[Review] Overload Flux by Carol Van Natta

Fry's Reviews, Reviews 2 Comments 22nd November, 2014

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

[Review] Overload Flux by Carol Van NattaOverload Flux by Carol Van Natta
Series: A Central Galactic Concordance Novel
Published by LLC on October 18th, 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller
Pages: 292
Source: Author
The Central Galactic Concordance has been stable for two centuries, but trouble is brewing. A pandemic is affecting hundreds of civilized planets, and someone is stealing the vaccine...

Brilliant investigator Luka Foxe's hidden mental talent is out of control, making him barely able to function in the aftermath of violence, and the body count is rising. The convoluted trail leads to a corrupt pharma industry and the possibility of an illegal, planet-sized laboratory. In the face of increasing threats, he must rely on an enigmatic, lethal woman he just met, but she has deep secrets of her own.

Mairwen Morganthur hides extraordinary skills under the guise of a dull night-shift guard. The last thing she wants is to provide personal security for a hot-shot investigator, or to be plunged into a murky case involving sabotage, treachery, and the military covert operations division that would love to discover she’s still alive.

Two more lives in a rising death count won’t bother their enemies one bit. Their only hope for survival lies in revealing their dark secrets and learning to trust one another.

This book tried to do a lot of things, and I commend it for that. It was certainly different and had some very interesting chunks. Unfortunately, it didn’t maintain momentum for me and I never fully grew attached to any of the characters despite having ample fodder to do so.

The first of our main characters, Mairwen, is a enhancement modified contract killer who left the field and is living as a night security guard so that no one finds her. The program that built her isn’t one to let go of their acquisitions lightly. As of yet, with the plot, Mairwen’s former employee/owner hasn’t found her and she goes through painstaking processes to make sure that that never becomes the case. Somehow, through no fault of her own, she is randomly assigned as detail for Luka Foxe, a brilliant man with an awful gift that allows him to recreate crime scenes in his head just by looking at the aftermath. Technically, he doesn’t really take violent cases anymore, but it turns out his friends are dead. And so, our story begins.

The book itself blends a lot of different elements together. We’ve got the standard crime scene investigation but that morphs into a next level conspiracy. There’s also a bit of roughing it in uninhabited terrain, some standard hand to hand fighting and an all out space brawl complete with lasers. Our author blends those seamlessly and somehow allows for plenty of character development and sabotage.

It was interesting to follow characters just past their prime or approaching that. Of course, this is the future, so perhaps 40 isn’t quite so old, but it was still interesting to see them play roles that I’ve only ever seen given younger characters. Luka Foxe, in particular, was interesting because he had such a raw and painful talent. He spends a lot of the book working on dealing with what he could see, falling into visions violently within the first couple of chapters, but then being able to even manipulate the data as his regains control of his talent.

Their romance is a bit clunky, but it’s understandable from Mairwen’s perspective. She’s never really been in love or even attracted to anyone else, so it’s all very new and different for her. They don’t even culminate their relationship until almost the last chapter. I’m glad to see the author chose to brush over the more intimate details, as erotica was certainly not her strong suit. Hey, it can’t be everyone’s cup of tea but the point was gotten across.

All in all, it reminded me a lot, in terms of pacing and mental abilities, of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series. Though, there’s much more to this book and I liked this one more than the other. While it didn’t wow me, I did find certain aspects of it enthralling.

Written by Fry


Probably in a dungeon somewhere. Game Master for the D’n’D actual play podcast Roll For Wenches .

2 Responses to “[Review] Overload Flux by Carol Van Natta”

    • Fry

      Thanks for the chance to read and review! I look forward to seeing what you can do with such a lush world to work with!

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