The Family: The Brotherhood
By Donte M McNeal

Based in Michigan, Donte's Playground is a blog by Donte M McNeal. His posts range from nonsensical ramblings about anime, in-depth reviews of books and television/film, to random spurts of philosophical babble.

Matt Doyle's "Addict"

Matt Doyle's "Addict"

So, I've been a fan of Matt Doyle since I read his debut, Wick, and I haven't been disappointed yet. I'm glad to say that that trend continued with his latest outing, Addict.

The gorgeous cover

 

I loved the Spark Form Chronicles for their engaging characters, the great action and the world that Doyle had created. Addict is more of the same. Well, there aren't any flashy battles, or tournaments, or living machines (and I use machine loosely because Carnival was so much more than that), but I digress. Addict boasts the staples of a Matt Doyle project: A detailed and sprawling world, coupled with complex characters, that learning more about is just as interesting as the immersive world they live in.

In the first book of The Cassie Tam Files, the future of the good ole US of A has brought about technological advances that don't seem too farfetched to me, if I'm being honest. AI capable of performing most, if not all functions a computer can for you, including searching the internet for whatever you need, or really anything digital that's available to the public. I haven't even mentioned the community of people known as Tech Shifters, who like to role-play as animals using technologically advanced exoskeletons (which sounds pretty fun), or the mechanical pets families have, that double as combat machines/security systems...at least for Cassie. I wish I could live in this world. Though, with all the advances that have been made, not everything has progressed as much. New Hopelandharbors a darkness: Shady businessmen, corrupt law enforcement and government officials, and assassins. Also, there's drug addicts, or Virtual Junkies, who use stimulants to get "high." You know, the usual.

Cassie, our smart-mouthed sleuth who makes a living digging into the lives of others in this city plagued by corruption, drugs and death. Am I the only one getting Jessica Jones vibes here? Oh, I am? Never mind then. When Caz is approached by a desperate young woman, looking to uncover the truth about her brother dying from an OD, she assumes all she has to do is prove the brother actually was a Virtual Junkie, and indeed overdosed on stimulants like the police said, and boom! Case closed. But things are never that neat in life, especially for the haunted Cassie Tam.

Cassie is taken for a ride that climbs up into possible corruption, loops through possible cover-ups and dips into possible conspiracies. And I must say, it was one hell of a ride! The case has our snarky PI having to confront her drug-dealing ex in order to get information to give her client, Lori, closure. Though, there's more to Lori than meets the eye, and I'm not just referring to the fact that she's one of the aforementioned Tech Shifters. Did I mention that I want...no need to live in this world?

As the mystery unravels, secrets are exposed, past traumas revealed, and lives changed. I don't remember the last time I devoured a book in one sitting like I did this one, but Addict was one of the best reads of the year so far for me. I'll be impatiently...I mean eagerly waiting to see what comes next for Caz and co.

What's my final verdict? Must have!

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Michelle Madow's "Prophecy of Shadows"

Michelle Madow's "Prophecy of Shadows"

Spring 2017: Anime 1st Impressions

Spring 2017: Anime 1st Impressions