Only the Cold Remains by Curran Geist
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book doesn't hold back...
Only the Cold Remains is a complex and action packed thriller set in a dystopian future where aliens (Kuljiks) have rescued the last surviving remnants of humanity from the Earth. The company, Medtronic, that is supposed to maintain their habitat and protect them from extinction is led by a perverted, evil Kuljik who has created a secret pleasure-ship, which features human slaves as the main attraction.
This book is well written and exciting. It is told from several distinct points of view, and this was used to good effect by the author to create tension, to build emotional connection with the characters, and to draw the reader onwards through the story. I found that it was difficult to put down the story while in a certain perspective, so it's probably a good thing the author switches between them every few chapters (episodes) or so or I'd never have gotten any sleep.
Like the previous book, this one features both the good and the bad, and let me say that the bad is really bad. The author handles the themes of good vs. evil well and is particularly skilled at showing how one cannot judge someone by their heritage. Even though much of the evil and degradation is spawned by the aliens, several of the most kind-hearted and relatable characters also happen to be aliens. I think this is one of the things that makes this book such a delight to read.
And, let's not overlook the fight and chase scenes. This book is packed with them. It truly is a thrilling experience, though sometimes they might have lasted a bit too long or followed action with action in too many sequences. Still, I think this is appropriate for this genre of book.
So, with all of this, I think the only thing, other than too much action for my taste in places, was the inconsistent execution of the inner monologue. This book, being told from many perspectives, is peppered with the inner thoughts, worries and dreams of it's featured characters. For those thoughts that were identified in italics as if the character was thinking them in real time, it would have been better to word them as one would word dialog, in present tense as if the thought were spoken aloud. Many of them were in past tense, not all, but many. If you're simply describing someones thoughts, past tense is fine, but don't italicize. If you're revealing someone's thoughts, it needs to be as if you are hearing their thoughts. I know I don't think in past tense for things that are happening now.
I must also reinforce the author's 17 and up warning. He wasn't kidding. This book doesn't hold back. Love, lust, violence, death, blood, gore, perversion, all of this and more is packed into this novel. It's not for the faint of heart, but mature readers who like a good thrill will likely love this story. I highly recommend it.
I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest, non-reciprocal review.
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