I just blogged about this over at the Pyr site, but I'm tickled pink enough to mention it here too. Publishers Weekly has just reviewed Joel Shepherd's Crossover, and I'm very happy with what they have to say. Joel's book has enough kick ass action sequences, sex, and neat SFnal concepts to be a nice commercial hit, but it's layered, nuanced, and savvy enough to put it above the usual girl-robot run-of-the-mill norm. Joel's got a knack for describing the complexities and realities of politics, whether its on an interplanetary scale, between departments or coworkers in a government office, or between people in romantic entanglements. He's great with characters, stacks the book full of strong women. And he's also the first writer I've seen to really internalize and reprocess the kind of constant back and forth telepathic communication that wireless technology will soon make possible and which you see in Mangas like Ghost in the Shell. He's got the chip-in-the-head future down, in a smart, fast-paced, sexy, meaty, multicultural, military SF/police procedural and I can't wait to unleash it on the U.S. this August. Meanwhile, here is what PW has to say:
Set in the far future, Australian author Shepherd's energetic debut introduces Cassandra Kresnov, an experimental killer android-with-a-heart who has defected from her League Dark Star special ops assignment. Graced with a yen for human art almost as insatiable as her libido, Kresnov first tries to melt anonymously into Tanusha, the sybaritic capital of Callay, a planet of the League's galactic archenemy, the Federation. But Cassandra can't leave her martial past behind when she's caught up in a heroic struggle to protect the Callayan president from assassination by Federal forces. Shepherd's intriguing heroine and strong female characters bode well for this projected series. Lacing Cassandra's search for identity and acceptance with plenty of hand-to-hand combat and racy sexual exploits, Shepherd also convincingly presents vividly realized ethical dilemmas: what happens to soldiers when the war is over? can a culture that opposes the artificial manufacture of life accept its creations? Shephard grapples with some genuinely thought-provoking questions on the nature of humanity."