Set in 2137, Mars Colony, Liberty Rise is a member of the local police force, and a mutant with psychic abilities. She can read the recent memories of folks and any other organic material if she puts her mind to it. Her partner, Detective Muir, is one of the very few humans on Mars who smokes and Liberty finds the habit disgusting. Doctor Mars is the mysterious evil mastermind behind some recent scientific experiments that left a few dead. Slow Fly, an excellent fighter, is his greatest achievement to date.
For a novella, there is plenty going on here. This book is part scifi detective and part Mars Colony super hero story. There’s several interesting characters and that coupled with the murder mystery made this book a winner for me. Liberty Rise is our main protagonist. She’s been on the force for some years and lived through the change in politics and law towards mutants. However, there is still some cultural stigmas against them. Out of the two of them (Muir and her), she is the one in charge and calling the shots. Muir seems quite OK with that in his laid back way. He’s a little bit of a slob and a smoker, but I think he acts that way sometimes to shock people.
Meanwhile, we have a few interesting bad guys. Doctor Mars (who has a real name but if I tell you what it is then we enter spoiler territory) is driven in his work, even if much of what he does is distasteful. Slow Fly is the really interesting side character. He’s a dedicated fighter, but I am not sure what he is dedicated to. This makes him mysterious. Later in the story we learn a touch more about him and it becomes apparent that he is a tortured soul. Now this makes him very interesting because he becomes a bit unpredictable.
The murder mystery was fun. Mostly, Liberty and Muir solve it through her special talents and the usual digging up info and cross-checking the facts. The pacing was good with a nice mix of sleuthing, action, and a touch of humor. I’m hooked on this series and look forward to Book 2 in audio.
I won a copy of this book from the author.
The Narration: Elizabeth Phillips was a good fit for Liberty Rise. She had that no-nonsense good cop voice. I also enjoyed her sloppy Detective Muir voice. Phillips did a good job imbuing emotion into the dialogue when required.