Vox Day, Quantum Mortis: A Mind Programmed (Kouvola, Finland: Castalia House, 2014). Kindle
James Jesus Angleton famously described the eternal battle between espionage and counterintelligence as “a wilderness of mirrors.” I thought of that phrase while reading A Mind Programmed, the latest installation in the Quantum Mortis series of science fiction stories. Few people or things are what they seem in this story, and even when you see what they really are, you still have questions.
Here is the plot: Humankind has spread throughout the universe. It is governed by the Ascendancy, which in turn is ruled by the House of Malhedron. Not everyone is happy with Malhedron’s rule, however. Prince Li-Hu of the House of Dai Zhan, for example, aims to challenge its power. So does the Integration, the confederation of man-machine cyborgs existing on the edge of the Ascendancy’s borders.
When agents of Dai Zhan somehow hijack the Shiva-class Navy vessel Rigel, with its sunbuster technology (basically, a weapon that makes a sun go nova), the Ascendancy and the Integration move their best agents into play—Daniela York and Miranda Flare, respectively. Using false identities, hiding their true purposes, ruthlessly working to uncover the location of the Rigel and recover (or steal) its sunbuster before it’s too late.
But just when you think the mystery has been resolved, the plot twists, and you find yourself with a new set of questions.
I’m new to science fiction, but I enjoyed A Mind Programmed. Though a bit dialogue heavy and slow in the middle, the book spun a good yarn and kept my interest throughout. I plan to read the previous and future installments of this series.
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