I really enjoy a good technothriller. They’re rare — it’s a genre that rewards “boys will be boys” cliches, clunky writing replete with poorly handled info-dumps, and really underdeveloped characters.
Tag… is not a great entry into the genre. Here’s the description from Amazon:
On 15 March 2110, 6.3 billion people will die at the hand of one man. A man with a twisted vision, to make humans a better, more intelligent race…
In the wake of Arbitrator Jonah Oliver’s interrogation of Jibril Muraz, a prisoner of UNPOL, his secure life disintegrates into one of lies, corruption, conspiracy and murder due to what he learns.
Jonah is thrown into a race against the clock to stop a plot designed to eliminate two-thirds of the population. The odds are stacked against him. He soon finds his past is not what he thought it was, those closest to him cannot be trusted, and what he’s learned could get him, or worse, his loved ones, killed.
There are the basic flaws you expect in a new author — a lot of telling vs showing, stilted dialogue, poorly handled “jokey” moments, sometimes centered around women’s bodies not being perfect, stuff like that. After that, there are the “boys will be boys! lolllls” moments. Here’s where I began to crack:
[Jonah is meeting with Sharon, his fellow UNPOL colleague, about an important prisoner who has specifically asked
to meet with Jonah for reasons as yet unknown. This is from Jonah's POV.]
I really wanted to have Sharon right there and then on the table, having been thoroughly dominated and turned on by her power shakedown. I resorted to the male primeval of telling her this with my eyes. There were only two problems with this: one, she was happily married, and two, she was a lesbian and one hundred percent committed to her partner…
Well, no, there’s three, which is that you probably shouldn’t give intense “let’s fuck” eyes to your colleagues, particularly when they’re asking you to do your job… which is, by the way, not a “power shakedown.”
I got through about a quarter of this, long enough to confirm that…
1. Jonah is the one person that can destroy the evil Sir Thomas’ plans for committing a eugenics-based genocide.
2. He’s just discovered he’s telepathic, and can accomplish mental maneuvers it’d normally take years to master instantaneously.
3. Jonah is sexy enough to make Sharon Cochran think of peen, AND has better telepathic skills than this UNPOL-trained operative.