CONTRABAND by George Foy


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 A slog through heavy near-future grunge, from the author of the much better The Shift (1996). In Foy's dull scenario, pollution and climatic change have distorted socioeconomic systems worldwide; in America, BON--the Bureau of Nationalizations--has taken over most of active government. Josef Marak, known as ``the pilot,'' is one of a dwindling band of dedicated smugglers whose most important tool, the on-line, updated Smuggler's Bible, is maintained by Forrest Hawkley Stanhope--but nobody knows who, or where, Hawkley is. Recently, smuggling has become all but impossible, thanks to a new detection system run by the mysterious Bokon Taylay. So the pilot and his friends Rocketman and PC, along with his pet rat God, grab Hawkley's daughter Ela in the hope that she can help them find Hawkley. After a long, twisting, difficult journey across Asia, complicated by a suspected mole among them, they catch up with Hawkley, and he duly shows them how to defeat Taylay. Gritty and sometimes dark-edged; but, with cardboard eccentrics instead of characters and no plot worth mentioning, the story merely sprawls in an indifferent heap.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-553-37545-8
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Spectra/Bantam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1997


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