EMPYRE by Josh Conviser


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Previously, in Echelon (2006), agents Ryan Laing and Sarah Peters managed to destroy the ultra-secret surveillance, command and control network by which means the United States arranged world affairs to suit its own interests.

Now, alas, ECHELON has mutated into EMPYRE, with terrorism as its primary tool. Ryan, still full of the nanomachines that render him nearly invulnerable, climbs mountains in Antarctica. Sarah, obsessed with adding cyborg enhancements to her body, has blundered into the web of mysterious arch-spymaster Phoenix and his fanatical, brainwashed assassin Zachary Taylor. Unbeknownst to Sarah, Phoenix has turned her into a Typhoid Mary—so when she comes before EMPYRE’s committee, Phoenix throws the switch, and Sarah exudes a plague that decimates not only EMPYRE but the entire CIA. EMPYRE’s chief, Andrew Dillon, barely survives and orders CIA loyalist Frank Savakis to grab Sarah and Ryan, who share a link through their implants. Dillon tortures Ryan, partly from revenge, partly because he thinks Ryan can help him locate Sarah, who’s helplessly releasing new plagues at the command of Phoenix while being hunted by every law enforcement official on the planet. Ryan, however, escapes Dillon and seeks a way to assist Sarah via an old ally that helped them bring down ECHELON. Then, in chapter two—well, not quite, but it seems as though things move that fast—we learn that Phoenix secretly has been controlling EMPYRE all along, and his plans for world domination make EMPYRE look like a group of boy scouts.

Hyperspeed high-tech froth, sometimes exciting but about as involving as watching Godzilla slug it out with King Kong.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-345-48503-8
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2007