KIRKUS enjoys the novel.
Danae is a woman of many secrets, chiefly that she isn’t a woman at all: She is many people in one body. It takes a while to get to the specifics of what exactly that means, mainly because Danae begins the novel escaping a rapidly collapsing futuristic underwater city with her partner, Naoto, and a hired gun named Alexei. Danae hires Alexei to escort her and Naoto back to dry land and across the climate change–ravaged former United States. Between the action-packed escape to the surface and the bloodthirsty warlord named Duke who’s tailing Danae for reasons she won’t explain, the reader gets only hints and partial explanations of who Danae is for most of the first half. That’s all well and good for worldbuilding and establishing tension, but Bangs does it almost too well. When we get into the specifics of how Danae came to be, the explanation is so rich with philosophical themes and narrative possibilities that it’s a little disappointing it didn’t appear until the second half of the novel. The secondary villain, called only Borrower, is so deeply fascinating it seems a shame we needed to bother with warlords and mobsters at all.
The action and adventure at the beginning are fine, but stick around for the good stuff at the end.
Midu Hadi on MIDU READS feels much the same.
So, to conclude, if you like gritty, post-apocalyptic stories, then this is the book for you!
CIVILIAN READER interviews Bangs.
Your new novel, UNITY, is due to be published by Tachyon in April. It looks rather interesting: How would you introduce it to a potential reader?
UNITY is a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk science fiction thriller. It centers on Danae, a woman who carries the combined memory of hundreds of people, on her quest to find and reconnect with the collective consciousness from which she was traumatically severed years ago. To get there she’ll have to traverse the desolate and balkanized post-American Southwest, on the eve of a new (and perhaps final) world war, pursued by forces that want her dead — or worse. The story alternates perspectives between her, the remorse-stricken mercenary she hires to protect her and her lover along the way, and a ghost from her past. It’s a meditation on memory, identity, trauma, and human connection — with laser gun fights, underwater cities, and doomsday weapons.