Level 26: Dark Origins by Anthony E. Zuiker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
If you’re looking for a great work of literature with phenomenal writing, this isn’t the book to read. But the concept of a digi-novel is interesting and the experience is okay if you like books and crime drama TV.
The premise is pretty basic. Sqweegel is classified as a Level 26 killer. He’s a twisted serial killer who has been uncatchable for years. Now he’s targeted the wife of former agent Steve Dark, who is basically forced out of retirement to try to find Sqweegel.
That’s the story in a nutshell. The concept was good, but there were a lot of things wrong with the book. There were several continuity and spelling errors, and the overall writing wasn’t great. It read like a made-for-TV CSI like movie with some added gore and swearing for effect. The characters were bland, and some of the acting in the cyber bridges was worthy of a Razzy.
Having said that, I don’t think the book tried to be anything great. I think the authors took a concept and went with it, drawing from their background in the crime drama tv genre. Sure, there could have been improvements, but for what it was, I actually enjoyed it. There were some disturbing scenes and Sqweegel made for a nifty bad guy. Not sure if I thought he was worthy of a Level 26 rating, but it was probably good for the book. I even enjoyed the cyber-bridges, though a few of them were a little long and tedious.
This isn’t anything I’ll read again, but I’ll likely read the second one that comes out next year.
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