Skilled secret agents attempt to save the world in Puhala’s futuristic thriller.
During a break-in of her neighbor Ivory’s apartment in Pittsburgh, Violet Kromer calls 911 as other tenants look on. Unbeknownst to Violet, Ivory is the leader of a secret organization called “The Group,” which was founded to “promote the free exchange of information and new technologies to improve everyone’s quality of life.” Due to Violet’s good deed and special DNA—evidenced in her saliva—she’s offered the chance to become a secret agent, one of 10 people trained for a group called “Ten,” whose mission is “to stop the space colonization project that is using up the best brains and the planet’s resources so that the chosen thousand of Earth’s rulers can escape to pollute a fresh, new world.” In addition to a complete personal makeover and learning self-defense, Violet will be provided with the right diet to “awaken” her psychic gifts. However, she’ll have to cut off all ties with her old life and take on a whole new identity. Meanwhile, in Salt Lake City, Samuel Simmons is completing his online master’s degree in homeland security. When Violet’s and Samuel’s paths finally cross, it’ll be up to them to save the planet. Sixty chapters in just over 300 pages indicate the amount of jumping around the story does with both characters and locations; despite all the action, however, the storyline remains rather directionless. Stilted writing and an indiscernible voice ramble through the cobbled-together plot, as an array of arbitrary events and characters appear without much preamble, solid foundation or consistency. At 567 pounds, Sam Simmons gets Lap-Band surgery to facilitate his employability with Homeland Security, but more so to help him “get laid.” While not working in the airport security detail, Sam can be found providing “stud services” to rich, skeletal old women. Frequently on-the-nose dialogue, featuring “giggling” doctors, “gushing” crime fighters and patients getting surgeries “on sale” at the hospital, detracts from the intrigue.
The cool concept drowns amid an overcrowded, divergent story.