with the best that sci-fi can offer --movies lik Blade Runner, Robocop, Terminator or Ghost in the Machine, TV series lik Almost Human-- but with a more adult and in-your-face approach that reminds me of the movie Virus. A Deus Ex world with a Silent Hill/Resident Evil touch.

Elmore offers descriptions that go hand in hand with the other success at League Entertainment, the Simon Vector Universe. The world we see is as it is, there are no filters, no curtains to hide what is behind. Wonder and horror mix just as meat, blood and bones do with metal, circuits and plastic. When the body is no longer glay to its creator, it becomes disposable parts to its current owner.

Chalmers is an agent of the Human Services Agency, one of the best, his overall demeanor reminds me of Rick Deckard (from the movie by Ridley Scott). His agency is in charge of intervening when things go beyond what everyone is willing to turn a blind eye to. Or, in his case, until someone comes asking for help. What he is about to do is not precisely adviced, is by most not considered particularly safe, many would considered it downright insane. So does he, but he does it anyway.

Augment: Human Services is a gore-noire thriller in a cyberpunk context. The rythm is very detective-novel like with some bursts of action. The almost routine favor that Chalmers started with soon becomes a race for his life as something seems to have gone awfully wrong. So wrong, in fact, that it seems planned, so quickly that it leaves little room for not being suspicious. Now his only choice is to go where he shouldn't, and find answers to questions he probably wouldn't be asking otherwise.

This novel is targeted at people that like adult themes and adult writing. There is no punch holding nor fighting in the shadows as far as the narrative element is concerned. Blood is red and organic oil comes in all colors. The only complain, right now, would be that Human Services is the first of a series and at sixty-nine pages it falls in the short novel spectrum. This, of course, ought not pose a problem since the story, the context and the protagonist catch the attention very easily. I just hope the next installment comes out soon enough. In one word, good.

Augment Human Services by Phil Elmore

Teclado EZ-Reach 2030 por TypeMatrix.

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