Friday, August 16, 2013

Review: I CAN TRANSFORM YOU by Maurice Broaddus

I Can Transform YouMac Peterson is a private detective in a futuristic world where alien towers dot the scarred landscape and corruption is rife throughout the major city servants. Addicted to Stim, a stimulant drug of choice, introduced to the populace as a way of stemming the growing tide of panic following the tower's appearance from beneath the surface, he polices where police fail to go, a victim of power and slave to his addition.

Mac's wife Kiersten, a member of the Security Forces, goes undercover to investigate the Easton MS crew as well as another organisation called the Carmillion. Throughout the investigation she bonds with Harley Wilson, who shares the same fate as Kiersten, dead from an apparent suicide from atop one of the towers. However, Mac uncovers Kiersten's involvement in something which threatens the power brokers which could be the catalyst behind her death. corruption, cover-ups and old fashion brawling ensue bringing this future tale into the present.

Maurice Broaddus waxes lyrical throughout I CAN TRANSFORM YOU, not only in his depiction of the city dwellers predicament, and secret society lifestyle but also in enveloping the reader in the world he's so deftly crafted, as evident below:

"Rows of phosphorous blue lanterns blotted out the night sky, creating an alien vista, completely different from the memory of only a few years ago, the only remnant of the caustic dust kicked up those nights twenty years ago. The glowing canvas rendered the downtown skyline in a perpetual twilight, like a forest under a thick canopy of tree branches. Giant stone buildings rose in the dimness, obsidian behemoths, like death's bone fingers protruding from where they had inexplicably ruptured from the ground. Since the eruption event, the city-dweller liked to whisper stories of men and women, those mixed-up souls ready to end it all, blissfully swimming upward through the opaque, dense air until they reached the top of the alien structures, where they found paradise and disappeared into the forever of the cosmos."

I CAN TRANSFORM YOU follows the tried and true formula typical within the hardboiled genre yet brings the added element of sci-fi noir. No one eludes the grime which seeps into their character by virtue of their predicament. There is an underlying hopelessness to Mac and Ade's investigative cause which not only exemplifies the noir feel but brings forth a sense of realism to the fantastical theme.

While a novella, I CAN TRANSFORM YOU packs as much in as a full length novel. Mac and Ade are well rounded and believable characters with backstory and personality. The plot itself spans in multiple directions and comes full circle beautifully. It's well written and wholly entertaining.

I CAN TRANSFORM YOU also includes the short story PIMP MY AIRSHIP which once again has a futuristic theme with a dose of racial tension and look at inner city gangs. It's a nice bonus that adds values to the second instalment in the Apex Voice's line.

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